Environment Options

The Environment Options let you define the general settings for GConvert and manage the external plug-ins. You can access to the dialog box by selecting "Tools|Environment Options".

General Tab

  1. Auto set options when exporting an icon:

    When export single icons to other formats, some formats offer additional conversion settings. These conversion settings can be set automatically by GConvert depending especially on the color depth of the selected image (32-bit icon images for instance require special care). See more information here.

  2. Include alpha channel when doing operations:

    Only used for the internal icon editor; indicates whether GConvert should take count of the alpha channel in special editing operations such as Copy/Paste to/from clipboard and Open image in editor. Recommended.
  3. Close the 'Icon Favorites' window when a favorite is selected:

    Tells GConvert whether it should close the 'icon favorites' window when you click on a favorite item. Note that clicking on one will always first open it in GConvert, and with that option enabled, the window will also be closed. Recommended.
  4. Display the 'Icon Favorites' window like a drop down menu

    Tells GConvert whether the 'icon favorites' window should appear as a drop down menu when you click on the Favorites button. The window will be displayed directly under the button and it is closed when the button is clicked again. Recommended.
  5. Select the largest icon (instead of 32x32) as default in the Image Viewer

    When you browse through your icons in the Main Viewer, the Image Viewer always displays icon images of the selected icon resource. By default GConvert selects the 32x32 image with the highest color depth. If you prefer to select the largest icon with the highest color depth, then turn this option on.
  6. Remember last selected image format in the Image Viewer:

    When you browse through your icons in the Main Viewer, the Image Viewer always displays icon images of the selected icon resource. By default GConvert selects the 32x32 image or the largest one (see previous option) with the highest color depth. With that option enabled, each time you switch from an icon to another, GConvert will remember the format of the last icon image selected in the Image Viewer. If one is found in the new selected icon, then this icon image is set as selected instead of the default 32x32 one.

  7. Display high-quality icons in Main Viewer:

    Allows GConvert to display 32-bit icons (with alpha channels) in the Main Viewer. By default GConvert will first select the 24-bit icon image to represent an icon resource when available rather than the 32-bit icon image. This behavior allows speed and memory improvement, as GConvert takes more time to draw 32-bit icon images (with alpha channel) than with 24-bit icon images.

    Not recommended except if you have a fast computer with enough free memory available (if it can run Windows XP, Vista...).
  8. DLL compiler: use icon number instead of name to create resource IDs

    When you compile an icon library to a DLL file, GConvert has to give a unique ID to each embedded icon. Generally icons have names in icon libraries, so these names can be used as unique IDs; but in that case, compiled icons will appear in a different order than in the original library file (because resource IDs are sorted by names). If you want your compiled icons to appear in the same order as in the original library file, then turn this option on.

  9. Favorite Image Resampler

    To resize icon images, GConvert uses a resampling filter (see Import picture and Generate other images topics). You can select which filter should be used.

Color Conversion

GConvert 5.0 has an improved color conversion system. It will take care of icon image palettes (for 8-bit-or-less images), especially when you convert icons to formats like GIF (which support up to 256 colors only). This tab lets you configure the options for the color conversion.

When converting an icon to another image format:

This option is especially used for clipboard operations such as copy icon image to clipboard and so on. When set to "always 24-bit images", GConvert will convert an icon image to 24-bit bitmapped image (16.8M colors), whatever its color depth is - so there should never be any color problems. However when set to "use the color format ...", GConvert creates bitmapped images that have the same pixel format as the source icon image. These bitmaps may include a palette.

Select the best choice according to your other applications' possibilities: for example, if you copy and then paste icons from the clipboard in your other applications, you must ensure for example that these applications can handle the pixel format of the pasted bitmapped image, including 32-bit bitmaps for 32-bit icon images.

If the current conversion background color is not available in the image palette

When you convert an icon image (which is transparent) to another format like a bitmap (which is not transparent), GConvert lets you select the color that should be used to fill in the background (the icon transparent areas are replaced with that color called background color in GConvert). If an icon image has a color palette which is full, GConvert cannot add another color. Consequently the background color must belong to that palette, otherwise the conversion may not be correctly performed. If the color palette is not full, GConvert will automatically copy the existing palette & add the background color.

If the color palette is full, and the current background color is not in that palette, then you have four choices:

You will be prompted only if the "Always Prompt Me" option is enabled. Otherwise the default choice will apply: you can set up this default choice by selecting one of the two remaining options.

When an icon image has a palette, you can view the colors in this palette by selecting "Edition|Show Icon Image Palette", pressing CTRL+L or you can even select one of the palette's color in the Select Background dialog box: in GConvert, click on "Color" then "From Image Palette".

When converting a 32-bit image to an image with a lower color depth

32-bit icon images have an alpha channel which indicates the transparency level of each pixel. When you convert such an image to a non 32-bit image, this alpha channel is lost, and this may lead to strange images (black image borders, etc...)

This is a 32-bit icon image.
Its borders are smooth.

The 32-bit icon image has been converted to a 24-bit image with no alpha channel. See the borders.

GConvert can either

In all cases, the result is generally never perfect.

Use the median-cut color quantization algorithm: a color quantization algorithm is used when converting a 24-bit icon image to a lower color depth (like 8-bit). The median-cut one generally can provide better results than the default one used by GConvert. Recommended.

User Interface

GConvert supports skins: all of its lists, buttons, windows' title and buttons, menus depend on the selected skin. You can of course change the skin of GConvert to a new one available in the list. The original distribution only contains some skins in addition to the default one but several other skins are available for download at www.gdgsoft.com

Skins available for download are shipped in Self-Installing packages so they can be automatically set up in order to appear in the list.

When you switch from a skin to another, GConvert will immediately take count of the new skin; however be sure to close the Environment Options window in order to force GConvert to refresh all of its items.

You can also set the colors used by GConvert for painting some of its areas like the Main Viewer & the Image Viewer.

Icon Browser

Additional options are available to control the behavior of the Icon Browser expert.

  1. Automatically search for icons:

    Each time you select a new folder in the shell folder list, GConvert will automatically begin a new icon search. If this option is disabled, you will have to press the Search button yourself.
  2. When an icon is selected, automatically open the associated file:

    Once your search is complete or stopped, found icons are displayed in a list. If you click on an icon, GConvert can also open the associated file in its main window.
  3. Close the icon browser when a file is opened:

    Bundled with the preceding option, this causes GConvert to open the file containing the icon selected in the "found icon" list. After that the Icon Browser window is automatically closed.
  4. Clear the search results when the icon browser is closed:

    Recommended as it frees memory used to store and display found icons. Even if GConvert only displays 32x32 icon images, the search results may take lots of memory especially if your search resulted in several hundreds of icons.
    Note that if you do not export your search results to icon libraries, the latter will be lost when the Icon Browser expert is closed.
  5. Pause search each time 250 files were processed:

    This option causes GConvert to automatically pause each time 250 files were processed and to display icons that were found. You can then restart searching by clicking on "Resume" and remaining files will be processed. It is possible to clear previous results.

Batch conversion

Determines the global mask for filenames when you are batch exporting icons. You will find more information by following the link.

Favorite Directories

The Open and Save shell dialog boxes contain a "My Favorite Paths" button. This button lets you select your favorite paths while you are prompted for determining the filename of a file to open, or an icon image to export. This tab in the Environment Options lets you organize these favorite paths:

The main list displays all of the favorite paths in the order of their appearance in the "favorite paths" menu list. Under it there are several buttons to add, remove and reorder these favorites:

Format Plug-Ins

GConvert uses external plug-ins to add new formats for saving icons. The original distribution is shipped only with two external plug-ins to support JPEG and GIF files (to make the Web distribution enough small). Other plug-ins may be available freely for download from www.gdgsoft.com.

Normally plug-ins available for download are shipped in Self-Installing packages so they can be automatically set up in order to be handled by GConvert. But this tab allows you to add or remove existing plug-ins manually.

You must have administrative rights in order to add/remove plug-ins. On Windows Vista, it requires elevated privileges (right click on the GConvert's shortcut and select Run as Administrator).

To obtain information about a plug-in, select it in the "Plug-In List". Then GConvert will display information about it in the text box.

For more information about plug-ins, please click here.


Common Operations

About plug-ins

How do I...