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What are Windows XP icons

Microsoft® Windows® XP introduces a new style in icon design. The Windows XP icon style is all about fun, color, and energy—and, as there are now 32-bit versions of the icons, smooth edges.

Microsoft recommends that your icon contains these three general sizes:

  • 48 x 48 pixels
  • 32 x 32 pixels
  • 16 x 16 pixels
  • xp icons

    Icons on the left side of the Start menu are displayed at the 24 x 24 pixels size. This is not a size that you need to provide usually.

    If you are creating icons for a toolbar, the Windows standard sizes are 24 x 24 and 16 x 16 pixels.

    Windows XP supports 32-bit icons, which are 24-bit images with an 8-bit alpha channel. This allows icons to display with smooth edges that appear to blend into any background.

    Each Windows XP icon should contain these three color depths to support different monitor display settings:
  • 24-bit with 8-bit alpha (32-bit)
  • 8-bit (256 colors) with 1-bit transparency
  • 4-bit (16 colors) with 1-bit transparency

  • You should have a total of nine image formats — three sizes per color depth:
  • 48 x 48 at 32-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 32-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 32-bit
  • 48 x 48 at 8-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 8-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 8-bit
  • 48 x 48 at 4-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 4-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 4-bit

  • Drop Shadow

    Windows XP icons use a drop shadow to provide definition and added dimension. This effect is supported by Aha-Soft ArtIcons. To add the drop shadow to your images, select the Effects / Drop Shadow item from the main menu.
    before shadow make shadow after shadow

    Common Icons for Windows XP:

    Common Icons for Windows XP

    Common toolbar icons for Windows XP:

    toolbar icons for Windows XP

    These are the primary colors that are used in Windows XP 8-bit icons:

    Windows XP icon color palette

    To load this palette into ArtIcons Pro icon editor, select the Effects/ Palette/ Predefined/ Windows XP item from the main menu.

    Microsoft Windows User Experience Team has written an overview of Windows XP icon creation: Creating Windows XP Icons - full article - deleted

    Icon editors and icons

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    Business Toolbar Icons

    Icon IconLover is our pick. It allows you to design and edit all kinds of graphics required in the software development cycle, including icons, static and animated cursors and interface elements - all these graphics can now be designed in a single application.

     Cut Icon Toolbar Icon Set. A collection of practical and eye catching Windows icons representing all basic operations required for software development.

    Dollar Icon Business Icon Set will make your software and web products look more modern and attractive. File formats included into the set are Windows icons, GIF and PNG images.

    Icon ArtIcons Pro is an advanced icon-specific utility for Windows. It supports ICO, BMP, PNG, GIF, PSD, XPM, XBM, WBMP, CUR and ANI image formats and allows you to manage icon libraries.

    Icon Any to Icon converts icons and cursors into BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, ICO, CUR and other formats. This wizard can find icons and make images for use on Web pages.