WinComposer: Grouped Saving

Summary: Formats used in WinComposer grouped saving functions. How and why selecting those formats.


In its File Menu, WinComposer offers a classical Save function, which applies to all icons displayed in the slots of the Icon Composer tab.

Offered Formats

WinComposer offers to save the icon set in following formats:

Why Three Macintosh Icon Formats?

Traditionally, Macintosh icons are stored in the Resource Fork. On the other hand, Mac OS X also uses icons, and more generally resources, which are stored in the data fork.
Some icon utilities even save their data as so-called 'fat' files, with the graphic data stored in the data fork and in the resource fork.
Depending on the use you foresee for the resulting file, you'll have to choose between formats. See in particular our page on Custom Icons.

Macintosh Icons (Data)

Icons saved in this file format can only be used under Mac OS X. There is no real difference in the data structure (that is, this data fork, saved as a resource fork, would happily be opened by ResEdit or the Finder under Mac OS 9 and below).
If you intend to use this file as a custom icon for a volume/disk, the name to be used must be '.VolumeIcon.icns' (please note the dot at the beginning).
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Macintosh Icons (Resource)

This is the classical file format for Macintosh icons. WinComposer saves the icons as a resource fork stored in a MacBinary container. The name (stored in the MacBinary header) is 'icon '.
The resulting file is ready to be used as a custom icon for folders under all versions of Mac OS and for volumes under Mac OS 9 and below.
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Macintosh Icons (Both Forks)

It may be useful, in some circumstances, to do both, that is, to save the data twice, one time as a data fork and one time as a resource fork, both stored in a MacBinary container.
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Windows Icons

Most icon files, under Windows, contain a single icon. However, the format specification allows to store several sizes and several color depths in a single file.
You could see what is the result by putting this file in a folder and changing the display mode (Thumbnails, Mosaic, Icons, List and Details). In each case, Windows chooses the best format for the display mode.
On the other hand, a single icon (saved through the Context-sensitive menu of WinComposer) looks fine at its size (say, 32*32), but becomes ugly when displayed as thumbnails or even before.
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See also our page on the Individual Saving of the contents of the selected icon slot.

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