Design Tools

Icon and Cursor Editors

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Software Spotlight!

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Note To Readers: Below you find links to what our staff considers to be the best software available in this category. Efforts have been made to assure a good selection while eliminating software that we do not feel is worthy of consideration. If you do not see it listed here you probably should not consider purchasing the product. If our readers or a developer feels that a particular piece of software should be listed please contact us with specifics and we will make every effort to give it our attention and, if worthy, we will include it in our next update.
 

IconForge v7.12

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TBJ Rating:

 
Shareware  

Updated: 04/08/2006


Craft Your Own Icons, Cursors and More!

IconForge is simply the best, most complete suite to create or change icons, cursors, animated cursors and icon libraries for Windows. Optimized for editing small images, you will find a full set of painting tools at your disposal. You can import from and export to a variety of other image, icon and animation types, so you can take advantage of work which you've already created or scanned from other sources.

IconForge is also an excellent tool for other graphics, such as producing bookmark/favorites icons for a web site, repeating tiles for wallpaper backgrounds, animated GIF bullets to make listings stand out, or cursors for various projects.

You also get tools for changing Windows' default icon, cursor and desktop settings, plus a utility for handling those documents or other files which do not have unique icons. IconForge even makes a fine editor for handling your photos and other non-icon images. XP-style Alpha-channel icons, as well as a variety of other icon and image formats, are supported.

Features include:

  • Tools for creating your icons, cursors and animations; 
  • Transparency Options for various effects; 
  • Libraries for collecting and distributing your icons and cursors; 
  • Icon Wrapper for assigning icons to documents and scripts which don't have icons; 
  • File Formats lists image, program and other file formats which you may import/export; 
  • And Many Other Features... 
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IconMagic 1.0

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TBJ Rating:

 
Shareware  

Updated: 04/08/2006


IconMagic can help you create icons of different styles and individualize your desktop and folders. It offers powerful gradient tools, various filters, and many pre-designed masks to help you design a specialized icon in minutes. Furthermore, the most appropriate palette will be generated automatically, so you needn't be concerned about the arrangement and assignment of colors. 

IconMagic offers many built-in tools to developing icon resources used by Microsoft Windows and applications. It's powerful and easy to use. 
Features 

- Support all icon formats : monochrome, 16 color, 256 color, true color, 32-bit color (Windows XP« with Alpha Channel) 
- Support animated cursors, you can create animation very easily with iconmagic 
- Support layers 
- Use binary tree to automate the generation of palette 
- Easily translate or rotate any object at any value 
- Support Filling objects with gradient colors (linear, radial, vertex and rectangle styles) 
- Provide various useful filters and popular dropping shadow 
- Create complex shape using the powerful morph function 
- Offer many pre-designed masks to increase efficiency 
- Built-in interface to change your system icons 
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Microangelo Creation v2.0

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TBJ Rating:

 
Shareware  

Updated: 04/08/2006


Microangelo Creation is our next-generation windows icon editor. Its user interface and drawing tools are very similar to Adobe Photoshop«. Create icons using multiple image layers, allowing you to position, manipulate and blend the individual elements of your design.

Creation excels in creating alpha-blended XP icons and cursors. It also frees the artist from the shackles of a fixed, 256 color palette when editing hi-color icons, allowing smooth gradients and full anti-aliasing.

A Publish Check option insures your final images will support all Windows platforms that you target, offering specific details and resolving the problems that it detects.

Microangelo Creation is recommended for avid icon artists and professional developers. It can be purchased separately, and is also available in Microangelo Complete! for extra savings.

Creation is the latest addition to the Microangelo family. Designed to compose images for today's and tomorrow's desktops, Creation focuses specifically on editing icons and cursors. It is not intended as a replacement nor an upgrade to Microangelo Studio. If your interest goes beyond creating and editing icons, we highly recommend the Microangelo Toolset.

Although Creation supports editing icon images for older Windows platforms, it's toolset and features have been groomed for developing the colorful, dimensional, alpha-blended images introduced in Windows XP.

The appearance of icons in Windows XP is significantly enhanced for several reasons. The introduction of semi-transparent pixels eliminates jagged edges. This frees the artist from being limited to lines and angles based on the tiled geometry of video pixels. Furthermore, it encourages the use of semi-transparency in other aspects of the image such as drop shadows and "layered" image content. Creation provides a toolset specifically designed to excel in these areas. It offers multiple layers of image development, anti-aliasing, free rotation, powerful gradients, individual layer opacity, individual tool opacity, and much more! 

Flat canvases and opaque pixels do not lend themselves to composing the rich content of today's icons. The restrictions they impose make it difficult to create one of the sample XP images above. The rich toolset and layered work environment of Creation overcome these hurdles and produce outstanding results!
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Microangelo Toolset

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TBJ Rating:

 
Shareware  

Updated: 04/08/2006


The Microangelo Toolset includes four integrated icon utilities, each designed to excel in its specific area of expertise. Click on any of the tool icons above for specific details on each component.

Why four programs instead of one?
Most icon software available today consists of one, very large Visual Basic program that attempts to do well at everything. The Microangelo Toolset includes individual programs developed with C and C++ designed to work together and complement each other. As a result, they are smaller, high-performance tools that offer features and capabilities that others cannot.

Studio is used to create and edit icon (ICO) and cursor (CUR) images and files. A close cousin to Studio, Animator is designed to create and edit animated icons and cursor (ANI) images and files. It's toolset and interface mirror that of Studio's, with specific features for animation design.

Librarian provides access to icons in any file format that may contain them. It can search and extract icons from any file, folder, or drive on your computer or network. It's workspace allows you to view and manage all images within an icon resource (not just the ones that Windows displays on your computer). Librarian integrates with Microangelo Studio, making it very easy to edit or replace icon images inside of other files and programs.

Explorer can be used as a "home base" for all of Microangelo's icon tools, as well as a browser for icons, cursors, and animated icons and cursors. Use it to view icon and cursors animations, or scan entire folders sorted by detail, for example, the number of icons they contain. 
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