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How to create an icon from any image

How to create an icon from any image

By daniele

Some of us, it must be admitted, come from a generation in which Windows could be deeply customized in any graphic aspect. Over time, however, we have conformed to a more sterile and simple composition that meets more professional and industrial standards. Something that, after all, not everyone has well accepted: why not change the icons with something that we like more? Well, it’s not that difficult to change the icons. The main difficulty lies in wanting to create something really personal, which will allow us to create icons specifically for each type of section or areas. In this guide we will talk about how you can create a simple icon, provided of course that you will need to use a program to make graphic retouches. In this case you can always opt for some free solution like GIMP or, but if you have Photoshop is the best solution in any case. All of these programs must have the ability to export content to ICO files, so an older version may have this missing feature. 

Create an icon using Photoshop

In this case, let’s take as an example the possibility to use Photoshop. First, look for the image you want to turn into an icon, selecting the best one. This can be of any size but the only important thing is that it is at least sufficiently detailed: imagine it in a much smaller format, and reflect on whether it is worth reducing it to an icon. The typical supported sizes are 256/256, 48/48, 32/32, 24/24, 16/16, but of course it also depends on the operating system or how you intend to customize it. Once you have downloaded the image, you have to open it and, in case, you have to make the image transparent, so start the operation by selecting the eraser tool. If necessary, right-click and select “Eraser tool for background” and start passing it carefully over the necessary points. The transparency will be highlighted by a chessboard, although it always depends on the settings of your program. Once you’ve made every important section transparent, it’s time to resize the image. Press ALT+CTRL+I and set the resolution choosing between one of the dimensions mentioned above. After that, it will be time to save the result. It is advisable to do this in PNG. This is just to keep a backup or to convert the image later if your program doesn’t have the ability to convert everything to ICO. For example, on Photoshop you have to open File, go to Export, and then select to convert the content to a File. Among the proposed formats will be available the ICO format. In case you will need to convert small images to ICO, you can also do so with an online tool like CloudConvert. The work is now over and now you have at the disposal a 100% personal icon available.

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