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I'm writing a program to notify me of new email. It's mostly complete, I'm just working on the notifyicon code now. It's supposed to display the usual application icon with a box containing the count of unread emails inside it. I created icons for this in photoshop, exported them as 16x16 transparent PNGs, then converted them into windows ico files using ConvertIcon.com. Given that the image was 16x16 and the WinXP system tray uses 16x16 icons, I would assume the images would work. HOWEVER, when I start the application and get an email, the icon's all blurry: http://cyndle.com/bPJ7

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Have you verified that the generated ico files are not blurry? –  Zach Johnson Mar 14 '10 at 21:55
    
That turned out to be the problem. My exports were 16x16, and the converter scaled them up to 32x32. –  Mudtail Mar 14 '10 at 22:21
    
Yes, yes, it was definitely the converter's fault. Don't be trash talking Photoshop... :-) –  Joe Internet Mar 14 '10 at 23:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can download an icon plugin for photoshop to save your image as .ICO icon file.

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Doesn't look blurry to me. The green blobby thing two icons to the right is blurry. Your icon looks nicely anti-aliased. Looks definitely good from 6 feet away.

Not that much you can do with only 16x16 pixels and 256 colors. Creating icons that look good in such a small space is an art, mastered by few.

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aren't windows icons supposed to start out as BMPs? (I have a vague recollection of this from 15 years ago... have things changed since then)?

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This should rather have been a comment ... –  Joey Mar 14 '10 at 22:17

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