Capture an icon

This version of IconWorkshop™ does no longer include the Capture feature as it was implemented in previous editions. A new function takes a snapshot of the screen and places it in a window. This will allow you to copy/paste portions of it in your icon.

Capture an icon

1. Choose Draw/Capture icon

2. The screen snapshot has been opened in a document window. You can adjust the image settings.

Captured images does not contain transparency. At this point, you can add transparency which is recommended before making the icon from this image. Read this topic to learn more.

3. Select the area you want to import in your icon. The selected area can have any size. It will be enlarged/reduced as necessary.

4. Use Copy/Paste to import the image in your icon. The image colors will be automatically adjusted to match the icon format specifications (automatic conversion to 32bpp Alpha Channel).

Create an icon from this image

You can also create a new icon from the selected portion of the image. The procedure below explains how to create a Windows® icon but the same feature exists for Macintosh® icons.

5. Before proceeding, we recommend you to select the portion of image you whish to use to create your icon. If you leave too many transparent areas around your image, the visible part of your icon will be too small.

6. Select the portion of image: Use the selection tool (upper-left button of the tool palette) and select the portion of image you whish to use (do not cut the shadow if there is one around the object). When done, an animated dashed rectangle has been created.

7. When the selection is done, choose Image/Create Windows® Icon from Selection or press "I" or click the first command button in the local toolbar ():

8. The dialog box New Windows® Icon From Image opens (see below). In the Name group (), enter the icon project name. Do not specify any extension.

9. In the Image Formats group, select the image formats you whish to add in the icon () and unselect the unwanted images (). Just click on the image preview to select/unselect. To know more about the desired Windows® standard image format, see What is an Icon topic.

10. In the Extra Formats group, select the optional image formats you whish to add in the icon. The new formats 128x128 and 256x256 are expected to work with next version of Windows® (codename Longhorn). The following table shows the common Windows® image formats:

11. To get the best results possible, you can also apply a filter when resizing RGB/A images and a dithering option to the 256/16 color images (try and see the results in the preview images).

12. If you wish to start creating your icon with an unlisted format, click the Other Image Format button.

13. When done, click OK. The icon is automatically created with the various image formats you've selected.

Add transparency

Transparency is important when creating icons. It permits to display an icon over a background image without fully hiding it. Parts of the background image are visible through the transparent areas of the icon. Transparency can be total (1-bit mask, in GIF for example) or partial (8-bit mask, a.k.a Alpha Channel, in PNG or JPEG2000 for example). Partial transparency (RGB/Alpha Channel) produces better results when displaying icons. See what is an icon to learn more.

Captured icons does not contain transparency. Axialis IconWorkshop™ permits to convert images to 32 BPP (RGB/Alpha Channel) which is much more convenient to create icons.

1. To add your own transparency, choose the "Create Transparent Areas" Mode: or press "T". Click in the areas where you want to create transparency.

2. For example, the illustration below shows the image "Librarian/Media Files/Images/Smiley.jpg". It is JPEG, so it does not contains transparency (only JPEG 2000 supports transparency). The background is white () and fully opaque. If you create an icon from this image, it will create a white square around the final icon, which is not the desired result.

3. In Transparent Area mode, click in the white background (). It is automatically converted to a transparent area (the grey chessboard texture ). You can repeat the operation to create a sharper frontiere around the smiley circle:

When you create a transparent area, the image is automatically converted in 32-bit color depth (RGB / Alpha Channel).