Convert a PNG icon to a Windows® icon

An interesting feature of IconWorkshop™ is the ability to create an icon from a PNG icon. PNG is an image file format, not really an icon format. Icons usually contain several formats. PNG images contain only one image used as icon. This image is usually a large one (128x128 or 256x256) with alpha channel (RGB/A 32 BPP). This format is used by numerous GUI and applications (Linux KDE, dock bars...). This format is very interesting to create hi-quality RGB/A images in icons.

Open the PNG image file in IconWorkshop™

1. Choose "File/Open", browse your folders and select your file (Windows® standard dialog box).


Choose "File/New/File Browser" or press Ctrl+Shift+O. A built-in Axialis file explorer window opens. Browse your disks, see the thumbnail preview and double-click the image file you wish to open.


In the Recently Used zone (in the main toolbar), type the full pathname of the image file you wish to open then hit Enter.

2. The image file opens in a document window.

Create an icon from this PNG image

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 ():

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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:


9. 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).

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

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

12. Now you can save your icon in a file.