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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon Apps
Usually, to change the icon of an application, folder, or drive, you can simply Get Info on the item in question, and cut and paste a different icon in there. But in order to do that, you have to have something that has the icon you want -- that you can cut or copy from.

Recently, I restored from a backup, and lost my custom drive icon. On my backup drive, I still had the ".VolumeIcon.icns" file. I copied that to my desktop (renamed to disk.icns), and I could open the .icns file in Preview, IconBrowser, and IconComposer. I could *see* the icon I wanted, but the icon for the actual .icns file itself was the generic Preview icon. I could not figure out how to get the icon that was *inside* the .icns file to be the icon *displayed* by my hard disk icon.

Eventually, I found a utility called icns2icon that you can use to change the *display* icon of the .icns file to match the icon that is contained within. Then you can just use Get Info and cut and paste the way you normally would.

[robg adds: Another way around this would be to use the "capture region to clipboard" keyboard shortcut -- Shift-Control-Command-4 -- and then drag around the visible icon in Preview. Switch to the Finder, do a Get Info on the target, select the icon area, and hit Command-V to paste the clipboard. Just drag carefully to get just the icon itself.]
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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon | 14 comments | Create New Account
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you can use anything !
Authored by: Safar on May 26, '05 10:50:45AM

as far as i know, since Panther, one can copy a jpeg image and paste it in the icon thumbnail of the getinfo window. It probably works with pdf toos, and other formats.

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No Transparency
Authored by: guardian34 on May 26, '05 11:09:59AM

Copying an .icns file from Preview won't copy the transparency/mask.

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No Transparency
Authored by: qwerty denzel on May 27, '05 02:32:57AM

But copying from Icon Composer will.

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Pic2Icon also works
Authored by: guardian34 on May 26, '05 11:13:33AM
You could also use Pic2Icon.

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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon
Authored by: _merlin on May 26, '05 11:13:56AM

You're better off using the program than any of the other copy and paste techniques because multiple icon sizes and transparency will be preserved.

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My Thoughts Exactly
Authored by: lullabud on May 26, '05 01:01:54PM

Icons that lack accurate transparency really irritate me... maybe it's just because they remind me of all those years I used windows... Perfectly square microsoft windows.

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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon
Authored by: englabenny on May 26, '05 12:24:31PM

That's a very bad tip, rob; you lose everything nice that's in the icon file including transparency/mask for all icon sizes and probably get a horrible-looking image when 128px is scaled down to 16px for your list view icons.

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Iconographer works well for me.
Authored by: jscarry on May 26, '05 04:45:17PM

When OSX came out, I needed to update the icons for 20 software titles that I sell. I looked at several programs and settled on Iconographer from MSscape Software. It lets you create all of the icons sizes for OSX and OS9. You can also make icons for that other OS.

You can cut and paste from Photoshop and the program does the rest.
It's free if you don't use it much. I sent him $50 because it saved me a boatload of time.

It comes with a tutorial that explains the different icon types that are used. Quite entertaining in its own right.

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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon
Authored by: qwerty denzel on May 26, '05 08:14:53PM

Copy an app, replace it's icon with the one you want to copy, replace it (use the same name), and then you should be able to copy an paste the icon as per usual.

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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon
Authored by: qwerty denzel on May 27, '05 02:29:13AM

Oops, sorry about my poor sentence layout (I said replace twice).

Here is an example:
1. Copy the Stickies app to your Desktop
2. Control click on it and choose Show Package Contents
3. Navigate to the Resources folder
3. Copy your icon to the open Resources folder
4. Delete the old one (in this case Stickies.icns)
5. Rename your new one to the name of the old one
6. Close all windows, and select the Stickies application on your Desktop
7. Choose File > Get Info
8. Select the icon in the general section and press delete
The app should now have the new icon which you can now copy and paste.

To keep things small, you really only need the .icns file and the 'CFBundleIconFile' item in the Info.plist file.

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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon
Authored by: Cubert on May 26, '05 08:36:15PM

Regardless of what anyone thinks about the tip itself, thanks for the tip about "shift-control-command-4"!!! I never knew about that one, but it kicks @ss!!!! Thanks, Rob!

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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon
Authored by: BeezelNut RaRa on May 27, '05 10:17:06AM

If you do the APPLE+SHIFT+4 and then hit the SPACE BAR, you can grab any object, ie. a window, a sheet, the Dock, a Dock icon (hint).

That's how I capture icons:
1. Drag the item you want to the Dock
2. Keystroke APPLE+SHIFT+4, then SPACE
3. Place the virtual camera over the icon in the Dock that you want to copy and click.
Under Panther, you would then get a PDF of the icon - 128px square with alpha layer. Simply gorgeous.

Under Tiger, I get a PNG file which is very low resolution (25x32?) and not really suitable for anything. Objects like sheets and windows seem to capture fine, but not icons. I'm assuming it's a minor glitch that will sorted out soon.

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This is a great tip
Authored by: cparnot on Jun 17, '05 02:32:48PM

With this technique, you can get any file/folder to have a truly scalable icon. The .icns file can define different images for different scales (you tend to lose constrast at smaller scales). Any other file you paste (even from icon composer) will not have that feature.
Create your .icons file (e.g. using Icon Composer), then use icns2icn to have the icon accessible in the Get Info window, then copy it to the file/folder you want. You get the perfect scaling + the transparency!

Thanks very much for this tip, it saved my day! Thanks Mac OS X Hints!!


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Give .icns files a copy-and-pastable icon
Authored by: JDW26 on Dec 12, '07 12:31:01AM

There are icons for G4 tower Macs but not the G4 Cube! What gives? How do I find an icon for the Cube and then add it? Right now, my machine displays a G4 tower icon!


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