Icon editors allow you to edit an icon file, which is basically an image file with the .ico extension and contains one or more small images at multiple sizes and colour depths. They also allow you to create new icons to replace your program or system icons, and favicons (short for favorites icons) that are used on websites, as seen in the browser address bar, tabs and bookmarks, such as this .
An icon editor needs to have a program or system icon replacement function also built in, otherwise the icons you create cannot easily be used.
Icons are normally saved at 32 x 32px 256-color .ico files, but 48 x 48px, 64 x 64px, or 128 x 128px is sometimes used. Favicons need to be saved as 16 x 16px 256-color .ico files. You can create icons in full-color (and it's best to do so), but favicons for web use need to be saved in 256-color—don't save your icons in any other profile or format as they will not be able to be viewed on some platforms.
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Greenfish Icon Editor Pro: Designed for ease of use, lightweight and portable
Summary: This freeware program has professional tools to create, edit, open and save icon files, and allows you to extract and patch icons in the executable files, or batch convert image files to icons and other image formats.
Review: Not all Pro software products are commercial. Greenfish Icon Editor Pro is indeed a freeware program, complete with professional tools to create, edit, open and save icon files. It allows you to extract and patch icons in the executable files, or batch convert image files to icons and other image formats.
The program handles icon libraries and supports ico, cur, ani, png, xpm, bmp, jpg and gif image file formats, including Vista compatible png compressed icons.
In addition to icons, it allows you to design cursors, small pixel graphic, animation or static images. Some other useful features such as drop shadow, glow and bevel are supported.
This program is designed for ease of use, lightweight and portable, just download the zip file and run the executable.
IcoFX: A wealth of tools and equipped with more than 40 image effects
Summary: This good freeware icon editor has a wealth of tools for you to create icons for programs, setup files or favicons and convert your favorite images to icons, or icons to images.
Review: IcoFX is alternatively a good freeware icon editor which is worth a try. It has a wealth of tools and equipped with more than 40 image effects, but common to most image editors, you need to spend some time to get familiar with the tools.
The program allows you to create icons for your programs, setup files, or favicons for your website or blog. It also allows you to convert your favorite images to icons, or icons to images. Conversion between Macintosh and Windows icons are supported. Other features include supporting Vista icons with PNG compression, true color, transparency (alpha channel) and batch processing capability.
Similar to Greenfish Icon Editor Pro, IcoFX allows you to create icon libraries, extract and patch icons inside the executable files. However, on some executable files which I tried, the former seems work better than the latter.
Unfortunately, the new version of IcoFX has turned commercial and the last free version is no more supported by the developer.
Google provides a simple service to extract a favicon and return it in a png file format from a web page. By entering the following in the address bar with a specific domain (e.g. techsupportalert.com), you will get one.
Related Products and Links
Free Icon Sets:
- Free Online Icon Editor Offers 12,000+ Free Icons
- More than 100,000 free icons in one place
- The Icon Archive: 31,100 Free Icons for Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Free 16x16 Icon Set for Web Designers
- Free Sets of Icons for the Web and Elsewhere: Smashing Flavours, Twitters and More
- 111 Excellent Free Icon Packs
- 50 Fresh Useful Icon Sets For Your Next Design
- 50 Free High-Quality Icon Sets
You might want to check out these articles too:
Quick Selection Guide
Greenfish Icon Editor Pro
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