Macintosh Custom Icons

Summary: Information about Macintosh Custom Icons. How to produce such icons with WinComposer and how to integrate them in the Macintosh CD-ROMs built with MacImage or more generally in the Macintosh media managed by MacDisk.


Normally, the Macintosh Finder displays icons according to the file signature. The icons used for that are stored in the Desktop database and are delivered by the applications installed on the computer.
The Macintosh also allows adding so-called custom icons to volumes (disks), folders and files. Those custom icons are displayed by the Finder instead of the usual icons offered by the operating system or by the application used to create/edit the files.
In the case of files, this custom icon is often used to show the data contents of the file (preview picture in the case of graphic files, etc.).
With folders (the volume/disk is only a special case and gets the icon of the root folder), this custom icon illustrates the contents (files and subfolders), or can represent the producer/author of the data.

How To Do On the Macintosh?

The classical method, on the Macintosh, is to display the file or folder information and to paste in the displayed icon an image copied from a graphic application.

How To Do With MacImage on the PC?

MacImage is bundled with a specialized module named WinComposer. This module allows the user to import numerous graphic resources (Windows icons, Macintosh icons, several other graphic formats) to produce icons in 16*16, 32*32, 48*48 and 128*128 pixels.
WinComposer offers a special icon file format to save a single icon and MacImage knows this format and does all the job for folders and volumes.
Just produce this file in WinComposer and drop it in the root (for the volume) or in a folder, and MacImage willl do the rest. This feature is not yet supported in the case of files.

For more technical information on Macintosh icons, visit our Technical Page on Macintosh icons.

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