Graphics: Icon Editor Needed for Transparent Background of Shortcut & Favicon

Posted on 2006-06-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-06
I can make a desktop shortcut icon or browser favicon.ico from a .jpg, but I can't seem to get the background pixels to be transparent.  How do I make the Desktop Icon Transparent?

Can someone recommend the "Best" FREE icon editor?  What's your favorite?  

I use Photoshop and some of the pixels have no color, just transparent background.  But I can't save to .ico from PS.  I save to .jpg for example.  I've tried Icon Constructor, but can't seem to make those non-color pixels transparent.
How, for example, do I use Icon Constructor to make the non-color pixels transparent?  

      Here are some I tried

     This one looks like the best, but costs $25 - $99 after 15-day trial
     -  I still don't see how to make the pixels transparent

Snap Files Icon Sushi    ( Free )

PixelToolbox    ( Free )
     This one's OK, you can see every pixel

TransparentGUI    ( Free )

AW Icons Editor Pro  ( $39 )
     45-day Trial

List of Icon Editors for Sale
     Assorted Programs of all types

Not Good:
Active Icon Studio 5
     Don't bother with this one

Question by:WizeOwl
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    Hi Wize!

    I don't have an opinion on which .ico editor is best. Many people like the Photoshop plugin from:
    It’s free with a suggested donation of $5.00

    Here is a good tutorial on how to use it:

    I should warn you that there is not really any desktop icons with transparency. What you are seeing is a hack that runs on a windows computer and instructs the computer to make a color that you specify transparent.

    For instance, you can tell it to make all of the white transparent. Then, if the icon is on a white background, the white will be transparent. At the same time, any icon that has white as part of the design…that white will disappear as well.

    Another problem is that each person has to download the program and launch it for it to work. You can’t make an icon that is transparent unless you get everyone who views it to download and run the program and select the color that you had in mind to be transparent. Also, this hack won’t work on a Mac or Linux computer.


    - David B.

    Author Comment

    That helps quite a bit.  Thank you.

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