Simple Custom Icons

Learn how to create custom icons using on the Finder and Preview. You can make a folder or file stand out in a few simple steps with a custom icon.

Comments: 22 Responses to “Simple Custom Icons”

    Jim
    3 years ago

    Brilliant!!!

    Heide Seeman
    3 years ago

    This is not very Apple like!
    Why can we not simply make a new folder and change the color or paste a picture on top, then put the contents we want into the folder?.
    Way back when we could chose different colors for our folders.

      3 years ago

      Heidi: Not sure what you mean. You can paste a picture on top, sure. But I’m suggesting a way to customize even if you don’t have a picture to use.

    Robyn
    3 years ago

    Great tutorial Gary – thankyou.

    DJ
    3 years ago

    How do you access preview? You mention that it is built in. I could not see how you got to that.

      3 years ago

      DJ: It is an app. Find it in the Applications folder. Or, use Spotlight to launch it. Or, use LaunchPad to launch it. Put it in your Dock and launch it from there. However you like to launch apps.

    Jonas
    3 years ago

    There is an other way too. Just select the folder image in the Info window and paste a logo, picture that will replace the folder image in the window. Then, close the Info window and the picture or image will appear instead of the previous folder image.

    Dot
    3 years ago

    Thank you. I don’t like the new way that tag colors work, with only a small dot on the right, which is hard to see. I’ve been using XtraFinder to fix this, but it no longer works in El Capitan. I’ll make myself some colored folder icons to use.

      3 years ago

      Dot: This is a good way to do that, yes. One thing people don’t realize about the new tags, as opposed to the old labels is that you can apply MULTIPLE tags. Before your folder could either be red OR blue, now it can be both. That’s why it is a dot, not the entire background. That makes it far more versatile for searching and categorizing. But a lot of people used the old labels just to make folders stand out, not to really categorize them.

    John Carter
    3 years ago

    Excellent!

    Jim Terrinoni
    3 years ago

    Excellent, Gary. While I have been doing a similar thing your method may be faster. I have been using Photoshop and 1. it takes longer to load than Preview, 2. the initial setup for sizing can be tricky (although once you have a file saved like a template it isn’t difficult. I also like the fact that you showed how to easily change the color in Preview. Your newsletter is a must-read. Keep up the phenomenal work!

    John Melchior
    3 years ago

    Gary, Being afflicted with AMD I have been using this trick for some time as all folders begin to look the same… My solution was to Use Photos or ClipArt modify in Preview using the Markup function remove extraneous background and save as png. Copy and paste in Get Info window… This allows me to see each folder as a visual instead, a wad of cash for financials, an Apple Logo for Apple Tips etc. Much easier for these afflicted eyes.

    Ed
    3 years ago

    I followed the steps: Finder….file…get info…highlight..copy

    Preview..File…New from clipboard, new document appears, copy..new document appears again..new clipboard again…entered text… command all and command C…hide preview…back in finder to paste on highlighted folder , BUT WONT PASTE ON THE FOLDER
    Help.

      3 years ago

      Ed: Not sure where you might be going wrong. Are you selecting the image in the first Preview document?

        Ed
        3 years ago

        It finally worked. I used a folder on the desktop instead of folders in the document.

        This is really brilliant.

    George
    3 years ago

    Very cool!

    Dorit
    3 years ago

    Once more, one of those “little” things I’d never find out myself. Thanks! I would click your flattr button, if you had one.

    S Keene
    3 years ago

    If making an image to use as a file icon in say Photoshop, how can one avoid a white border round the image when pasted onto the file’s icon?

    3 years ago

    Keene: By white border do you really mean border (as in a thin rectangle around the image) or do you mean a white background to the entire image? If you mean a white background, then the key is to create a semi-transparent 32-bit image. Look up some Photoshop tutorials on that subject if you haven’t done that before.

    Vicky
    3 years ago

    That was very neat, thank you :-)
    I found however that if I dragged my icon-edited folder to keep it in the dock, the icon displayed there was the default blue folder. Is that to be expected, or am I doing something wrong?
    Thanks.

    3 years ago

    Vicky: It should display with the custom icon, even in the Dock. Control+Click on the Dock item and try adjusting your settings. Make sure you have it set to Display As “Folder” instead of “Stack” for instance.

    Vicky
    3 years ago

    Thanks Gary, that was the exact problem. All good now :-)

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