I want to create/edit a desktop icon that must work on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (KDE/Gnome) and mobile devices. Is there a tool that handles all these different formats?

  • Off topic: specific to implementation on OS platforms – e100 Jan 5 '11 at 9:08
  • My question is about the TOOL, not the format itself. – michelemarcon Jan 5 '11 at 12:28
  • Then the question's headline needs to be edited to make this clear. – e100 Jan 5 '11 at 17:00
  • OSX and Linux (and UNIX systems too) use png files for icons. Windows is the odd man out with their ico format. – dkuntz2 Jan 12 '11 at 14:29

IcoFX is a free package for creating and editing icons. It works very well in Windows and can also save to 'Macintosh' format; so I'm not sure how well it would work for OS X (I'm not a Mac user). I've been using it with all my Windows stuff for a couple of years now, and have not found it lacking any important features.

EDIT: As pointed out in the comments, IcoFX can't go larger than 256x256, but if you need something larger than that, it's really not an icon anymore. :)

Axialis Software has a top-notch package, Icon Workshop, that can do about anything for any icon. It runs between $30 and $70 US, depending on what you want. I used it for years with great results.

I believe Linux distros use either .png or .svg formats for their icons, so those can be created from most any graphics package.

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  • My vote for IcoFX. Though not reaching 512x512,(256x256 maximum size) wont allow that size for Leopard, for example. Still, it exports quite well in the icns format that Mac OSX uses, and to date, basically seems to have worked, in my experience...But I'd rather do the sizes versions myself and import into IcoFX than let the auto generated ones that IcoFx creates when you hit the convert to mac button... – S.gfx Jan 5 '11 at 17:12

There is, unfortunately, no such format - both Windows and OS X uses their own propreitary container formats for their desktop icons.

The closest you can get would probably be to use a set of Photoshop plugins such as these to convert your files to the appropriate format and offer both (in addition to PNG for Linux).

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