Icon Editors (July 2007)
Icon Editors have the ability to create icons from scratch, or to load and edit
icons from existing files.
This review is in work. Until the review is complete, I suggest the following
applications for your icon editor needs:
Before we get into the results of my review of icon extractors, here is some basic
icon information which will help you understand how the programs were evaluated.
An icon is simply a bitmap, typically of a standard size as defined by Microsoft
for use in Windows. An icon file may contain multiple icons (bitmaps), usually
(but not necessarily) of the same image. Having several sizes of the same image
allows Windows to select the icon size to match the way it's used, as defined
in the following list of standard icon sizes:
- 16x16 - windows and taskbars
- 24x24 - Start menu
- 32x32 - desktop
- 48x48 - explorer
- 128x128 - WindowsXP special format (seldom used)
- 256x256 - Windows Vista only (uses .PNG compression to keep file size small)
Only the Vista 256x256 icons are compressed and the compression is optional.
Icons use color depths of 16, 256, or 16.8M colors. The 16 and 256 color depth
icons use color palettes (part of the file) to define the color of each pixel,
whereas 16.8M color icons use a 24bpp (bits per pixel) format to define the
color of each pixel.
Icons of all sizes and colors may include a trsnsparent color. Transparency allows
the icon pixel to take on the color of the background.
Starting with WindowsXP, icons may also provide variable opacity (opacity).
The variable opacity information is typically referred to as the alpha channel
and is implemented by adding 8 bits for every per pixel - for a total of 32bpp.
The benefit of variable opacity is to provide shadows and smoother edges to icons.
Here are some other icon references that might be of interest to you:
Icon Editor Features
These are the minimum features that I expect from an icon editor
Each of the candidate programs will be ranked against how well they implement
the following features. As the review continues, the list of features may change.
- ... in work
These are the programs included in this review.
User Feedback & Suggestions
I welcome any suggestions on other icon editors that should be considered,
or suggestions on how better to review the selected programs.