|Icons are those little graphics that we click on to make something happen such as starting a program or opening a folder on your computer. |
You probably have some of these icons on your computer desktop. Maybe there is the familiar blue E that will open the Internet Explorer browser or the tiny paint palette for JascR Paint ShopTM ProR. But did you know that you can create your own icons? How? Glad you asked.
For any image to be used as an icon it must be in the icon format (.ico). You will need an icon editor program to create an image in this format. There are many shareware icon editors that you can download from the web. Just do a GoogleTM search for "icon editors" and you will get a long list. Some well known editors are MicroangeloR from the Eclipsit Corporation, Favicon from Favicon.com and IconEasel from EasyApps Software/Traver News Service. Many of these editors will allow you to import an image that you have created in another graphics program such as PhotoshopR. Then you can save this image in the icon format and use it as an icon. However these editors do much more. You can also create your icon from scratch. In fact that is the main purpose of this type of software.
Your icon should be in one of the standard sizes which are 16x16 pixels, 32x32 pixels or 48x48 pixels. And the color can range from monochrome, 16 colors, 256 colors and TrueColor. The icon can also have transparent areas. Remember that an icon image is very small so you will probably want a simple design such as a letter or geometric shape. Below are two sample icons that I made for our BellaOnline site. I created them in Paint Shop Pro and then imported each into IconEasel to convert them into the icon format.
More Icon Editors
Icon Pilot 2.0b - Icon and Cursor Art Shareware - Product Review by Ann LaBonte, Shareware & Freeware Editor