Compress an Icon for Windows using the Visual Studio add-in

In relation to Axialis IconWorkshop, this article offers information on the following topics:

This topic explains how to compress a 256x256 image format in an icon included in a solution. This will be done by opening it in IconWorkshop using the Visual Studio plug-in (read the plug-in introduction). This feature is available for Visual Studio 2005, 2008, 2010 & 2012 only. Prior versions of Visual Studio do not support the addin.

Compiling solutions containing PNG-compressed icons works only with Visual Studio 2008 or superior. Read this topic if you work with older versions.

PNG Compressing the icon in IconWorkshop

1. Launch the Visual Studio IDE.

2. Open the solution.

3. In the Solution Explorer window (press Ctrl+Alt+L if not visible), double click on the icon you want to PNG Compress. The icon file opens in a document window.

This icon must already include a 256x256 image format because you can only PNG compress 256x256 formats (read more about Vista Icons).

4. Launch the plug-in command by clicking on the IconWorkshop button or by choosing Tools/Edit in Axialis IconWorkshop. The icon is opened in IconWorkshop.

5. Select the 256x256 - RGB/A image format in the list and right-click on it. A menu opens, enable the option "PNG Compress Image Format (Windows Vista)".

6. A small image is displayed in the upper-right corner of the list item. This shows that the image is PNG compressed.

7. Redo the same operation for the other 256x256 formats, if any (in 16 and 256 colors).

8. Save your icon, select File/Save or press Ctrl+S. Close the document.

9. Switch back to Visual Studio. The IDE prompts you "Filename.ico - This file has been modified outside of Visual Studio. Do you want to reload it?". Click Yes.

10. You have finished. Now you can compile your project.

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  • The tool supports creating icons for Windows, macOS, Unix/Linux, Android, iPhone.
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  • Batch processing features are included for creating multiple icons at once.
  • The tool includes features such as icon creation from images and image objects to help create professional-looking icons quickly.
  • The tool is compatible with industry standards and includes plugins for Adobe products and Microsoft Visual Studio.

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