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hi all

I am looking for a client that mimics MSN’s ability to have strange fonts, like picture fonts.

Q1 - If connected to a MSN user and they use a picture type font or something different font, will it appear correctly over the transport in the Spark client?

Q2 - Does Spark have the ability to let the user choose a default font, which may be one of these strange fonts?

NB: I hope I explained “Picture Fonts” correctly. My daughter uses MSN , and uses a font, where the letters all seem to be images of the letter in various different colours and various different shapes.

Thank you


Hi John,

Spark does not allow you to select a font, so one will always use the standard font. I did never hear of colored fonts … sounds a lot like a big waste of resources but quite nice for kids.

I assume as I don’t have an MSN account that MSN always sends just the text, so it should not matter if the receiving client knows about “a picture type font” and it should display just the text.

I guess that your daughter wants to stick with the MSN client for some years as it has more non-business functions than Spark.


I have since found this out, by downloading Spark and testing it against other clients, but thank you anyway.

I have also found out that MSN does not use picture fonts as I first thought, but emoticons that replace normal letters. What is interesting is they send the emoticon through to the receiver. In other words although I may not have that emoticon on my machine, I will still see it when they use it, but when I message back, I will not use the emoticon even when I type the same letter, and the other person will just see plain text.

I can however click on the letter, and say add, and then from then on, anytime I use that letter it will appear as an emoticon, and any person I am texting to will also see it, even if they are not using that emoticon.

In fact MSN sends any emoticon used through to the other person, even if they do not have it installed.

It does make it better for kids.

Thank you

I believe what you are referring to is called “Custom emoticons”. That functionality is handled by, for all practical purposes, attaching the image files that contain the actual icons to your message and “mapping” the character strings to the real icon. It’s kind of a combo IM and file transfer at the same time. Spark does not support that and I don’t believe there’s even a facility for that in XMPP at this time. (I haven’t looked extensively… it would be some sort of “inline images” support for XMPP, which I’m pretty certain has at least been talked about before) Anyway, does that sound about right for what you are referring to?


Yes that is what I am talking about. Perfect.

Yes I gathered XMPP does not support them although that is a pity from my point of view. Thank you for clarifying that.

I do understand why, because open source software does need a commercial aspect, and for business users, there would be little need for the above. Spark is a pure business client, with little nonsensical frills, and from what I have seen works very well for what it is designed for.

Thanks all that have helped - I have discovered that the Coversant SoapBox Communicator has some of those frills that I wanted, although not the above file transfer of the emoticon. LOL I should add my daughter has stopped using them, as they can be hard to read. Anyway the right tool for the right job !

Thank you all