I develop icons all of the time for software applications, apps, and favicons for web sites. I recently learned that the apple OS has developer tools to help with this. I also learned that you can embed several sizes into one .ico file which is very convenient as it uses whatever size the device needs.
For branding Eclipse RCP Applications one need to have different kind of icon files. Mac OS X comes with the application Icon Composer to easily create icns (and ico) files from png files. To start the application use Spotlight > Icon Composer (the actual application is located /Developer/Applications/Utilities/Icon\ Composer.app)
To create other icon files like
xpm (for Linux) as well as
ico files one can use Gimp (Note Eclipse RCP requires a special kind of ico file that
Icon Composer cannot create).
To create an ico file containing the icon in different sizes proceed as follows (assuming you start with a png):
- Open png file in Gimp (ideally you take the biggest image you have)
- In the layer toolbox right click on the current layer and choose
- Resize the new layer just created via right click on layer and
- Continue for all sizes required
- Export to an ico file by
- Ensure that you use
.icoas file extension and click
- An export window will open as follows
Save to finish
I also ran into an issue with apple’s Lion operating system not having the developer tools. If you run across this issue you can download the Graphic Tools for Xcode. This package includes additional graphics tools formerly bundled in the Xcode installer. These tools include: OpenGL Profiler, OpenGL Shader Builder, Pixie, Quartz Composer, Quartz Debug, and the CI Filter Browser widget for Dashboard. These graphic tools support running on OS X Mountain Lion.