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Icon sizes: 256x256, 64x64, 48x48, 32x32, 24x24, 16x16, 512x512
File formats: ICO, GIF, PNG, BMP

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What Are PNG Icons?

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

Computer icons are an integral part of any graphical user interface. Icons are small pictograms of standardized sizes that depict objects, actions, and symbols. In graphical user interfaces, icons are used as a quicker, more intuitive way to communicate with the user. Icons representing typical elements of a user interface are better visible 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 new users feel more comfortable with computer systems, learn faster and interact more efficiently. Icons can be used to replace or supplement text messages. Commonly 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 multiple graphic formats for storing icons. Microsoft Windows systems use Windows icons in the platform-dependent ICO format. Mac OS systems store 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 graphic editor.

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

Pixel resolutions 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 come 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 icons. Other systems such as Windows Mobile can employ standard icons of other sizes, such as 24x24 pixels.

Numerous independent vendors are offering custom icons. Aha-Soft offers a variety of Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons in all sizes and resolutions common to those platforms. The company sells 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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Download Large Travel Icons
Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons depict a number of weather conditions that are common for software, weather portals, and mobile gadgets. The icons come in all resolutions standard to Windows, Mac OS, and mobile devices. The largest versions are huge 512x512 pixel images with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily affordable and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest quality.

32x32 Free Design Icons 32x32 Free Design Icons pack has all the images that are necessery for your web site or software toolbar.

Perfect Science Icons Scientific application and Web-site developers will truly appreciate this hard-to-find pack of scientific icons. Providing various symbols and objects used in all the areas of science and engineering, Perfect Science Icons are a great value.

Medical Icons for Vista Medical Icons for Vista has been created to eliminate any misunderstanding arising while looking at a medical Web site or using a medical program. The images are provided in numerous sizes and formats.

12x12 Free Toolbar Icons 12x12 Free Toolbar Icons collection contains all the images that are required for your web page or application toolbar.