How to Create ICO With Photoshop

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Many websites, blogs and favorites lists feature small graphics, or "favicons," to get the viewer's attention. These icons are usually saved as ICO files. The popular graphics program Adobe Photoshop can be used to create and export these icons using the proper plugin. Learn how to install a new plugin, design and export your own ICO files to use as favicon graphics.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • ICO Plugin

Installing the ICO Plugin

  • By default, Photoshop does not support saving graphics in the ICO format. Free open-source plugins are available online (see link in Resources).

  • Choose which plugin package you need, based on your operating system and Photoshop version. Save the appropriate zipped file onto your computer. Unpackage the zipped file.

  • The unpackaged download should contain 3 files: software license, instruction guide and the actual plugin file. To install, move the plugin file named "Icoformat" into the File Formats folder. This is located within your Photoshop Plugins folder.
    Example: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS2\Plug-Ins\File Formats
    If it's already running, close and re-start Photoshop. Photoshop should now be able to open and save ICO files.

Creating an ICO Icon

  • Using Photoshop, select File > New. Enter "64 x 64" pixels, and click "OK."

  • Design your icon on this canvas. When finished, click Image > Image Size.
    Resize the design to "16 x 16" pixels, the standard size for icon files.

  • Click File > Save As. Name the file, and select ICO format. Click "Save."

Tips & Warnings

  • Internet browser and favorite icons are called "Favicons." If you have a website, you can customize this icon by placing an ICO file named "Favicon.ico" into your site's root directory.

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  • Photo Credit Svilen Mushkatov
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