Pimp Your Digsby Messenger With Skins And Emoticons

imageI gave a review of Digsby on Make Use Of a couple of weeks ago and concluded that although you can expect it to still be a little rough around the edges; it just may be the most promising multi-messaging client we have seen.

In your comments a few were from people who had tried Digsby a while ago and found it too buggy to be a serious alternative to their current chat client. Despite being less then a year old, it came third in our poll about favorite Instant Messaging client. I can now confidently say that after the number of recent updates, Digsby is at a point where I can now confidently say it should be perfectly safe to download and try. Errors, CPU spikes and especially RAM usage have been considerably optimized over the last few weeks.

If you’ve been using another application for some time and have all your chats logged then it may be a bit of a deterrent when deciding to switch to Digsby. This is no longer a concern. Chris, one of the Digsby developers, dropped in and left a comment saying that you could now convert all your old log files with the Digsby log converter. I recommend this handy tool.

A few days ago on his own blog fellow Make Use Of writer Shankar linked to Digsbies Themes , a new and growing resource for Digsby skins and tools. Although at this point there isn’t a huge number to choose from, I’ve made a selection of what I think are the best three skins available.

To install a new skin:

Installing these skins is pretty simple. After downloading the folder, you’ll have to unzip it into your Digsby folders. It’s likely Digsby will be in a path similar to these:

C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Application Data\Digsby\Skins\

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C:\Program Files\Digsby\res\Skins\

Choose either your user folder or the program folder. You will need to reveal hidden files if you want to find Digsby in your application data. If you install the skin in the program files, you will find future Digsby updates will erase the data, so it’s preferable to install it in the user data. Once you have done this you can activate skins by opening Digsby and going to Tools > Preferences > Skins > and selecting your theme.

Top 3 Digsby Skins


This skin is “an extensive make-over which makes Digsby look like Windows Live Messenger for those who like the look of Live messenger or just like the clean modern style which is popular these days.based upon the Windows Live is a very nice theme which borrows the Windows Live look.”

This is my favourite and in my opinion is currently the best Digsby theme. You can get it here.

Digsby Skins


XP Royale is a theme that didn’t make into the original XP release but was made available for download a couple of years later. Long Zheng managed to find an alternative black version which he released unofficially on his blog .

AeRoyale is a very nice Digsby theme which combines elements of the XP Royale theme and Vista Aero. A good combination of the two and designed to fit well into both desktops.

Digsby Themes

OSX Leopard

This theme is a fairly good attempt at designing a Digsby theme to mimic the look and feel of MacOSX. . Digsby is available for download on both PC and Mac, so if you’re already using MacOSX this may be perfect for getting Digsby to fit in nicely with the rest of your desktop. Get it here


One other thing that may annoy you about using Digsby is having to use a new set of emoticons. Luckily Digsbies.org has all the smileys for the main chat networks. You can download and install these in much the same way as the skins, just look for Digsby\res\emoticons\ in your files.

In the emoticons folder rename “default” to something like “default-backup”. Copy the emoticons folder (example: MSNemoticons) in your downloaded zip file to C:\Program Files\Digsby\res\emoticons\ so that you have e.g. C:\Program Files\Digsby\res\emoticons\MSNEMOTICONS\angel.gif. Rename it to “default” and open up Digsby.

Here are a some of the most well known smiley packs:

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A useful tip for using Digsby is that you can use keypad shortcuts to rapidly control some of the features and dismiss the notifications window with a right click. I find that one particularity useful as although I like having notifications, sometimes they pop up at the wrong time and annoy me.

Lastly, if I still haven’t persuaded you to give Digsby a go then why don’t you check out this this Make Use Of list of the best alternative multi-messaging applications around.

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