While the way one creates micros is dependent on the program the creator is using, there are certain principles that are universal.
Pixel by Pixel
Micros are made pixel by pixel. Vary rarely will broad stroke techniques be used. No matter what program you are using, you will need to use the highest zoom available to that program.
One of the key principles of Micro creation is reference matching. While micros can be created by memory, those that are usually aren't very detailed, or very good. Reference matching is a discipline that begins with the choice of reference material that best represents the subject you have chosen, and end when you submit your micro for public viewing. The first step though, is deciding what you want your micro to be and to decide what refs best represent the version of that character or thing to be.
Along with references another key tool is a comparison or reference micro. Since many characters have been made many times, a good way to advance oneself in the art is to observe versions of that same character by other micro makers. Micro comparison allows artists to decide what works and what doesn't work when creating specific characters. It is a tool that helps artists learn much faster than through trial and error, since most of the trial have been done over and over by multiple artists.
Micro-Heroes are made of a series of templates, but sometimes a creation requires pieces be made from scratch. A key skill in micro making is to know your templates and know when not to use them.
MS Paint is the easiest program to use for making micros. It is also the most commonly used and most accessible program since it comes with all Windows OS.
This program is maybe more effective than MS Paint, because it has the wand tool, to erase backgrounds, a color replacement tool, and many effects, it allows you to save in .gif/.png without using a converter, easy color selecter, with a color spectrum, and it's as simple to use as the MS Paint.
BMP to GIF Conversion
Paint Shop Pro
Put Pain shop pro tutorial here
put Photoshop tutorial here