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As in real life, how you look in Second Life communicates certain things about you, or your avatar to be precise. Many people like to distinguish themselves from the standard avatar appearance they selected for themselves when they created an account. Some people want different hair colour, a specific body shape, or even to look non-human. In the following activities you will spend at least 30 minutes adjusting the appearance of your avatar, and getting to know other personalisation features. Start by referring to section five of the The Quick Start Guide .

Appearance - what shall I look like?

Three residents in Second Life present this introduction to changing your appearance in seven minutes. They present a fairly complete depiction of how to Edit Your Appearance.More appearance editing, getting an avatar or two from the library.

After making your avatar look right you will want to Save your outfit

About body parts and how to change them: You can not delete your body parts.

Wearing new clothes

When you arrive in Second Life you have clothes that match the style of avatar you selected when you created your account. In Second Life you can buy or be given new outfits. These are stored in your Inventory in the folder called Clothes, or they arrive in a folder after all others in your inventory. Usually, each outfit is stored in a folder. To wear your new outfit right-click (context menu click) on the Folder, then select Replace Outfit. More on organising clothing files in inventory.

Occasionally your new clothes arrive in a box, in which case you have to drag the box out of your inventory, context-click on the box, select Open, then either drag the clothing into your Inventory or click a button to move the objects to your inventory.

Are you looking for dresses?

Here is an advanced discussion on adjusting your skirt shape.


Your profile is an important part of your personal identity in Second Life. You can view avatar's profiles at any time, by context-clicking on the avatar, or by selecting Profile in the Friends tab in the communicate window. See how to fill in your Profile.

While you can look after the contents of your own profile, here is another way to get to know who and what is available in Second Life. In his video on profile surfing, Torley Linden shows how to add a place you have found to your own profile's picks.

Setting your home location

Your home is somewhere you can return to by selecting a menu item, or by a keystoke. You can also set your home location as the place for your avatar to start at when you log in to Second Life. Set your Home by selecting the World menu and then the Set Home to Here menu item. You can return home from anywhere by selecting the World menu and then the Teleport Home item, or by holding down the keys Command-Shift-H (Mac) or Control-Shift-H (PC) at the same time.

Gestures, stop animations, dancing

When you are communicating with others it is useful to know how to use gestures.

Dancing is a fun activity in Second Life and might be a useful ice breaker at the start of your learning experience in Second Life. Often you are provided with an object (a dance ball) to click on that then offers to animate your avatar. Usually, these dance balls will stop making you dance when you click on the object a second time. However, if you keep on dancing, select Stop All Animations from the World menu in your viewer. This tutorial looks at how you can dance in Second Life.

HUDs - Heads Up Displays

User created Heads Up Displays (HUDs) are also useful tools in Second Life. HUDs attach themselves to your screen in front of your camera. They add functions that your avatar takes with it as it moves around. HUDs can be used to control parts of a system in the 3D world, for example, in a medical simulation we can indicate our choices through a HUD: About HUDs.

Next - finding locations

Search, locate, retrieve, store and manage information on locations.