Icons for Windows® XP
Learn about issues regarding icons for Windows® XP
Most operating systems have a graphical user interface (GUI), which use icons representing a specific function, feature or object. They are used to simplify the execution of commands or open programs and documents. When an icon is clicked or double-clicked, a task is performed. In Windows® XP, 32-bit versions of icons have been introduced. Windows® XP uses a high quality image format for an icon, which is stored as files with the extension .ico
Various issues related to icons for Windows® XP are as follows:
- Features of icons used in Windows® XP
- Creation of icons for Windows® XP
- Problems associated with Windows® XP icons
Features of icons used in Windows® XP
In Windows® XP, each pixel is one of 16.7 million colors with alpha channel transparency. The operating system supports 256 levels of transparency. This means that a pixel can also be semi-transparent in addition to being opaque or transparent. In Windows® XP, semi-transparent areas like shadows, anti-aliasing and glass-like shapes can be drawn in an icon. In Windows® XP, the icons have smooth edges with shadow and ambient light illumination effects. This gives the icons a richer look.
Creation of icons for Windows® XP
For creating a Windows® XP icon, it is suggested that you make a sketch of the design. If you are using multiple objects in an icon, keep in mind how the image will scale to smaller sizes. According to the trademark and branding guidelines given on the official website of Microsoft®, the Windows® flag should not be used for creating new icons. Vector tools such as Macromedia® FreeHand® and Adobe® Illustrator® CS5 are ideal for illustrating icons. Make the vector images and check their readability and resolution in Adobe® Photoshop®. The images can be converted to 32-bit icons by compiling them into .ico file using the tool Gif Movie Gear™.
Sometimes, you might find that the specific icons for the applications are replaced by generic graphics. This could happen if the iconcache.db file is corrupted and needs to be reset. To resolve this issue, right click the desktop, select ‘Properties’, and under the ‘Settings’ tab, change the color quality from 32 bit to 16 bit. Repeat this step, but now change the color quality to 32 bit from 16 bit. This will rebuild the iconcache.db file and normal icons will be displayed.