Have you ever wanted a custom icon for a hard drive or folder? I have, and I found out that it is easy to do, even if you can’t make an icon from scratch. For example, I got tired of seeing the default white removable drive icon whenever I plugged in my CompactFlash reader. I decided to make a custom CompactFlash icon to use instead.
Note: Their may be simpler, even easier ways to do this but this is how I do it. Comments welcome.
Step One: Making the Icon
For this example, I used an image that I found on Google Images. If you do the same, make sure your base image is at least 128px by 128px. You could also draw your own icon if you are a Photoshop whiz. Anyway, once you have your image, open it in Photoshop or a similar image editor and eliminate the background by deleting it. You just want your subject on top of a transparent background. Now you might want to add a subtle drop shadow if you want, since most icons do. When you like how your icon looks, resize it to 128 x 128 and save it as a PSD or a PNG.
Step Two: Converting the Icon
If you don’t have Apple’s Developer Tools, you will need to install them in order to complete the next step. You can find these tools on your Mac OS X install disk, or Apple’s website.
The tool that we will be using is Icon Composer, which can be found in /Developer/Applications/Utilities. Open Icon Composer and drag your PSD or PNG into every box. For the upper boxes, it will ask you a couple of questions. Always tell it to Use Scaled Version and Extract Mask. Once all the boxes are filled, go to File > Save As and save the icon in a convenient place.
Icon Composer leaves us with an ICNS file, which is almost usable. We now need to convert the ICNS to a RSRC file, which can be easily done with Icns2Rsrc. Just open the app, open the ICNS file, and it will ask you where to save the RSRC.
If you know how to change an icon in Mac OS X, you know what to do now. If not, it is really easy. Open the Get Info window for the RSRC icon, click on the miniature icon in the top left and press Command C (copy). Then, go to the drive or folder that you want the icon to be on, open the Get Info window, click on the mini-icon and press Command V (paste). Now you should have a perfect custom icon.