Replacing My Name With A Picture On Myspace Profile

When you're editing your MySpace profile, on the Name section, there's a little box called "Display Name", like this:
Myspace Profile
Try to add any sort of HTML like <b>Dave</b> and it's stripped away and won't work at all. But... and here's the secret... if you realize that the MySpace system is going to convert what you type into what would be displayed to a user as part of saving your changes, you can indeed get just that effect by using &lt; instead of < and &gt; instead of > in your display name.

This means that if I wanted to have my name in bold, I'd need to type in exactly:


It's ugly, yeah, but it works. This also means that you can change the color of your name by using the font tag, like this:

&lt;font color=red&gt;Dave&lt;/font&gt;

Instead of "red" you could use "blue", "yellow", "green", about twenty different color names. Cool, eh?

Unfortunately, the MySpace folk don't give you very much space in that box, only 50 characters. This is where it's tricky to use a graphic, because the basic code for the graphic inclusion is going to look like this:

&lt;img src=url&gt;

Do the counting and you'll see that there are only 34 characters left, and seven of them are going to have to be "http://", so there are really only 27 characters left for the full URL of your image. Subtract four more for the ".gif" or ".jpg" and, well, it's not much space for a URL. I couldn't use, for example, "" as it's far, far too long.

Fortunately, there are free image hosting services like which will let you create and host a small graphic on their site without charge.

So I'll test it out. Here's a rudimentary graphic I've created:

Reasonably fun and visually interesting, yet pretty darn tiny. I'll go ahead and upload it to, where it's quickly included in their database and I find out that I have three different ways I can reference it:

It's the third one, the "Link" that I care about, not the other two. Now I can simply replace url in the above example with the TinyPic URL in my "Display Name" field:

&lt;img src=;

Now with any luck, I can paste that into the "Display Name" field, save it, and have a graphic replace my name on my MySpace profile...

Looks good. Notice how if I had entered the < and > directly it would have removed them, but by using the awkward &lt; and &gt; sequences instead, MySpace has converted it for me. Nice!

One important tip: Because MySpace converts the &lt; into <, this means
that each time you tweak your display name you'll have to manually convert
the < back to &lt; and > back to &gt
;. Tedious, but you probably won't modify that too often anyway...

Nice Myspace tips from Dave

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