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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview Desktop
Are you fed up with those boring 'embossed' blue folders for Documents, Music, Pictures etc? No problem -- just make your own!

Navigate to /System » Library » CoreServices, and view the contents of the CoreTypes.bundle bundle (Control-click and select Show Package Contents). I recommend copying the Generic Folder icon file to your desktop for easy management, but if you look at the other .icns files in there, there's a whole host of goodies!

One thing I've done is copy an image on top of the generic folder using Preview. Just select the image and use copy/paste to paste it onto your generic folder. Because these icons are 512x512 and properly masked, you get a nice overlay with transparency, too (for some, at least). You can move also move the pasted image around like a layer in Photoshop.

Once the image has been modified to your liking, click on the image again in Preview -- this will flatten it. Then use copy and paste to change the icon in the Get Info window of your boring blue folder ... straight from Preview; no other software needed.

One nice example is having a folder with the green "downloads" icon on it that you see in the sidebar -- good for easily recognizable stacks. Have fun!
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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview | 11 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: frgough on Jan 15, '09 07:53:09AM
I use Viou (http://pagesperso-orange.fr/prime/Pages/Viou/SoftViou.html) for this. The interface is a bit confusing, and it hasn't been updated in years, but it lets you mix and combine icons and it's free.



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: MurphyM on Jan 15, '09 09:59:41AM
You can make folders that have the Leopard look too.

http://murphymac.com/make-a-custom-leopard-folder/



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: ether on Jan 15, '09 10:35:27AM

There seem to be some annoying gotchas in how Apple handles its "special" folders. If you use the posted technique to change the icon for the Downloads folder, for example, it will still show up in your dock and stacks as the etched Downloads folder icon. You have to create a new Downloads folder, give it the new icon, and replace the existing folder (after moving over the contents, if any) with the new one.

Moreover, when you change the icon for the Downloads folder, the new icon shows up in the sidebar, instead of the toolbar icon that previously showed up there.

This seems to be true for many (if not all) of Apples special folders.



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: Michael.Massing on Jan 16, '09 09:57:53AM

A simpler (for me) workaround for these refractory system-defined folders is to create aliases for them, modify the graphic on the alias, and use the alias in the dock, sidebar, etc. Best, M.

---
Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent.
- Porky Pine to Albert the Alligator (Pogo by Walt Kelly)



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: irc on Jan 15, '09 06:35:59PM
Interesting. I'm fairly new to Mac/OS X and not but a few weeks ago I was looking at a folder (I think it was a folder that holds some business documents) and wonder: how the heck can I change the folder icon for just this folder? I couldn't figure it out. And this hint is making me think per-folder icon changes are impossible in OS X -- is that true? I saw some CandyBar software that claims it'll let you change icon sets but no mention if it'll let you change just a specific folder's image.

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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: joestalin on Jan 15, '09 07:11:33PM

Customizing an individual icon (for a folder or any file) is dead easy.

1. Find the file with the icon you want to use as the source. Get info on it (command-I), click on the folder in the info window, and copy.

2. Find the file with the icon you want to replace. Get info on it, click on the folder in the info window, and paste.

Iconfactory.com is a good source for downloadable icons, and they publish an icon-management app called Candybar.



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: zpjet on Jan 16, '09 04:51:24AM

Yeah, copy/paste the icon in Get Info dialog is pretty much intuitive and has been there since... 1984? I had a booklet comparing Windows 95 with Mac OS... 7? 8? and to change the icon in Windows required ten steps including typing in a loooong ID number and fiddling with regedit.



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: irc on Jan 16, '09 04:49:11PM

Thanks guys. I'll give that a try. First foray into Mac and OS X for me and I have to say that copy/paste from an info window is a neat trick, but completely non-obvious. Thanks for the tip!



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How?
Authored by: TGV on Jan 18, '09 12:09:08AM

I don't get it. Do I have to open the copy of "GenericFolderIcon.icns" with the (standard included) application Preview and then paste an image into that document? Because that doesn't work for me...



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: jpalm1977 on Jan 19, '09 12:24:23AM

Did anyone else notice that for an OS that no longer supports the Classic environment it sure does have A LOT of OS9 icons still lying around in there ;-)

Sure does brings back fond memories though :-)



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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview
Authored by: Dragon76 on Mar 07, '09 02:30:16PM

What really doesn't make sense is that the CoreTypes.bundle was created AFTER Apple stopped supporting Classic altogether. It appeared with Leopard. It may be possible that Apple has kept them in the OS for Copyright purposes. Something ridiculous like that. Especially since Snow Leopard is deprecating Carbon.

Leopard (and Snow Leopard) still contain the resources for launching applications using the Windows and UI elements from Tiger, but at least that makes sense from a development standpoint.



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