Use IconLibraryX as a Favicon Generator

As an important feature, IconLibraryX allows you to create favicons as easy as 1-2-3. A favicon (short for favorites icon), also known as a shortcut icon, bookmark icon, or web site icon, is a graphics file containing one or more icon images, most commonly 16x16 pixels, associated with a particular web site or web page. This icon will be displayed on the visitor's computer if he chooses to bookmark your site. It will be displayed in the Favorites menu as well as in the Address bar if the user comes back to your site. Additionally, tabbed browsers typically show a page's favicon next to the page's title on the tab, and site-specific browsers use the favicon as desktop icons.

Importing Your Material Image

The first step of using IconLibraryX to make favicon is importing your original image. IconLibraryX supports most popular image formats, such as PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP or ICO, etc. You may drag & drop the original image to IconLibraryX or use the Import Icons command. After importing, the new image will be displayed in the icon list view of IconLibraryX.

Generating the Favicon

Now it's time to create a favicon base on the new imported image:

1. Select the new imported item in the icon list.
2. Choose the main menu Icons>Export Icons command, the Export dialog opens.

3. Select Windows Icon as File Format.
4. Choose or paste the Destination output directory.
5. Favicons must contain specified icon image formats, so check the "Export with custom icon image formats" option to expand the custom area.
6. In Icon Image Format Presets, double-click the "16x16 - XP" format to add it to Desired Icon Image Formats.

Tip: The "16x16 - XP" or "16x16 - 256" format is the minimum requirements of favicons. We use the "16x16 - XP" format because it's a better format with the 32-bit color depth and a 8-bit transparency alpha channel.

7. Make sure the "Auto generate desired icon image formats if not exist" option is checked. It helps us to create the favicon with the correct format automatically whether the source icon contains the format or not.
8. Click OK, the favicon will be created in the Destination folder.

Uploading the Favicon to Your Website

The final step is to connect to your host and upload the favicon file to your website. You must rename the file to favicon.ico and place it into the root folder of your website (the same directory as your home index page), not inside an images directory or other folder. Most browsers will find the favicon.ico in a site's root folder automatically.

Some browsers will look for a direct link in the HTML source code to your site's favicon file. You can help these browsers by adding the following link in the head section of each page on which you want the favicon to appear.
<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/ico" href="/favicon.ico">
Once you've added this line, you should upload all of your modified pages.

Multi-Resolution Favicons

Now you can already see your favicon in your browser's address bar, and it probably looks great. Feeling ambitious and want to go one step further?

On Windows platforms especially, favicons show up all over the place. For example, if you put a shortcut to a website on your desktop, Windows often uses the favicon of the website as the shortcut icon. But on the desktop, Windows uses a much larger size icon, usually 48x48 pixels. When this happens, Windows has to scale up your small favicon and it will probably look blurry and not so great anymore.

You can fix this. One of the neat things about .ICO files is that they can contain multiple image formats, at different sizes and color depths (kinda like an animated GIF file contains multiple frames). When they do, Windows uses whichever size and color depth is most appropriate. For the sizes, 16x16, 24x24, 32x32 and 48x48 pixels are most common, and all can put bundled together in a single icon file.

Creating a multi-resolution icon isn't much harder than what you did to create the 16x16 favicon, all you need to do is just add more desired icon image formats when you export the icon.

As for color depth, if you're on Windows, you may have noticed that some icons on your desktop have jagged edges, while others blend smoothly on the edges. The smooth blending is because those icons contain icon images with 32-bit color depth, which allows semitransparency the alpha channel.

So if you want to make sure your favicon looks great wherever people might see it, we recommend the following icon image formats:

  • 48x48 - XP (32-bit)
  • 32x32 - XP (32-bit)
  • 16x16 - XP (32-bit)
  • 48x48 - 256 (8-bit)
  • 32x32 - 256 (8-bit)
  • 16x16 - 256 (8-bit)

The 32-bit color depth is well supported by most modern browsers and operating systems. So you may include the 32-bit formats only in your favicon for better visual effect and smaller file size which means faster downloading. On the contrary, if the image of your favicon is simple enough, like Google's favicon, you may only include the 8-bit (256 colors) version.

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