Cloudeight Information Avenue Tutorial

Make Your Own Icons
(Windows XP Home and Professional Editions )

Make Your Own Icons
(Windows XP Home and Professional Editions )

This tutorial will not create icons for Windows 98, ME, NT, or Windows 2000. It's only for Windows XP Home and Professional users.

Windows XP makes it easy to create your own icons. For this tutorial we used Irfanview, a free image viewer/editor available from (you can click that link, you won't lose your place here, it will open in a new browser window). The best images for use as icons are head-shots of people, like you! But you can use any image that is more or less square. You can make your own picture an icon. Haven't you always wanted to be an icon like Tom Cruise? Sure you do!

1. Select a picture to use. Pictures that are more or less square work best. For this tutorial we choose our favorite dragon "Cloudie". Then we have to select a more or less square area of this picture (the part we want to use as an icon. We will have to resize this cropped image very small so pick a part of your picture that makes sense. In other words, if you have a picture of a person, select the head area not the stomach (unless you want a tummy icon!). To select an area in Irfanview, hold down your left mouse button while dragging the cursor over any part of the image, you'll see an outline appear, like you see in the picture below.

step one

2. Once you have the area selected, click on "Edit" (on the toolbar) and choose "Crop selection".

step two

3. There you go, now we have selected and cropped out part of the original picture.
This will become our "icon". The icon will be much smaller than this, as you'll see.

step three

4. Now we have to resize it to the size of a standard Windows XP icon (32 pixels by 32 pixels).
To do this, click "Image" (on the Irfanview toolbar) and select Resize/Resample from the meun.

step four

5.  Here's the Resize/Resample dialog. Type in 32 for the Width and 32 for the Height.
And, uncheck "Preserve aspect ratio" (unless you're better at making perfectly square
crops than we are).

6. OK, you're almost done - Really! As you can see, we've made
good ol' Cloudie very tiny. Sorry about that, Cloudie. Now all
we have to do is save it. So hop down to step #7.

7. Click "File" on the toolbar and choose "Save as" and choose "ICO" Windows Icon as
your "Save as" file type. (See step #8)

8. Choose "ICO" Windows Icon as your "Save as" file type. Give it any name (next to File name) you like and click the "Save" button and choose a location to save it to and you're done.

There he is, an icon! The Web does not recognize "ico" format so the image of the "icon" to the left was saved as a .gif. But if you right-click it and choose "Save target as" you can download the Cloudie Icon we just made. You can do this with any image you like, including pictures of you, your family, your favorite singer, movie star, or photo. Try it!

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