Copy/Paste Icons

Copy and Paste icons to/from the clipboard are two useful functions of the icon editor. Nevertheless they should be carefully used and only when working with a third-party imaging tool such as Paint, Corel® Paint Shop Pro or Adobe® Photoshop.

Copying icon images

If you work on an icon image, just select it in the list and click "Copy to the clipboard". The icon image will be first converted to the bitmap format (transparent areas will be replaced with the transparent color defined by the background color in GConvert's main window) and then placed to the clipboard.

You can after that paste it into your favorite image editor (be sure that the GConvert's background color is set as background/transparent color too in your image editor) and start modifying it.

Pasting icon images

Once your modifications are done, copy the entire icon image from your image editor to the clipboard. Ensure that the background color remains the same as the one of GConvert, and secondly ensure that the selected icon image in the icon editor is still the same. Click "Paste from clipboard" and GConvert will first read the bitmap data from the clipboard, create the corresponding mask using the transparent color and finally update the current icon image with the new bitmap data pasted from the clipboard. Thus the transparency should be preserved.


  1. You should only paste bitmaps that were originally placed in the clipboard using "Copy to clipboard" and then optionally modified with your image editor. GConvert currently only supports bitmap compatible data from the clipboard. Otherwise try to import a picture.
  2. If the bitmap in the clipboard has a different pixel format than the selected icon image, GConvert will apply color transformations on the bitmap (when necessary) before it is converted to the icon image.
  3. 32-bit icons require special care as they also contain the alpha channel in addition to the mask. In this case, the transparent color is not enough. That's why GConvert can also include the alpha channel in the copied bitmap data. Therefore the resulting bitmap will have a width*2*height size and it should then be split into two width*height bitmaps, the left one will be actually the image bitmap and the right one the alpha channel bitmap. See the following example:

    will generate this bitmap

    This lets you edit the alpha channel while you are editing the image. In this case, when you paste the modified image, be sure to both paste the image and the alpha channel again.

    Note that this behavior can be disabled in the Environment options using the "Include alpha channel" option (though this is not recommended).

Overview of the icon editor

What is an icon?