Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find some common questions and their answers:

Q: What is the difference between an icon file, an icon resource and an icon image?

Have a look at the What is an icon? help topic: with examples, it fully describes the differences between these three terms and explains other of the pre-required terms to read this help file without any problems.

Q: What does n-bit icon such as 32-bit icons or icon images mean?

n-bit stands for the pixel format of the icon image. The pixel format is a synonym for color depth: it measures the number of colors of the palette used to draw the icon image. Number of colors = 2^n where n is the number of bits. For instance, a 16-color icon has a pixel format equal to 4-bit (2^4=16); 16-color icon means that the pixels composing the bitmapped image will have one color between 16.

For more information, look at the What is an icon? help topic.

Q: What is an icon library file?

An icon library file is a good mean for storing icons and keeping them readable by Windows and icon extractor. Icon library files are given the .ICL extension and actually are standard 16-bit DLL library files with a .rsrc resource section only filled with icons. Windows and the most part of icon extractors recognize these libraries. Also note that icon libraries are not compressed.

Q: How can I save the icons resulting from a search?

GConvert allows you to export these icons to one or several icon libraries, so you do not need to search for them again in the future. In the Icon Browser expert, once the search is completed or stopped, click on Export ICL. Click here for further instructions.

Q: When a file is being read, I got the message "Icon resource not found". What did happen?

This message happens because GConvert is unable to read an icon sub-resource in the resource section of your file. It generally only occurs with some Win32 executable and DLL files that were compressed using an executable packer: this tool compresses the entire executable and adds a small loader in assembler code that unpacks the executable's data directly into the memory when you run it. Even if the resource table remains readable, the icons themselves cannot be accessed.

Q: In the Main Viewer/Image Viewer, I sometimes get an icon named "Icon not found". What does it mean?

The extracted icon resource or one of its icon images has an invalid format that would cause GConvert to display the "Resource not found" error message. Instead of showing this message several times, the non-working icon is replaced by this "Icon not found" icon. It can also be displayed when the icon image is corrupted.

Q: How can I convert a BMP, GIF or a JPEG to an icon?

Just select "File|Convert Picture to Icon". Then select your image source file and determine the part of the image you want to transform into an icon. After that you will be able to edit your new icon and of course export it as an icon file (.ico).

Note that GConvert can support more picture formats thanks to plug-ins.

Q: What about the new alpha blended icons shipped with Microsoft Windows XP?

GConvert fully supports the Windows icon format (.ICO) including the latest addition introduced with Windows XP: the 32-bit color depth format with alpha blending support. This new icon image format has been introduced with Windows XP and they give a new wonderful look to the icons: they feature a transparency alpha channel. Currently alpha blended icons are only supported on Windows XP but GConvert can read, display and of course convert them.
GConvert also supports saving the alpha channel when converting icons to PNG or 32-bit bitmap files for example.

Q: What does mean the alpha channel for 32-bit icons?

32-bit icons are alpha blended icons (see above). They feature a 24-bit bitmapped image (16.8M colors) plus a 8-bit bitmap that determines the transparency for each pixel of the bitmapped image.
Click here for further explanation.

Q: Where can I obtain more format plug-ins?

Go to GConvert's homepage and look for the Add-ons page. Plug-ins are freely available for download and shipped into Self-Installing packages. Plug-ins are shipped separately because they would increase the final GConvert distribution's size.

Q: Why does GConvert support the PNG format internally?

The Portable Network Graphic format is useful because it can deal with transparency and alpha blending. Especially for 32-bit icons (see the questions above). For further information about the PNG format, you may go to

Q: Can I convert an icon, an executable or DLL library to an icon library?

Yes, you can. Any file loaded by GConvert can be saved as an icon library (in ICL format). When available, the option will appear in the Library menu: "Convert Current File to Icon Library".
Click here for further information.

Q: How can I edit icons with GConvert?

GConvert includes an internal icon editor: just select an icon in your already opened icon library or open an icon resource in GConvert. Then press Edit in the toolbar or select "Edition|Edit Icon". Click here for further information.

Q: Which information is displayed by the Image Viewer?

The Image Viewer displays the name of the selected icon and the number of images available in this icon. Then it shows information related to the selected image: color depth, height (H), width (H) in pixels. More information about the Image Viewer here.

Common Operations

Environment Options