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


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Guys, not everything is made for the web.

EG: desktop applications... .ico and .bmp support would be welcome in my work.

It sucks that I have to export to .png from affinity, then opening paint or paint3d and re-save that to .bmp for example.
or that I have to use an online .ico generator ... would be a nice win for me personally to have my lovely affinity do all the things 

:)

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I'm working on web design a lot and I love Affinity Designer. This week I had to create an icon (favicon to be precise), which I obviously designed in Designer.   So far so good, but there seem to b

Is very impressive that there are designers that do not understand that tools for designers need to cover all designers, not only web developers or newbies that know about icons through a favicon web

Hello everybody,   Using just PNG or GIF might seems as easy and OK option but if you want BEST results you need to have separate image for each scale of the icon, since in some cases the icons are

On 6/4/2020 at 7:21 PM, Nate.W said:

Guys, not everything is made for the web.

EG: desktop applications... .ico and .bmp support would be welcome in my work.

It sucks that I have to export to .png from affinity, then opening paint or paint3d and re-save that to .bmp for example.
or that I have to use an online .ico generator ... would be a nice win for me personally to have my lovely affinity do all the things 

:)

 

Funny you mention that, I'm working on some web-based documentation and the favicon requires an ico file. So even on the web, we need this too.

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11 minutes ago, SrPx said:

Ehm... back in my web dev/design days you could make the favicon be a PNG... has it changed?

Honestly, I'm not too sure myself, I'm not a web developer. I'm just a C# developer using some doc generation tools and they insist on using an ico file.

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48 minutes ago, SrPx said:

Ehm... back in my web dev/design days you could make the favicon be a PNG...

Yes, but *.ico with icons of different sizes is of course always better (saving the page/link and viewing it in the OS, ...).

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1 hour ago, SrPx said:

Ehm... back in my web dev/design days you could make the favicon be a PNG... has it changed?

I suppose CMS automatically search for an .ico file in the root folder, but like you I used .png since it's easy to generate (I can't remember if it just needed specific name like favicon.png), and if the CMS just ask to provide a file on the server or the HD.

For example, Plone only need a favicon.png  file in the root folder.

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2 hours ago, Wosven said:

I suppose CMS automatically search for an .ico file in the root folder, but like you I used .png since it's easy to generate (I can't remember if it just needed specific name like favicon.png), and if the CMS just ask to provide a file on the server or the HD.

For example, Plone only need a favicon.png  file in the root folder.

Yes...If I make a big effort, during 2007 - 11 (I might be wrong) issues were some browsers (probably IE versions?) wouldn't recognize other than ico, while Firefox was one the ones to accept PNGs early on for the favicon. Back then we weren't using frameworks.... Anyway, the browsers issues and incompatibilities were way harder back then, in general (IMO). 

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I just discovered a whole bunch of 404s in our logs for favicon.ico. Our site carries a lot of PDFs. From what I can tell, when a user clicks a link to open a PDF the browser forgets the favicon for the page it's on and goes to look for a new one. Obviously, PDFs don't have a link element, so the browser is just looking for favicon.ico in the web root.

So there's a reason for still needing them, and +1 to this old thread.

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It's over 5 years since this topic was started, it has three pages of comments, and not a word from Serif.  

Someone at Serif/Affinity team needs to chime in here and let us know if this ability will ever be added to the product.  Please.

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7 minutes ago, loukash said:
 

@loukash  If you haven't already read this entire thread, please take the time to do so.  There has already been plenty of discussion about using other apps/websites to do the conversion from whatever-format to ico.  The point is, many Affinity Designer users need and would like the ability to produce ico file output from within Affinity Designer - without having to fuss with other, often poorly written and maintained, software.

Additionally, your comment was just not helpful, especially for an Advanced Member.  I'm guessing that if @Nate.W is an Affinity user, Nate is more than capable of performing a web search without your assistance.

🖖

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1 hour ago, Tony Gray said:

Someone at Serif/Affinity team needs to chime in here and let us know if this ability will ever be added to the product.

Surely you've noticed, that Serif doesn't comment on requests for function, and certainly never promises anything.

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Barcodes, icon export, many more... a plug-in architecture would really, really be nice so third party developers could join in and fill the holes that Serif quite possibly will never fill for many reasons.

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Is very impressive that there are designers that do not understand that tools for designers need to cover all designers, not only web developers or newbies that know about icons through a favicon web search. Icons are still widely used in many instances and is a profitable business. I find hilarious when people says the new way is better because is new, but the new way is more tedious than the old *.ico file... one file carries all the sizes you added to it, with inherit adaptability to size request.

Every time you submit a power web app, you have to upload dozens of images to do what a single upload would accomplish on an *.ico file. Same on the Apple Store or Google Android Apps, which is ridiculous. That process would be simpler and lighter with probably a new WebM icon file. But since does not exists, haven't done due research to be absolutely sure, you have to upload either one by one or on a compress file. And if you make a change then you have to do the whole process to produce the same list back again. Very ridiculous again in my opinion. Is that the new way you referring to? I'm not sold.

Anyway... Other Possible Solutions

You can use Gimp2 to create icons too. Open source and downloadable tool with pretty other nice tools that you won't find either in Affinity Photo or Photoshop without plugins... for example, exporting *.ico files and creating Normal Maps... among others.

The way Gimp handle it, you start by creating your 256px (like in old days) or larger icon size 512px, and scale that down per layer, and if a layer start looking blurry then you can import your small version or even create them in the same file. Once you have all the sizes you want to cover, Export your layered Gimp file as an *.ico file. Is that easy. Gimp even has an icon previewer if I'm not mistaken, don't quote me on this.

Also, Inkscape has an icon generator integrated. Another open source vector base application, with an icon previewer as well.

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I would like this option but really don't need it. I have had to create windows .ICO files that have multiple sizes and different bit depths or windows dev environment will reject the combined file. The app that does this very well and free, GIMP...lol I have this app specifically for making .ICO files.

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For what it's worth, Apple's Preview.app can convert existing *.icns files to *.ico:

  1. open ICNS in Preview
  2. Save As dialog > option-click on the Format popup menu > select Microsoft Icon

Doesn't seem to work from a regular PNG or from other formats though.
That's on El Capitan. Your mileage may vary.

Other than that, GraphicConverter can create *.ico files from virtually any bitmap format you'd throw at it. As a user since the 1990s, I can only say that GraphicConverter always comes in handy when everything else may fail, as in: it's not "the best" at anything it can, but it's pretty good at everything. Which is its intended purpose. And it's scriptable, plus it comes with a lot of Automator plugins, so a PNG-to-ICO conversion from Affinity can be fully automated.

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22 hours ago, Raphie said:

Is very impressive that there are designers that do not understand that tools for designers need to cover all designers, not only web developers or newbies that know about icons through a favicon web search. Icons are still widely used in many instances and is a profitable business. I find hilarious when people says the new way is better because is new, but the new way is more tedious than the old *.ico file... one file carries all the sizes you added to it, with inherit adaptability to size request.

Every time you submit a power web app, you have to upload dozens of images to do what a single upload would accomplish on an *.ico file. Same on the Apple Store or Google Android Apps, which is ridiculous.

I know what you mean by not just useful for making favicons. I used to make ICNS & ico files for the apps of the software dev I worked at (and for other apps studios that worked with us), and also, making icon packs to be dowloaded for free for people. Those got to rank to the top (google) for the chains I wanted, hehe😎 :D .  It was long ago, I'd typically use very specialized apps for that (Photoshop wasn't able to even do just the ico thing well back then (dunno now) and anyway we produced cross-platform, so I needed as well all the ICNS stuff (and back then SVGs/PNGs for Linux, too). I remember having to study both the Windows Vista (and later Windows versions.... till Win XP it had been kindda easier) and Mac OS strict specs to produce both types of libraries, with their design rules. OH. WOW. Just realizing... IcoFX still exists.... Oh, my. Hugely evolved (win, mac icons, but also android, iOS, etc.)

Frankly, I was not aware Gimp could do ico libraries. Nice.

PD: I'd add the feature would be useful as a global one. Both for Designer and Photo. Some have mentioned the technique of just reducing the image from 512x512 (or 1024! I've done such icon sizes) , but that works till an extent; at some point it's extra optimal if one can do pixel art, as at 32x32 and below, it realy is gonna look better if making the by pure pixel art techniques. Pixel Persona has the 1 pixel tool as well, it is just as good as a pixel pusher, would make the deal in Designer for that, but it'd be nice for other reasons to have it also in Photo. Plus... I have the 3 apps, but some people may only have Photo (Photo can be used as a standalone digital painting/illustration/pixel art/graphic design/game art solution, despite being focused on photography and image editing in general).

Edited by SrPx
PD as an important addition.

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On 2/18/2021 at 10:34 AM, SrPx said:

I was not aware Gimp could do ico libraries.

Gimp is one of the few software that can store multiple icons sizes as a set properly in one ico allowing you to specify different color and compression standards and masking and compatibility levels.  It gets the right binary order for compatibility fallback.  There is no other software that I'm aware of with this level of control and support, and it makes rolling multi-size ico much smaller and more backwards compatible.  whomever implemented that part of their software really knew what they were doing.

Affinity doesn't have to get that technical or fancy, even basic ico support would be greatly appreciated.  same with avif and heic and webp.  it would greatly improve workflow to not be forced to reach to other software for conversions in and out.  I want Affinity to LEAD the modern workflow pack like it did when it was released. ❤️ because they are my favorite tools.

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On 10/27/2015 at 4:12 PM, Michael said:

Seriously? Nobody uses *.ico files anymore?

I do use .ico files for my favicons on all wave pages, and I do think it's a must-have format in Affinity Designer and Photo.

It's one of those features that are not so often used but very useful when required.

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