WinComposer: Individual Saving

Summary: Formats used in WinComposer individual saving feature. How and why selecting those formats.


While WinComposer offers in its File Menu a function to save icons as Icon Sets (collection of several sizes and color depths), it also features, in its Context-sensitive menu, an individual saving function for each of the picture slots of the Icon Composer tab.

Selected Icon

The individual saving function works on the selected icon. This icon is displayed with a light green frame.

Offered Formats

WinComposer offers to save the individual icons in following formats:

Bitmap File (BMP)

The selected icon is saved as a bitmap file (with the *.BMP extension). This format keeps the whole contents of the image (no compression, no loss). You will be able to open and edit this file in all graphic programs.
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The selected icon is saved as JPEG file (with the *.JPG extension), with medium compression. The JPEG format uses a lossy compression method, that is the saved image doesn't contain the whole contents displayed in WinComposer.
On the other hand, JPEG files are often much smaller than bitmap files.
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icns File (Macintosh icon, data)

The selected icon is saved as an icns resource.
Macintosh icons stored in the data fork can only be used under Mac OS X. On the other hand, there is no difference in the layout and in the contents of the byte stream, which means that the saved contents is the same as with the option below.
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icns File (Macintosh icon, resource)

The selected icon is saved as an icns resource.
Traditionally, Macintosh icons are stored in the resource fork.
To protect the resource fork, WinComposer stores it in a MacBinary container. The header of the MacBinary container contains the name which will be used to name the file when it will be unpacked by MacDisk or MacImage.
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Volume/Folder Custom Icon

We found that adding a custom icon to a volume or folder in MacImage was too difficult for many users. As a matter of fact, one easily forgets one of the many steps.
Therefore, we added this special option. WinComposer produces the icon data in a special file, which is recognized by MacImage because of the *.bin extension. MacImage does the rest.
This option is highly recommended to produce custom icons.
Please note that the option only exists if you select the 48*48 or 32*32 icon, but that both formats must be loaded in the program. Mac OS 9 only uses 32*32 icons. Please note also that the masks must be present (you may create them with the contextual menu).
Please don't change the file name after producing it in WinComposer. Don't do that because the file will be hiden in the final image. At least, leave the bin extension to allow MacImage to recognize the file as such.
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Windows Icon File (ICO)

The selected icon is saved as a Windows icon file (with the *.ICO extension). There is only one icon in the file, in one size and one color depth.
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See also our page on the Grouped Saving of the icons displayed on the Icon Composer tab.

Pierre Duhem (ex-Logiciels & Services Duhem)
3, rue Pierre Haret - F-75009 Paris (France) - Tel. (+33) [0]149 700 455