Forwarding Address: OS X

Saturday, May 04, 2002

For old-school Mac users the process for changing file and folder icons is probably as second-nature as breathing but for new Mac users the concept can be down-right strange (as evinced by the bewildered "you can do that?!?" from my room-mate when I demonstrated the process). So, to those who don't know: yes, you can. You don't have to be stuck with the generic icons your Mac came with.

The ability to change the icons of, well, pretty much anything on your Mac that has an icon is one of the great pleasures of owning a Mac. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Get some icons
Excellent icons abound for the Mac, the advantage of being the platform used by the best artists in the world I suppose. Download and unstuff icons from any of these places:

Icon Factory - icons at their best
Apple's Icons & Screensavers section
Icon Master
Step 2: Applying the icon
Once you've downloaded and unstuffed the icons select the icon you want to use and Get Info (Cmd-I) on the selected icon file. You'll see the Info window appear and in the upper-left corner of that window, a small representation of the icon.

Select the icon in the Info window and Copy (Cmd-C) it.

Now select the file or folder you want to apply the icon to and Get Info (Cmd-I) on it. Again you'll see the icon in the upper-left corner of that window.

Select the icon in the Info window and Paste (Cmd-V) the icon you already copied (its now stored on the clipboard) onto it.

If everything went properly you'll have copied the icon from the icon file to your file or folder. C'est tout. Discuss