Creating Custom Icons from OS X Icons

Hm… may I ask another very technical question about importing custom icons?
I have a set of icons on my mac, some of which I have successfully used to replace Mac OSX’s folder icons with, so I suppose they ARE icons.
When I try to import them into scrivener, however, it doesn’t work, because I can’t perform the final “open”… I guess the problem is that for some reasons the icons are all “folders” themselves…? when I click on individual icons in my folder, they open to show an empty folder… do I have to change the format somehow? Maybe a more technically knowledgeable person understands what’s going on?

P.S. I want those icons in Scrivener, they are CUTE!!! :wink:

Yeah, chances are you’ve got a package of icons you downloaded somewhere, and very often these are distributed simply by applying the icon to folders rather than providing the .icns files. The latter is the icon file format on the Mac, and so it is better to get your hands on those when you can, as they give you additional options (including, if the designer took care to do so, a 16px version which will work better in Scrivener). If they are just applied to folders, then in general it will just be a “picture” being used as an icon.

So what you need to do is act like you are going to copy and paste the icon in Finder, but half-way through the process, switch to doing something else with the clipboard. Whether it is ICNS or a graphic, this method will work.

Okay, here we have a list of icons applied to folders. For this example I’ll take the “sorbet” icon that is highlighted in the screenshot:

[size=80]Info palette for the selected icon.[/size]

In the screenshot, I’ve already pressed [b]Cmd-I[/b] to get info on the ‘sorbet’ item. You can see from the Kind row that it is a “Mac OS Icon file” type. It might say “Folder” for you. Click in the icon within the info palette and you should see a selection halo surround it. Now press [b]Cmd-C[/b] to copy it. At this point, you could now Get Info on another file and use [b]Cmd-V[/b] to paste the icon and apply it, but here we’ll diverge from the typical checklist because we want to extract the info out of this icon data, choose the best one for Scrivener, and save it as a graphic.

You’ve already got the icon in your clipboard, so open up, and press [b]Cmd-N[/b] to create a new file off of the clipboard. You might need to expand the Preview window a bit to see all of the options in the sideboard. If you don’t see options, click the [b]Sidebar[/b] button in the toolbar.

[size=80]The example ICNS loaded into Preview[/size]

Now if it is just a picture being used as an icon, the window will look different. There will be no sidebar option available, just the image in front of you; then skip the next paragraph unless your screen looks more like the above.

Now the default here is really too big for Scrivener. It uses a 16 x 16 pixel icon. Often, icon designers will distribute size-optimised versions of the icon. Those are what you see in the sideboard. You’ll need to look close however, because some of those options are for lower colour palettes, too. If it looks a bit grainy, hunt around for a better one. In my example, #3 from the above Screenshot is the 16px version. So I click on that and the main Preview window adjust to show it. Press [b]Cmd-C[/b] to copy the 16px (or closest best) version, and Cmd-N to create another Preview file based on the singular selection.

Now you have the rasterised data extracted from the icon info. Just use [b]File/Save As...[/b] to save this as a TIFF or PNG file with the Alpha option turned on. Compression for TIFF is okay.

I chose PNG, and saved the file as ‘sorbet.png’ to a temporary folder.

Back in Scrivener, I choose [b]Documents/Change Icon/Manage Icons...[/b], and drag the ‘sorbet.png’ file into the lower panel to install it in such a way that all projects can use it, but if you just want it for this one project, the top pane is fine.

If you couldn’t find a 16px version of it, you might find it beneficial to open the PNG or TIFF file in an image editor and scale it down to 16px. Scrivener can do this for you, but with an image editing program you’ll be able to sharpen the result after you scale it down, and fiddle with any messy looking pixels to make it look sharp again. If all of that is over your pay grade, or you don’t have an image manipulation program, then it’s okay to drag a larger icon into Scrivener—it will just be a little more blurry.

P.S. I’ve forked this to a new thread, since it is new question and one that would be useful with a clear header, for future browsers.

Dear Amber

You are brilliant! I’ve jus tried it and it worked flawlessly. Thanks so much.
I really think the customer support with Scivener is far above the usual :smiley:

You’re welcome!