Saturday, March 18, 2006

Using Mac OS X icons

After being asked about Mac OS X icons a few times recently, I thought my notes about using them might help new users.

It isn't necessarily obvious whether a set of icons you downloaded contains icon files or folders with custom icons.
  • If you double-click an icon and get an "unable to open" message, you have icons.
  • If you click View > as List in the menu bar and see small triangles next to the icons, you've got folders.
To change the icon of a file or folder:
  1. In the Finder, select the new icon that you want to use.
  2. In the menu bar, click File > Get Info.
    An Inspector window appears with a small graphic of the icon.
  3. In the Inspector window, click once on the small icon graphic.
    A border should appear around the graphic.
  4. In the menu bar, click Edit > Copy.
  5. In the Finder, select a file or folder.
  6. In the menu bar, click File > Get Info.
    A second Inspector window appears.
  7. In the second Inspector window, click once on the small icon graphic.
    A border should appear.
  8. In the menu bar, click File > Paste.
    The new icon should appear.
  9. Close the Inspector windows.
    The file or folder should now be displayed with the custom icon.
If the icon hasn't changed, log out of your computer and log back in. If the new icon still does not appear, try restarting the computer.

Honestly, I suggest looking at Pixadex and CandyBar published by Panic and The Iconfactory. Both applications are reasonably priced and make changing icons fast and easy. You can download and try them free.

If you have questions about using icons, please feel free to contact me.

Related topic: Resetting Mac OS X icons

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