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Ability to export icon files (*.ico) in Designer

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I also use some .ICO export, but rarely, so I rely on Krita.

For a large icon set, that would be time consuming, though.

Best regards!

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I can recommend creating this favicon ICO from the command line. Mac instructions:

  1. Install ImageMagick with the following command (install Homebrew if you don't have it)
    brew install imagemagick
  2. Save a 32x32 favicon PNG image from Affinity Photo or whatever
  3. In your terminal navigate to the folder where the PNG image is
  4. Run the following command to convert the PNG to an ICO
    magick convert favicon.png -background transparent favicon.ico

More information: https://www.imagemagick.org/script/convert.php

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On 5/23/2017 at 9:56 PM, rjvela82 said:

Any other utilities that work great for Windows?

If it were only to make the ico file for the IE favicon (IE always giving probs, since...always) I'd just use XnView, Irfan, Imagemagick or any other good converter. If you need to pack icons (having several sizes in same ico file, etc) for an app in Windows, Mac OS, iOS, android, etc... that's different. There used to be a bunch of good ones, even those allowing to write directly in the exe, and even modify details in the exe of other nature (I used to work for a software company, this often allowed avoiding a re-compile when there was no time for a fast demo)

I really liked during many years the free version of IcoFX. Quite a jewel. Then came the need of making ~500 px sized icons (mostly for OSX back then) and etc, can't remember to what I did switched to. I think IcoFX allows making that too, now.

I also vote for the open source imagemagick. Is command-line, but extremely flexible for this and many other things.

For visual control and quite many packing features, maybe check the below list. Some focusing on the packing/export, other in drawing....IMO the important for you is to be able to import images, and the export and pack into ico/dll/exe/.icns, etc, as you already have superb and much superior drawing and editing tools in AP/AD. The important part imo is : that they allow importing images, specially PNGs, and of course,  exporting / packing features. Even if it does not allow even to paint over it, that's not crucial (having an AP and/or AD license. I've done pixel art with both AP and AD, both pretty reliable in that) 

This one is online, allows import of images. Pretty basic, but quite enough for many cases. Is not a converter, is an actual editor (but also imports and exports). I dislike any form of online editing tool, though , for some reasons. So, is not in my order of preference :


The below one is open source, it seems is quite nice. Obviously, completely free . I'm reading that it's powerful.


For the mac, this one seems to have a very complete export, and can import already created icons. Is at a no-issues price, 5 $.   :


The below one counts on Mac, Windows, and online version. It seems very complete, also, just 5 $.  :


IcoFx is amazing, used to be my favorite, but... the other ones above are 10x cheaper (I would only be able to use the 50$ version) or free...

Also....  would always prefer to do the entire icons in a full editing package like Photoshop (or AP/AD , in this case), and even editing each size by hand. In a hurry, might let the automatic thing generate till 128x128 (512, 256....). But even with those, I used to prefer to retouch by hand, then import for each size in my converter, and pack there the .icns or whatever. A general editing package like AP and AD, with layers and all sort of tools, give you such power that I would never use the much limited painting solutions of many of those editors... just would use the utilities as mere converters/packers...My 2c.

EDIT: And yeah, I know is crazy, but I use to do these things in raster, with raster tools... I used to produce mountains of full icon/icns files, complete with all the possible sizes... Is often a matter of how you mount the workflow, using macros/actions/some code, etc) , yes, the best idea is to go vector, though. In this case, raster is not productive, is doable , tho (it's indeed old school).

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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On 8/17/2018 at 2:00 AM, SrPx said:

IcoFx is amazing, used to be my favorite

That's why I use the old freeware version 1.6.4, which is absolutely sufficient for my purposes.

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+1 for the icon(.ico) export feature.

+1 for Bitmap(.bmp) export feature

Currently i am working on an installer and it requires extensive use of icon files,which is proving to be quite a bummer for me as neither affinity designer or affinity photo can export to an icon format as yet. Nevertheless i am currently using Krita as a work around for converting .png files exported from Affinity Designer into .ico files,but the results are ok,not good as the icon is showing up like garbled image in the installer's Title bar area.

Secondly, i would also suggest to Serif to kindly also allow us to export images to Bitmap '.bmp' files as well,as they are also used in some scenarios like the installer i am working on requires Bitmap format only,no .png or .gif is supported in that.


Best Regards




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You have my partial votes (even if I don't see them essential, or more important than some other stuff to  polish)

BMP is "a bit" a far cry from the past... But I can understand that when it's needed, it's needed, like anything else. I guess the no compression (tho can be save with some compression in some tools, very poor compression, I believe I remember...) helps for fast loading in some circumstances, like internally for an engine or app, despite temporarily creating huge files.


but the results are ok,not good as the icon is showing up like garbled image in the installer's Title bar area.

Hum....That sounds to me just as if, simply, Krita only export as the only one size you did set. It makes sense, as Krita, as much as it has expanded from a digital painting (free) wonder is not a specialized icon libraries generator, as neither is AD or AP. So... I'd suspect that what is happening is just that the OS whichever you are developing for, is just using the only image it finds in the ico file, for every different situation. Common thing to happen. But these files support a ton of size versions in a single .ico, similar to what happens in .ICNS mac icon format, just, traditionally, and being the Macs so much headed to image excellence, they allow really huge icons sizes, even 1024 (back in the day Vista would allow 512 as max., I don't know right now, made a ton of icons, but been a while.)

For example, in Windows, if the icon is well saved, with the specs needed for the whatever the OS of your target, then the OS is able to "know" which icon to use for which situation... there are system areas where is needed a 16x16, others a 24x24, others a 32x32, XP even had a specific 48x48 size....and all also depending on user decided preferences. But is not only for listing files in a folder, is the entire OS having different icon sizes. The only way is using a very specialized tool, like the ones we have listed here. Maybe AD could produce this from a layered file, but would require as well some extra UI elements as to set/configure a bunch of things to specify for an ico / icns file, and also, save that following all and every standard, even when changing per OS version (let me tell you, it has changed a lot, from win 95/98, to xp, Vista, 7, etc...). Not gonna lie, that would totally rock, but I can understand that as an extra when the most important part is to be able to actually design. Who knows? That might be added.

As you see, not Krita, neither AD or AP (yeah, you can do very well icons with AP, have done so, pretty nice) are adding all that big interface addition to become a specialized icon library producer. I'd say, is not a must when attending to what these packages are expected to cover (I could list you a bunch of big names of apps very defective in this very specific function, since always)  , but I would agree that it would rock. So, IMO, I will welcome it if comes at some point.  (I'd always prefer rework on the brush system/picker first, hehehe)

My advice would be to produce everything in a row at AD or AP, and then, at the end (previous test a pair of times of the full workflow, of course!! ) just do the conversions with any of the many specialized utilities we mentioned.  Might sound stupid, but is less focus changer of a solution, and allows do batch and automatizing, with some luck, if concentrated as a last step with external tools. While doing games, I had to do this anyway to for example convert an entire 10 folders of frames, or process them just to add a pixel art darker outline, transparency made a solid pink color for an engine change, or way more complex things. There's some point when you can even automate these with some specialized tools, or even play with python script for that, combining it with imagemagick and other stuff. I did stuff like that for web projects and let me tell you: Not only was practical, is a lot of fun (for your inner geek side). When using yet PS at companies, I would do very complex Actions (aka macros), that combined with PS file/folder batch processing, it helped a lot for the tediousness that you mention (other stuff, not icos, but the type of solution is similar) to be automated and zero time consuming (except the first time to design the macros combo, of course!)

From a practical pov, is just that, kind of finding a workflow so that, even no coding involved,  till those features evolve, you do all your work till some stage, and export as sth that these special  utilities can eat (import), then produce all the ICOs, ICNS, or just PNGs or whatever uses the linux distros that you target... Indeed, for mobile, some Linux desktops, etc, is all about SVG, a very different matter... one needs to adapt to very specialized niches and uses. In the global picture, I can only see the solution of doing apps combos in a full workflow... I don't see realistic to embed for example, all what ICOFX does these days, in the already full AD's UI... But I'd welcome it, lol. (but the brush in AP, first,plz!  :D )

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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I wonder if everyone who sees not having .ico export ability as being OK  is using a mac.  They are still widely used in the most widely used OS on the planet.  I'd very much like to see this happen.  Surprised it's not in to begin with since icon creation is mentioned as a main feature in the "Find out More" section of the main Designer Page.

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13 hours ago, googol said:



- not everybody is allowed to upload and use online tools

- not everybody is allowed to install other tools

Heavily restricting company ?

It has both install option or can download a zip, which has no install, just a binary inside, of XNConvert. Is freeware. It supports saving (the 3 formats I was in charge to export in its day at companies) as ico, icl (icon library), and ICNS (the equivalent of ico for the Mac, but Mac people don't complain for this, for some reason...). That besides being a converter supporting 500 formats.


Guys, don't grab the pitchforks just yet, not making a point against adding ico support... Just adding options meanwhile, been at companies where I could barely do anything with some overly restricting rules...

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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