What application do you use to draw icons?

Another tool question: what application do you use to draw icons, specifically the 32x32 icons of macros and groups? Can they easily put text in the icon? (An example of what I would be doing: an icon with a large red “A” on a light yellow background.)

Have you looked at the Icon Chooser? Window ➤ Icon Chooser.

For a long time I didn’t know about it, but I did come across it recently. I laid a trap for any responder by giving too simple an example. Let’s say I wanted a pair of braces, separated by a space, and underlined. I really there are only 32 pixels, but I’ve tried it with an inappropriate graphics tool and found that it gave good results. I am looking for a more appropriate tool, preferably something very lightweight. An original 1984 MacPaint would work just fine I think :-). I have my copy around here someplace…

Personally I’d use Acorn. Or maybe Opacity but I suspect it has died.

I don’t know if SnagIt works well for this or not - Skitch doesn’t really work for this.

Would, or do? KM certainly has lots of icons — how did you make them?

For Keyboard Maestro itself, I use a bunch of different techniques:

  • System icons (eg Window actions)
  • Application icons (eg Safari actions)
  • Some licensed icons (eg Aquatica using in the iTunes actions)
  • Opacity created icons (eg the Mouse Click icon)

And more recently I try to do a lot of the black & white icons drawn directly with code (eg the debugger icons and the animating icons like the layout order in the palette theme).

But as a user if I was going to create a custom icon like you describe, I would likely use Acorn. Or I would just doa google search for an icon image. But for most things in Keyboard Maestro if I actually want an icon (which is rare) I just use the Icon Chooser.

I found a MacPaint-like program! And it’s free. It handles different format files, and has quite a few features. I’ve been using it to draw 32 x 32 icons for my macros and groups, and it’s working pretty well.

There’s an online site that converts .png files to Mac icons.


This way you can design them in whatever you like, and convert them when you’re done.

Cool, and I will look at that. But my original problem was drawing the icons themselves – icons in the old sense, just NxN pixel values, not “icons” in the sense of the multi-resolution icon packages used in OS X. The discussion identified tools costing from, I think, $50-$100. I already have several graphical tools I’ve spent a significant amount of money on and don’t want to buy another. I can sort of struggle through this simple task in a couple of the tools I have, but a MacPaint-type application is just what I need.

Oh yeah, I’m right there with you. I’m not a graphical artist - I can manipulate, but not create.

For that, I turn to the best tool in my toolbox - Google. I do an image search, usually include the word “icon”, and use the search option to look for transparent color. Chances are, someone else has already thought of what I wanted.

For example, do an image search for “circle letter icon”.

Google. Don’t leave home without it! (I know you probably knew all this, but just in case…)

This is an App-Store download, not a web site, isn’t it?

Iconfinder is the best so far, has free icons, and best of all, they can be filtered by license

I love IconFinder. I've purchased a bunch of their icons.


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nice, where did you use it? and why did you need such icon?! :joy:

:joy:It's a website. iconfinder.com. They have free icons, otherwise they're usually $2 per icon, or you can join using one of their plans. Since I don't get a ton of icons, I usually just pay the $2 per icon, or join for one month with the $9 plan. I love that they have .svg versions of most of the icons, so it's easy to resize them.

And before you ask, I use GIMP for image manipulation. Actually, McGimp v2.10 from www.partha.com. The Mac downloads are on the right side, down the page a little.

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I use The Noun Project. Fantastic collection of one color icons; built in editor where you can change color and save in a few different formats. Small monthly fee - unlimited downloads. Amazing work.