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There are quite a few ways rebus puzzles that hide a certain meaning. Some of them that I can recall off-hand are:

  1. Images - An image that just refers to what it looks like

  2. Placement - Placing a word above, below, in between, etc. another word sometimes conveys a meaning.

  3. Repetition - For example, repeating 'give get' 4 times indicates 'forgive & forget'.

  4. Coloring - For example, 'MOONCEON', with the first 2 and last 2 letters in blue, indicates 'once in a blue moon'.

  5. Combination - Like H + {ear image} = HEAR

A good rebus puzzle will include various different such methods.

I thought it would be a good idea to have (a) detailed answer(s) on the site, indicating the methods used, with examples.

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I, myself have read about/solved a few rebus puzzles myself recently; And from whatever I have read about them and learnt about them after solving, I can give the following tips:-

POSITION WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

One way of encrypting a Rebus is the positioning of the words and symbols, in terms of its place on the canvas area and to the other words and symbols in relation to it. You also sometimes need to think what other words might be used to describe a symbol, letter or word.

In the example 12″ is in the word DOOR, 12″ (Twelve Inches) is also known as a foot, so we have the answer of: Foot In The Door.

enter image description here

HIGHLIGHTING WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

Sometimes you can draw attention to some part of the Rebus, by an arrow, text bolding or underlining, indicating where you should be looking for the clue.

In the example the arrow is pointing to the first word which is indicating “The Beginning”, so therefore the answer is The Beginning Of The End.

enter image description here

DIRECTION WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

A word can be spelt in a particular direction other than the usual like left-to-right to reveal a hint to the solution.

This Rebus shows Two “Feet” in the Left direction, to give the answer Two Left Feet. enter image description here

SIZE WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

You may make use of large or small words or symbols to convey concepts like big, small, skinny, wide, etcetera.

Take this Rebus puzzle below, the word “Deal” is big so it represents Big Deal. enter image description here

NUMBER(S) WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

You can make use of numbers and their closeness in sound of 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, etcetera, to other English words.

This cryptic example shows 2 “Funny” 4 “Words”, and so the answer is Too Funny For Words. enter image description here

COLOUR WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

You can adjust the colour to be relevant in the answer. Sometimes Rebus puzzles may make use of colour names like Rose.

In this extremely easy example “Tickled” is Pink so the answer is Tickled Pink. enter image description here

STYLE WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

You can adjust the style of font to represent other words such as tall, petite, thin, slanted, bold etc.

The “Skinny” letters in the example makes the answer is Skinny Dipping. enter image description here

SOUND WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

Your Rebus puzzle can be phonologically cryptic (to do with sound). The sound might not always be exactly like the answer, but it will always be close enough to recognise.

Take the Rebus below, the “2222”‘ when pronounced together sounds like Tues, then with the word “Day” we have Tuesday

enter image description here

IMAGE WITHIN A REBUS PUZZLE

You can make use of images. The image will definitely form part or most of the clue.

Take this One, the Rebus shows an “Apple” and the mathematical number for “Pi” which gives us Apple Pie !

enter image description here

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