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Large Black Military Icons
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 Large Black Military Icons

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Icon sizes: 256x256, 128x128, 64x64, 60x60, 48x48, 40x40, 32x32, 30x30, 26x26, 24x24, 20x20, 16x16, 512x512
File formats: ICO, GIF, PNG, BMP

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What Are PNG Icons?

Numerous independent vendors are offering custom icons in sizes and resolutions standard to certain systems. The article explains what icons are, how they are used and implemented in various systems, and what standards exist for Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons.

Computer icons are an integral part of any modern GUI. Icons are small pictograms of standardized sizes that depict objects, actions, and symbols. 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 certainly easier on the eyes.

Originally introduced in 1970 by the Xerox Research Center and widely popularized by the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows systems, icons make new users feel more comfortable with operating systems, learn faster and work more efficiently. Icons can be used to replace or supplement text messages. Commonly used in menus, toolbars, on buttons and in the latest ribbon-type user interfaces, icons have come a long way from the original concept.

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

As a rule of thumb, icons are square pictograms that come in a number of standard sizes and color resolutions. Most systems support icons of 16x16 to 128x128 pixels, while some systems readily accept icons as large as 512x512 pixels. The big 512x512 pixel icons were first used in Mac OS Leopard.

Pixel dimensions 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 pictures with alpha channel. Windows icons come in standard resolutions of 16x16, 32x32, and 48x48 pixels. Windows Vista defines 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 higher resolution versions of 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 employ standard icons of other sizes, such as 24x24 pixels.

Many independent designers are providing custom icons. Aha-Soft offers a wide selection of Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons in all sizes and resolutions common to those platforms. The company provides royalty-free icons individually and in matching sets that include 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 different weather conditions typical in software, weather Web sites, and mobile gadgets. The icons are supplied in all resolutions standard to Windows, Mac OS, and other systems. The biggest versions are huge 512x512 pixel images with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily available and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest resolution.

16x16 Office Toolbar Icons 16 x 16 Office Toolbar Icons library contains everything that are necessery for your word processing software.

Free Business Desktop Icons Free Business Desktop Icons is a collection of 10 ready icons to be used in commercial and personal projects, including software, webpages, blogs, and presentations. The graphics are free for personal, frequent and commercial use.

Standard Software Icons Standard Software Icons is set of eye-caching software-related icons specially created by professional artists. This set is a perfect choice for navigation menus and toolbars of any type.

Health Care Icons Health Care Icons is a library of wonderfully created icons associated with the field of health service. The graphics are provided in a variety of formats and sizes.