Create Icons for your Mac

Andy and I have been working on a CD-ROM project at Capella. One of the last steps was to change the default icons of the exe file on the pc and the swf on the mac to be the Capella logo. Both of us have worked with ico files (for the pc) before, but neither of us had tried creating an icon for the mac. Turned out to be kind of a pain.

After a few unsuccessful experiments with png’s, we turned to google. I found some tutorials, but they were either outdated or targeted at converting a mac icon into a pc icon. We ended up finding two different solutions: IconBuilder and Pinki. Descriptions of these two apps and the others we came across are below.

IconBuilder is recommended IconBuilder from IconFactory – Full version costs $79, trial version runs for 30 days. Installs as a plugin to Adobe Photoshop (or Adobe Elements or Macromedia Fireworks MX) and works like a charm. If you need to make a professional icon, this is the program to use.

Pinki is recommended Pinki Image Thumbnail Icon Creator – This program automatically creates a thumbnail out of an image file. If you are looking for a quick and easy fix (you can create thumbnails from multiple files at once), this is a great option.

not recommended Icon Composer – This is in the developer > applications > utilities folder on your mac, it can create icns files but those files do not show up as icons. The page linked above describes how to use the tool, and also mentions further down that you need to convert icns files into rsrc in order for them to show up as icons unless you’re working in XCode or another programming environment

not recommended Icns2Rsrc – 1.0.1 – This is an app to turn your icns file into an rsrc, but every download link brings you to a french 404.

not recommended Axialis IconWorkshop 6.0 – Full version costs $34.95, but they offer a trial version that works for 30 days. The app runs on windows, but it has options to save as both windows and macintosh icons. However, the rsrc file I created didn’t show up as an icon on the mac.

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