How to Make Your Own Icon

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How to Make Your Own Icon

Once you've created the image you want to use as an icon (or downloaded one, or commissioned one, or whined to your designer friend until she created one for you), Iconfactory's IconBuilder plug-in for Adobe Photoshop (which also works with Macromedia's Fireworks MX) can do the rest. To use your handwritten signature as an icon for personal, top-secret folders, first write your name using a black Sharpie, scan it, and save it in Photoshop.


>> Adobe Photoshop 7 or later ($649, or Photoshop Elements 2 or later ($84.99)
>> Image file

>> Iconfactory IconBuilder 8.5 ($79,


Step 1. Build in IconBuilder


Before you can start, you have to add IconBuilder's components to Photoshop. If you are using Photoshop Elements, adding an Action is a little more complicated because the app does not officially support Actions. However, there are smarties out there who have made it possible by creating workarounds, such as Ling Nero's snapActions for Elements 2 (freeware). You can find more info on the topic here. Our instructions are provided for use with Photoshop.


Drag the IconBuilder plug-in from the disk image you downloaded to the Photoshop plug-ins folder /Applications/Adobe Photoshop/Plug-ins. Then load the IconBuilder Assistant Action by launching Photoshop and selecting Window > Actions. On the Actions palette, click the tiny triangle in the upper-right and select Load Actions. Navigate to the IconBuilder Assistant.acn file in /IconBuilder Essentials/IconBuilder Assistant, select it, and click Load.


The IconBuilder Assistant Action is key to your success.






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I have an aluminum Macbook and have tried this a couple times with no luck. Is there some option that needs to be set in System Preferences that I have missed or something? Or does this just apply to Macbook Pros? internet fax programs



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Use GIMP. Free replacement for photoshop that is easily good enough for this kind of thing.



Nice. Here's the way I do it:
Required software: Icon Composer, which I believe is in the OSX devkit, icns2icons, free, and of course, photoshop.
Open the image of your future icon in P'Shop, and copy the layer (Apple-J). Drag the "Background" layer to the garbage can icon in the lower-right corner of the layers palette. Get rid of What you don't want in the remaining layer. If you want a drop shadow, make it in a new layer which you'll place underneath the one with your image. Crop the file as close to the edges as you can. Make the canvas square in "canvas size". Save one 128x128pxls copy of the file, one 48x48, one 32x32, one 16x16, ALL IN .PSD FORMAT to preserve transparency.
Open Icon Composer. Double-click the 128x128 space on the window, and find the 128x128pxls psd file. Do the same for the 48x48, 32x32 and 16x16 spaces and click yes to incorporate the mask every time. Save the icns file. You now have a generic icon. Drag the file on the icns2icon icon and Shazaam! You he an icon ready to use.
Not better or worse, just different.



Once you have your .PSD image with transparency, drag the file into Pic2Icon (free,; the site has an IconEditorPack with links to the above mentioned icns2icon and Gimp ). This turns the picture into a good image you can copy in "Get Info" and paste for the folder or file icons in their Get Info panes. The image can also be brought into Icon Composer to create your .icns icon.


Leslie Ayers

The coolest part about your way is that it's free! :-)


Thanks for sharing.



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