We are working on a software with a design close to Office 2013 (2D icons, main colors black and white).

We have a button which allows the user to change the units in the software. We are looking for an icon explicit for users. Units in this case are temperatures : °C, K, °F, but also distances : meters or foot.

What would be a good icon to represent this button? Our problem is that the icon must be 16x16 pixels. We just have no idea what to represent.

Currently it is not explicit:

enter image description here

Do you have any idea ?

3 Answers 3


Double-headed arrow.

16px version:


100px version for clarity:


Different style, 16px:




  • @Antoine Il n'y a pas de quoi. :) Jul 24, 2014 at 14:47
  • 1
    I like your second proposal better than the first: that one reminds me of margins or document width a bit too much.
    – Vincent
    Jul 24, 2014 at 15:13
  • so translate scale becomes swap. nice.
    – joojaa
    Jul 24, 2014 at 22:13

The commonality between the units in this case is that they are normally both defined over a scale.

  • Short distances are measured with a ruler, that has a scale from one end to the other
  • Large distances with a scale on a map
  • Thermometers have a scale on them too.

I would therefore show some kind of graduated scale.


  • That looks to me like "use this to get a measurement of something," not "convert your existing measurement into some other unit." Jul 24, 2014 at 14:46
  • good idea put two different scales side by side or the arrow thing on top
    – joojaa
    Jul 24, 2014 at 22:11

For t you can combine all three symbols in one icon, or alternatively create 3 icons - each one is activated when proper scale is chosen:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Probably it is better to separate t and l to two different icon/options

  • It could be a good idea but it's not possible here. I'm looking for a general "units" icon (l & t). We can't change the icon.
    – antoinestv
    Jul 24, 2014 at 10:40

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