Monday. Quick Icons.

In Tutorials &Technique, Web/Tech, Workflow & Technical Issues by David6 Comments

It’s just past noon on Monday and I’m only now getting to posting something. We had guests this weekend and I’m only now recovering. I usually put in more work over the weekends, just didn’t get to it this weekend so it all got bumped.

Ok, lame apologies aside, here’s something I discovered this morning while trying to organize some new projects. It’ll appeal to you if you’re visually oriented and kind of anal-retentive about being organized. Another apology: this is Mac OS-X only. I’m on Leopard but assuming it works on Tiger too. Could be wrong. For those that are left out – sorry. (Update – I’m told this is OSX Leopard only)

I like my desktop and folders to look good. I also like them to be easily identified and since I am a visual person I’ve taken to making custom icons for important files. But this morning I just wanted a down and dirty icon for a new project folder. Here’s what I did:

1. Make an image and make it square.

2. Save it in Photoshop as a JPEG.


3. Find that JPG in the finder, click it and hit CMD+i – this will bring up an info pallette with a little thumbnail at the top. Click that and hit cmd+c (Update – Follow the instructions, and the REVERSE of the image below. I mixed it up. Sorry.)


4. Find the folder for which you want this ad hoc icon, click it, hit cmd+i, find the little thumbnail as you did in step 3, click it and hit cmd+v


5. That should paste a new icon. If you used a square you won’t have transparency issues. Now just delete the jpg image and you’re done.


  1. Seriously! Even though this is a photography website, how do you make your icons for your system.


  2. Author

    Mostly I just find them on sites like interfaceLIFT –

    I make some with a shareware program called Iconographer – the best thing to do would be to google this and find the method that works best for you.

  3. Sorry, you said your post was for the anal-retentive, so I just have to say this.

    On the picture with the cmd+c/cmd-v text, you’re going the wrong way. If you do as you show, your jpeg will be a folder icon.

    Also, selecting the preview image in Get Info and pressing cmd-x will remove the custom icon.

    This does not work as shown in Tiger. In the Get Info window the file preview is of the document type, not a preview of the image.

  4. Author

    Ken, you’ve out anal-retentived me. I should correct this, but I suspect the error will have to stand, if only as an exercise in over-coming my anal-retention. 🙂

    Good eye, and thanks for letting us know about Tiger.

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