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 Windows Toolbar Icons

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Image sizes: 256x256, 48x48, 32x32, 24x24, 16x16
File formats: BMP, GIF, PNG, ICO

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What Are PNG Icons?

A number of independent vendors are supplying custom icons in sizes and resolutions standard to certain systems. The article explains what icons are, how they are used and implemented in various platforms, and what standards are defined for Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons.

Computer icons are incorporated into any graphical user interface. Icons are small pictograms of standard sizes that visually represent objects, actions, and other concepts. In window-based systems, icons are used as a quicker, more intuitive way to communicate with the user. Icons depicting standard elements of a user interface are more visually appealing than text, can be recognized faster, and are easier for new computer users.

Originally developed in 1970 by the Xerox Research Center and widely popularized by the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows systems, icons make computer novices feel more comfortable with computer systems, learn faster and interact more efficiently. Icons can be employed to replace or supplement text messages. Widely used in menus, toolbars, on buttons and in the latest ribbon-style user interfaces, icons have come a long way from the original concept.

There are multiple file formats for storing icons. The Windows systems store Windows icons in the platform-specific ICO format. Apple Macintosh systems use Mac icons in their specific formats, while Unix-based systems employ PNG icons for most applications. As such, icon software is generally available for the Windows and Apple systems, while Unix users can design PNG icons with just about any graphic editor.

As a rule of thumb, icons are square images that come in a number of standard sizes and color resolutions. Most platforms support icons of 16x16 to 128x128 pixels, while some platforms readily accept icons as large as 512x512 pixels. The ultra-high definition 512x512 pixel icons were first employed in Mac OS Leopard.

Pixel resolutions of all icons are platform dependent. For example, Windows icons are defined as images in 16 and 256-color gammas as well as True Color images with alpha channel. Windows icons are supplied in standard resolutions of 16x16, 32x32, and 48x48 pixels. Windows Vista defines new standards for Windows icons, including icons in resolutions of up to 256x256 pixels in True Color only. Optionally, icons of 128x128 and 512x512 pixels are supported. Interestingly, the high-resolution Windows Vista icons are stored in compressed PNG format instead of Windows ICO used in older versions of Windows and for lower resolution images. Other platforms such as Windows Mobile can use standard icons of other resolutions, such as 24x24 pixels.

Numerous independent designers are providing custom icons. Aha-Soft offers a variety of Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons in all sizes and resolutions standard to those platforms. The company sells royalty-free icons individually and in matching sets incorporating icons drawn a common style or theme.

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You can buy individual icons to suit your needs. Each icon is $1 when purchased individually.

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Download Windows Toolbar Icons
Classic Hardware Icon Set Hardware Icon Set is a collection of hardware images, distributed in BMP, ICO, PNG and GIF formats and 16x16, 24x24 and 32x32 sizes. The library presents both 32-bit and 256-color icons.

Database Icon Set Database Icon Set brings you lots of bright and colorful icons for database application development. The images are available in all the common icon sizes and file formats include PNG, GIF, ICO and BMP.

16x16 Office Toolbar Icons 16 x 16 Office Toolbar Icons set has everything that are necessery for your word processing project.

Financial Icon Library for Vista Vista Financial Icon Library is a set of finance and purchase related icons in Windows Vista style. The set is provided as GIF, BMP, ICO and PNG file formats.

Perfect Business Icons Refine your financial or business- related software with instantly available quality Perfect Business Icons. More then two hundred of beautifully designed and carefully drawn icons are available.