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Icon sizes: 256x256, 128x128, 64x64, 60x60, 48x48, 40x40, 32x32, 30x30, 24x24, 20x20, 16x16, 512x512
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What Are Windows Icons?

Numerous independent vendors are providing custom icons in sizes and resolutions common 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 an integral part of any modern GUI. Icons are small pictograms of standardized resolutions that visually represent objects, actions, and other concepts. In graphical user interfaces, icons are used as a quicker, more intuitive way to communicate with the user. Icons depicting common elements of a user interface are more visually appealing than text, can be recognized faster, and are certainly easier on the eyes.

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

There are several image formats for storing icons. Microsoft Windows systems store Windows icons in the platform-dependent ICO format. Apple Macintosh computers store Mac icons in their specific formats, while Unix-based systems use PNG icons for most applications. As such, icon editing software is generally available for the Windows and Mac OS systems, while Unix users can create PNG icons with just about any image editor.

Generally speaking, icons are square pictures that come in a variety of standard sizes and color resolutions. Most platforms support icon sizes of 16x16 to 128x128 pixels, while some systems readily accept icon images as large as 512x512 pixels. The large 512x512 pixel icons were first used in Mac OS Leopard.

Pixel dimensions of all icons are operating system dependent. For example, Windows icons are specified 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 implements new standards for Windows icons, including icons in sizes of up to 256x256 pixels in True Color only. Optionally, images 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 previous versions of Windows and for lower resolution images. Other systems such as Windows Mobile can use standard icons of other sizes, such as 24x24 pixels.

Numerous independent vendors are providing custom icons. Aha-Soft offers a wide selection of Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons in all sizes and resolutions standard to those platforms. The company provides 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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Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons represent a number of weather conditions typical in software, weather Web sites, and mobile gadgets. The icons are supplied in typical sizes standard to Windows, Mac OS, and mobile devices. The largest versions are huge 512x512 pixel icons with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily available and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest resolution.

Free Business Desktop Icons Free Business Desktop Icons is a pack of 10 ready icons for use in commercial and personal projects, including software applications, websites, blogs, and presentations. The images are free for personal, frequent and commercial use.

20x20 Free Toolbar Icons 20x20 Free Toolbar Icons collection contains everything that are required for your web site or software toolbar.

Perfect Science Icons Scientific software and Web-site developers will certainly appreciate this hard-to-find pack of scientific images. Providing nuerous symbols and objects used in all the fields of science and engineering, Perfect Science Icons are a wonderfull value.

Science Icon Set Science Icon Set offers you all the images, that are needed to design a laboratory software or scientific Web project. This set includes mathematics, chemical and biology icons.