IconEdit32 Review

Written 9/1/02

A formerly freeware icon editor that even iconoclasts will like

IconEdit32 Freeware Icon EditorIcons are those adorable, little graphic images that appear on your desktop, in software programs, and even in web pages. An icon displays varying images depending on your Windows screen resolution and size requirement. So, if you find yourself in VGA mode (I won’t ask why), you should see a 2-color icon as the artist designed it for minimum resolution.

With IconEdit32, you can make your own icon. Most paint programs do not support editing of icons. A good icon editor can be as handy as fork at a buffet dinner. IconEdit32 is easy enough to use that most anyone will be able to create simple icons without headaches. The program is authored by Neil Rubenking for PC Magazine, March 2000. It allows you to import, edit, and save 16X16, 32X32, and 48X48 icons in 2, 16, or 256 colors. Open an icon and IconEdit32 displays the respect palette and grid. Choose another palette to layer one bit/color icon over another without losing or disrupting the current palette. You may endup saving as many as 9 different icon images of varying bit/color into one .ico file. Windows will automatically display the correct size image in your icon file or stretch it to fit.

One of the best uses for IconEdit32 is in creating the so called “favicon,” which appears in the left-most area of Internet Explorer’s address bar and in the favorites after a page is added. The icon must be 16 X 16 pixels and 16 colors. Once you finish creating the icon, save it as “favicon.ico” and drop it in your root web directory. If you want the icon to appear in a subdirectory, you can also use the “link rel” meta tag between the <head> and </head> tags in your HTML source code like this:

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”favicon.ico”>

IconEdit32 has come in quite handy. After using it successfully to make icons for software programs and websites, I have come to rely on it. The program proved easy to learn and adapt to. I recommend IconEdit32 for artists as well as paint-by-numbers types.

Update: IconEdit32 is now part of PC Magazine’s paid file download and subscription section, no longer available as freeware from the PCMag.com site. Visit PC Magazine for more info or to download IconEdit32 for Windows.

Emory Rowland

I'm editor and keeper of the flame at Clickfire, fanatical social media blogger and builder of Internet things from way back. My love for social media and success with organic search led me to start my own consulting company. Apart from the Internet, I could be considered pretty worthless. More...


  1. Pingback: Favicon Tutorial - Make a favicon.ico icon for your Website

  2. kfi

    I have found a quite handy and *really* free icon editor called Greenfish Icon Editor PRo downloadable here: http://greenfish.extra.hu/downloads.php

    Their description:
    This program is a professional, yet easy to use tool for creating icons, cursors, and other small pixelgraphic images. It has a wide range of features, including:

    * Opening and saving in ICO, CUR, PNG, XPM, BMP and JPEG formats
    * Creating icons up to 256×256 @ 32-bit
    * Creating Vista(tm)-compatible, PNG compressed icons
    * Advanced selection handling (marquee, lasso and wand tools, saving/loading selections from files)
    * Creating and testing cursors
    * Extracting icons and cursors from executable files
    * Dynamic color depth: you do not have to specify it explicitly, Greenfish Icon Editor will determine it for you.
    * Various gradient styles for filling shapes
    * Lots of filters including Remove matte, Drop shadow, Inner/Outer glow and Bevel
    * New: Multilanguage support (English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese)
    * File drag and drop support
    * Sample icons are included
    * No installation required, Greenfish Icon Editor Pro is absolutely portable
    * It is FREE!

  3. Paul Cherry

    Thank you for the IconEdit32 Review


  4. what happens when you have bigger size favicon?

    • Emory Rowland

      I think it just fails to display in most browsers, but some will display larger sizes.

  5. jim

    The general rule for favicons (they appear in the tab and next to the URL on Firefox; it’s a crapshoot on IE) is that they be 16 x 16 pixel. Since icons are used in a number of places (I am told), most recommend starting with a PNG or GIF at 64×64 and letting a conversion program convert it to 32×32 and 16×16. I’ve had good luck with the online favicon maker at Dynamic Drive (tools.dynamicdrive.com/favicon/) and it will work with GIF PNG JPG and BMP. With JPG as the input, interesting favicons can be made: check out ttocsmij.com for example.

  6. thanks for iconedit32.
    i had created my own favicon.ico image via this software..

  7. Do favicons affect SEO and Rank? Thanks

    • Emory Rowland

      Not really, but favicons likely have a positve impact on usability and branding though.

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