I usually do not care that much about the icons on my computer. Sometimes however I encounter an icon that looks so ugly or misplaced that I have to change it. One possibility would be to use an icon editor like IcoFx to create a new icon, but that makes only sense if you are somewhat talented in graphic design.
IcoFx could be the icon editor of choice then for you. It can create Icons for Windows 98 to Windows Vista and Macintosh OS X computers and provides options to convert icons from Mac to Windows (and Windows to Mac) and to extract icons from 32-bit exe and dll files. One great feature is the ability to add, change or delete icons in executables which means that you could permanently change icons of explorer.exe for instance.
The interface looks clean, crisp and is very responsive to user input. The most gorgeous feature in my opinion is the ability to create icons from images. Just select an image on your hard drive and select the color depths and size of the icon that you want to create in the first step and use the advanced import settings to pick a specific part of the image, change the resolution and transparency.
The icon will then be created and can be saved in the usual icon formats. Colors range from 2 colors to True Color + Alpha Channels which equals 1-bit to 32-bit. Supported resolutions are 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48, 256x256 and custom resolutions.
Different sizes can be created and merged by dragging and dropping them into one icon window which has the effect that several sizes are supported in the icon file that will be created.
Update: IcoFX is fully compatible with newer versions of Windows as well. Please note that it has been turned into a commercial program in the meantime. You can download a 30 day trial version for free but after that have to purchase it to continue using it. An alternative to the program is Free Icon Editor.
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