IconWorkshop Lite Now Available for Download

Visual CPP Team

Once you’ve built a great looking application, you’ll likely want to provide equally great looking icons and toolbar bitmaps.  Unfortunately, the bitmap editing tools included in Visual Studio are far from state-of-the-art.  They haven’t been updated for a long time and simply don’t provide a rich set of tools for designing quality images.


Another problem is lack support for building standard Vista icons.  Given the increases in monitor resolution, Vista introduced a new standard size for icons:  256×256.   As icons of this size consume a lot of disc space, the images utilize PNG compression.   The tools included in Visual Studio have no ability to create these types of icons.


To help resolve this issue, Microsoft turned to Axialis Software.  Axialis is the creator of IconWorkshop 6.2 which is an award winning icon design package.  In fact, IconWorkshop 6.2  is used by many teams within Microsoft to build icons for our shipping products.


Axialis responded by creating IconWorkshop Lite.  IconWorkshop Lite is a free graphics tool that retains the power of the professional product.  Using IconWorkshop Lite you can easily create professional looking icons and toolbar bitmaps for your application.  Better still, it integrates directly into Visual Studio 2008. 


IconWorkshop Lite provides the following features:


·         Powerful icon editing and color management tools (including color/alpha channel adjustment and filter support)

·         Ability to edit images in toolbar filmstrips (bitmap containing several images for toolbars)

·         Support for all Windows icon formats up to Windows Vista 256×256 with PNG compression

·         Support for a wide variety of image formats – BMP, PNG, JPEG, JPEG2000, GIF, TIFF, TGA and more

·         Creation of an icon from existing images

·         Creation of new icon formats from existing ones

·         Ability to use image objects (overlapping layers) to create icons

·         Ability to manage a library of icons or images in addition to individual ICO files

·         Ability to edit images in toolbar filmstrips (bitmap containing several images for toolbars)

·         Integration into Visual Studio 2008


IconWorkshop Lite is available for download to any Visual Studio 2008 Standard or above customer.  The download can be found at:  http://www.axialis.com/download/iwlite.html


We highly recommend you give it a try!


– Visual C++ Development Team

Posted in C++


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