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New user's tip - how to customize an icon Desktop
OK, maybe this one was too obvious, but not for me. I understand that this feature is a carry-over from previous versions of Mac OS, but Unix and Windows users switching over (like myself) might need a little push to the obvious.

You may want to change the icon for a file. For example, I have a Terminal file saved, and even though OS X launches that file using Terminal, it gives it an ordinary "white blank paper" icon. Not the end of the world, but just a tad boring. Anyway, changing it is ridiculously simple:

Highlight the file, brings up the Finder menu bar. Select "File : Show Info" (or command-I). The upper left hand corner of the Info box shows the icon, which you can select. This was where I had previously faltered, by double-clicking it, right-clicking it (until I remembered I couldn't right-click anymore), and everything else before giving up. But it turns out that you can copy and paste the selected icon.

So the rest is elementary. Find the application whose icon you want to use (in this case Terminal), and select it. Note that the "File Info" dialog box is global, so every time you select a new widget it will replace the information in the box. Anyway, copy it, select your destination file, make sure the icon is selected, paste -- you're done.

[Editor's note: Yes, this is a very elementary tip. But for those new to the platform, sometimes the simplest of things may not be the most obvious of things. So I've chosen to publish this 'introductory' tip in the interest of possibly helping those new to the platform.

You can also paste just about any graphic image you desire in the box, not just the icon from the originating application. In general, if you can get the image on the clipboard, you should be able to paste it into the icon box.]
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custom icons
Authored by: ficino on Apr 05, '02 08:25:56AM

The fact is that assigning a custom icon to a file or a folder in the Finder is a hit or miss proposition that only works sometimes.

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custom icons
Authored by: bkperry on Apr 05, '02 10:55:25AM

In my experience, logging out and logging back in will resolve any non-appearing custom icon issues. I don't know why the icon sometimes doesn't stick right off- it just doesn't. I notice this problem especially when pasting icons onto applescript applications.

One interesting behavior- if you drag the offending file into the dock, the icon will appear properly. Obviously, something isn't getting updated on the "Get Info" box level.

Also, check out this hint for more icon help:



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custom icons
Authored by: jluster on Apr 08, '02 12:12:29AM

Your enemy in this case is a cocoa function which made it all the way from NeXT to 10.1. It's basically a broken return from an icon refresh, the old mask is being cleared without the new one being applied. I would assume (haven't tried it yet), that restarting the Finder in the Force Quit dialogue will fix this problem.

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What about Preview Icons?
Authored by: mattblack on Apr 07, '02 02:20:18PM

The copy'n'paste icons trick is indeed helpful (and exciting for new users!) but having learnt it in System 7, it has (for me) had only limited benefits since.. The really cool thing with icons in Os X is the image preview icons that show you what an image (ok, jpeg) file contains.. as well as the scalabilty to make these huge.. almost like thumbnails on the desktop and in icon view..
However... the problem is they are not universally created,
Now i'm not a new mac user, but then again, i'm not a UNIX programmer either... and the only way I have of creating these custom icons is to drag the files into and then out of internet explorer.. which "sux" becos it suffixs the filename eg. image.jpg becomes image 2.jpg..
How about one of you gurus help out and explain how easy this is to work around? I'm interested in working X hard "out of the box" and will only consider shareware licenses if absolutely essential.. as i'm still paying this TiBook off!! Respect to and (helpful) code warriors everywhere..

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What about Preview Icons?
Authored by: mithras on Apr 07, '02 09:07:19PM
Try Pic2Icon. Its preview icons are not quite as sharp-looking as those made by some of the shareware apps, but it works great, and it's free.

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