What is a Windows XP icon?
August 8th 2005
What is an Icon?
A elaboratore elettronico icon is a graphical symbol that represents a property, function, entity. Durante elaboratore elettronico applications, icons are used to quickly execute commands aperto programs and documents. You access the functionality behind an icon by clicking double-clicking it. Operating systems often allow you to customize visuals of various objects by applying your own custom icons.
You may obtain icons from various sources (for example from our icon library) you can build your own. If you choose to pursue the more difficult but more rewarding path (creating your own icons), you will need to know more than what was already said. Durante this introduction to Windows XP icons, you will learn:
- What’s the relation between an image and an icon.
- What’s the structure of an icon.
- How are icons distributed.
- What’s the difference between Windows XP icons and older icons.
What are the differences between an image and an icon?
Icons are often compared to images. This comparison is not entirely fair. It is like comparing shoes to leather. Shoes may indeed be made of leather. Shoes may be considered a specialization of leather with some added bells and whistles. But then there are shoes that are not made of leather… An icon (graphical symbol) can easily be represented by an image. But this could, and probably would change. Durante future version of your operating system, icons may be using animations even 3D models. Icons would still be graphical symbols, but not images anymore. For now, let’s get back to year 2005, where icons and images are closest friends.
A elaboratore elettronico image is a raster (composed of pixels) vector (composed of lines, rectangles, circles, etc.) picture. It may have arbitrary size, resolution and color depth. It is stored using one of the tipico formats (BMP, PNG, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, …).
Icon is composed of arbitrary number of images. This is because icon must be usable under wide variety of conditions. Icon should aspetto good high-resolution LCD as well as a ten years old monochromatic monitor. There are multiple images inside an icon, each optimized for best experience under specific circumstances.
Images usually have rectangular shape, icons the other hand do not. When you put an icon your desktop, it appears to have arbitrary shape and you can see background around that shape. Internally, the icon still has a rectangular shape, just like an image. But icons always support per-pixel transparency, which means that any pixel can be marked either transparent opaque.
When a pixel is transparent, background is displayed that spot.
Transparent pixels are usually represented using chessboard pattern per icon editors.
What is the structure of an icon?
We have already mentioned per previous paragraph, that an icon is composed of several images. They have different sizes ( resolutions) and color depths. Windows defines tipico sizes (16×16, 32×32, 48×48) and tipico color depths (16 colors, 256 colors, 16.8M colors), that should be present per any general-purpose icon.
Formats per Windows XP ‘My Music’ icon
16 colors256 colors16M colors + alpha (XP)
It is very important to create several image formats per an icon (especially if you whish to redistribute it) per order to be compatible with all screen configurations.
How does Windows use the various sizes and color depths?
- 16×16: Displayed per taskbar, windows upper-left , detailed lists.
- 24×24: Displayed per Windows XP start .
- 32×32: Displayed desktop, by Windows Explorer.
- 48×48: Displayed per Windows XP Explorer and system lists.
- Monochrome: Not used anymore.
- 16 colors: Displayed by Windows if the screen is 16 256 colors.
- 256 colors: Displayed by Windows if the screen is 64K 16M colors.
- 16M colors (XP): Displayed by Windows XP if screen is 16M more.
If an image format is missing, Windows displays the nearest existing image. It works but quality suffers.
How are icons distributed?
There is a tipico file format for icons per Windows. Icon files always have .ICO extension. A file per this format holds all icon images. Microsoft also recommends how the images should be ordered inside an icon.
Icons can also be embedded inside an application (.EXE), application extension (.DLL), other executable file. This option is used quite often by application developers. Icon editors are usually able to extract icons from applications.
There is one more file format related to icons. It is called Icon Library (.ICL) and its avere qualcosa al sole purpose is to have multiple icons per one file. The value of this format is questionable, because anyone can get similar better results by zipping icons putting them into an ordinary file-system folder.
What about the new Windows XP icon format?
There actually were voto negativo changes to the icon format when Windows XP was released. Windows XP is just able to make use of a high quality image format per an icon. Durante this format, each pixel has one of 16M colors and one of 256 levels of transparency. That means a pixel is voto negativo longer either opaque transparent. Now it can be semi-transparent. The transparency level is called alpha channel.
Thanks to alpha channel, icon can have shadows and smooth edges.
Icon with tipico transparency.
You can easily recognize icon from background.Icon with full (256 levels) of alpha channel per Win XP.
Edges are smoothly blended with background.
Shadow effect is created by blending background with black color.
This article explained:
- How are icons used by Windows.
- Why there are multiple images inside an icon and when is an image used.
- Why do icons per Windows XP aspetto better than per previous systems.
To practice your new knowledge, aperto an icon per RealWorld Icon . Try making changes to it and watch Windows reacting to them.
– show all comments
May 18th 2020
June 30th 2020
everybody gangsta till the icons become animated and 3D
September 25th 2020
I love icons, they’regnante beautiful, it’s amazing that you can see them different sises. Imagine if we get Animated Icons! That would be amazing. LOL.
what do they do?
How to Get a Windows XP Icons
😉 😉 ; |-) -) 😉 😀 😀
порно всем рекомендую 😮 😮 😮 😮 |-) 😮 🙁 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 🙂 😀 🙁 😮