The ICO file format is an image file format used for icons in Microsoft Windows. The .ico format is used by Windows applications to show icons of folders, shortcuts, utilities etc.
You can create your own Icon files with free software and web services. Then you can use these .ICO files to customize certain folder appearances, create favicons for your website or to show a custom image as a drive icon.
How to Create Icon Files Online With Free Tools
Icon files are rarely required and you don’t need to know Photoshop or be an expert in image editing just for the sake of creating a simple icon file. Following are some web services using which you can create a simple icon file:
Coolutils: Coolutils is a simple image convertor that can convert any image into an icon file. Just head over to the website and upload your image in PNG, JPG, GIF or BMP formats. It can create an icon file for you and lets you download the file in your computer.
Note that using this tool you can convert an image into BMP, JPG, GIF and PNG formats as well.
DeGraeve Favicon generator: If you would want to draw an image and convert it to an icon file, head straight to DeGraeve favicon generator. This website lets you draw an image in a simple image editor and save the image as a .ICO file. Later on, you can use this icon file to customize folders or to create a favicon for your blog.
You can choose your own colors using the built in color sampler.
Other Online Icon Generators
There are a whole lot of websites that let’s you generate icon files online for free. This includes: Bradicon, Dynamic drive, Digital Pic, Favicon gallery. Favicon gallery and Digital Pic lets you choose the size of the icon from 16 X 16, 32 X 32, 48 X 48 and 64 X 64 (pixels).
How to Create Simple Icon Files in Windows
Now if you want to customize the appearance of the icon to be made, you can consider some desktop applications in Windows.
Micro Angelo Icon Editor: Cnsidered as one of the best professional software to create icons. The Microangelo Icon editor. You can create icons and cursors and it’s compatible with all the Windows versions. If you want to add the artist touch, there is nothing better than Microangelo when it comes in Icon editing.
Photoshop: Photoshop is the most popular and versatile software for image editing and it can be used to create beautiful graphics as well as icons. You can make the icon attractive by adding 3d effects and other customizations. Read: Useful tutorials on creating icon files with Photoshop.
Ms- paint: If you are no geek and do not have tried your hand at any image editing application before, there is always Microsoft paint. It can be used as a very basic Icon editor and you can use it to create really simple icons. Following are the steps involved:
1. Open Ms-paint and crop the selection to 32 X 32. You will see the crosshair position at the right bottom of the Window as shown below
2. Use the magnifier to zoom into the selction. Draw a custom icon using the brush tool.
3. once you are done with the drawing part, click “Save as” and save the image as an .ICO file. Remember to save it as “24 bit bitmap” file type.
Simply Icon: Simply icon is a portable application for Windows that lets you create icon files from any image within minutes. Just extract the package (no installation required) and drag and drop an image into the application window.
The size of icon files can be chosen between 128×128, 32×32, 24×24, and 16×16 pixels.
Thats all about creating icon files in Windows and with online tools. I know there are a lot of more applications available. Let us know your views through a comment.