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What are Windows XP icons

Microsoft recommends that your icon contains these three general sizes:

  • 48 x 48 pixels
  • 32 x 32 pixels
  • 16 x 16 pixels
  • xp icons

    Icons on the left side of the Start menu are displayed at the 24 x 24 pixels size. This is not a size that you need to provide usually.

    If you are creating icons for a toolbar, the Windows standard sizes are 24 x 24 and 16 x 16 pixels.

    Windows XP supports 32-bit icons, which are 24-bit images with an 8-bit alpha channel. This allows icons to display with smooth edges that appear to blend into any background.

    Each Windows XP icon should contain these three color depths to support different monitor display settings:
  • 24-bit with 8-bit alpha (32-bit)
  • 8-bit (256 colors) with 1-bit transparency
  • 4-bit (16 colors) with 1-bit transparency

  • You should have a total of nine image formats three sizes per color depth:
  • 48 x 48 at 32-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 32-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 32-bit
  • 48 x 48 at 8-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 8-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 8-bit
  • 48 x 48 at 4-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 4-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 4-bit

  • Drop Shadow

    Windows XP icons use a drop shadow to provide definition and added dimension. This effect is supported by IconEmpire. To add the drop shadow to your images, select the Effects / Drop Shadow item from the main menu.
    before shadow make shadow after shadow

    Common Icons for Windows XP:

    Common Icons for Windows XP

    Common toolbar icons for Windows XP:

    toolbar icons for Windows XP

    To load this palette into Icon Empire editor, select the Effects/ Palette/ Predefined/ Windows XP item from the main menu.

    Microsoft Windows User Experience Team has written an overview of Windows XP icon creation: Creating Windows XP Icons.

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