Whilst this system has been in place on Sta.sh for a while now, it appears some people have missed it, so I thought I would throw together a short tutorial on the basics of the system. Along with community made emoticons, the new sidebar can be used to insert images from your own gallery and deviations from anywhere on dA. However, I will focus only on the emote side of things.
Step 1 - Add Media
When you click on the box to insert a new comment, there are now two options available at the bottom of the comment area. Select the one named 'Add Media'.
Step 2 - Search for an emote
After clicking the 'Add Media' button, a sidebar will appear on the right hand side of your screen. When it opens, it shows a list of the 'Official Emoticons' - all the emotes currently found on the Emoticon Legend. If you wish to use one of these, scroll through the list and find the one you want. Then skip to the next step.
Note: You can still use the codes from the Emoticon Legend to insert official emoticons. e.g. :hug: ->
However, this sidebar also allows you to insert unofficial emotes, also known as community emoticons. To find the one you want, simply enter a keyword into the search box and hit enter. If dA finds any emotes which match, it will display them in the sidebar.
Step 3 - Adding the emote
Once you have found the emote you want to use, simply click it in the side bar and it will appear in your comment. If you wish to remove the emote from the comment, simply use the backspace/delete key.
Step 4 - Submit the comment
Add any addition text to the comment, then submit it as normal using the 'Submit Comment' button. The emote will appear as the image in your final comment.