Resolved Correct icon file properties for Tiger?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Riku7, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Riku7 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2014
    I got an old new iMac running the last version of Tiger that it just can.
    I’m having trouble figuring out what the correct format of app icons for Finder would be, because the behavior I now see appears somewhat inconsistent.

    I’m used to changing document and app icons in more recent OS systems like so:

    1. Select an icon file in Finder and press cmd+c
    2. Select the app or document in Finder and press cmd+i
    3. In the info window that pops up, select the icon and press cmd+v.
    4. (Sometimes needs to be repeated until the icon shows up but this works anyway.)

    I keep a library of icon files on my main computer so I transferred some to the iMac to use. Some were .png and I noticed that it was incorrect (they show up as “framed” image files instead of icons with transparency), so I converted to .icns using Image2icon, a tiny app that does what it says on the tin.

    On my main computer that runs Yosemite, the .icns files in Finder show up as the icons that they would look like if applied to an app or a document. But in Tiger, Finder displays them with the icon of Preview app. So if I try to copy-paste them to apps or documents that I want to customize the look for, the icon itself doesn’t get pasted, it pastes the Preview app icon instead. The strange thing is that within about 20 icons that I transferred, in Finder a few of them do show up as the icon that they should be, and they’re not even the ones with the smallest pixel dimensions. Which, I’m guessing, rules out that it can’t be about the icons being too large? I wouldn’t attempt to use 1024px icons on a Tiger with a 17” monitor, that’s a bit much.

    What am I missing, what’s the recipe for compatibility here?
  2. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    This always works for me...
    open the icon file (whatever the format) in Preview, Click "cmd+A" to select all, then click "cmd+C" to copy to clipboard.
    Select the app or document in Finder and press cmd+i
    In the info window that pops up, select the icon and press cmd+v.
    That should do it, at least for me works every time.
  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK
    In this instance, open the icon in Preview, select all, copy, then paste into the info window as you normally would.
  4. Riku7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2014
    There is no cmd+A in that version of Preview, it gives the error sound. On my main computer (Yosemite) the shortcut does exist though.

    Opening the icon file in Preview anyway and just copying without select all, well, I seem to get to copy-paste it as a new icon for an app/folder/doc, but it gets pasted as a black square block, the icon being black in the areas where it should be transparent. Opened in Preview, the transparency shows up as it should be.

    The strange thing is, this black fill only happens with the .icns files whose icon in Finder only show up as the Preview app's icon; The few .icns files whose icon show up in Finder as the icon that they are, get pasted correctly with transparency.
    This is what confuses me so much; Both are .icns files, yet there's something about them that makes them different!
  5. Riku7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2014
    Addition: Here's a screenshot. Sorry the app name is cropped out but naturally, Preview was foremost yet indeed, Select All isn't available. (Exists, sorry, of course it does, my bad. But isn't available.)
    Opening the Drawer to see the nested smaller versions of the icon inside the file, they can't be copied either, and after attempting this, I can't even manage to copy-paste an incorrect icon or the blacked out transparency version. Not sure why it got worse just like that, will see if it will have resolved itself by the next boot...
    Tried CandyBar, but it also changed the icon to the Preview icon only.
    I have previous experience of CandyBar on my old iMacs which weren't PPCs so I have an idea of the software but it's my first time with the Tiger version.

    Attached Files:

  6. Dronecatcher, Feb 22, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK
    I've just tested this on my iBook running Tiger and it works for me.

    1) cmd+i and copy icon
    2) create New From Clipboard in Preview
    3) save as TIFF with Alpha
    4) drag TIFF into img2icons and save as icns file
    5) cmd+i icons file and copy icon
    6) cmd+i target and paste icon

    To work directly with icns files:

    1) open icns file in Preview
    2) save as TIFF with Alpha
    3) drag TIFF into img2icons and save as Folder icon
    4) cmd+i created file and copy icon
    5) cmd+i target and paste icon
  7. Riku7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2014
    Oh but this! This actually did the trick! So the answer to my question is that the correct icon format for Tiger would be folder. I felt discouraged by the TIFF steps because it seems like a tedious thing to do for many files so I skipped that part just to see if I could be lazy like that, and it worked. Phew! :cool:
    At first nothing seemed to happen, but then I opened CandyBar again and noticed that it had somehow 'reserved' the icon of the HD that I was trying to change. It had 'reserved' it as the Preview app icon, even though the HD in Finder was displaying its default disk icon as I had deleted the failed attempts. I had CandyBar restore all icons, and then dragged the icon file, now converted to folder instead of icns, into place. I managed to successfully alter all of the system icons and defaults, and the info window displayed by cmd+i would work for individual folders or documents if I wanted to copy-paste stuff in using the usual way. CandyBar prompts to relaunch Dock and Finder, which you do, but truly, the default icons and app icons don't take effect until you restart the computer, and then you'll have to do the usual finish by dragging every app out of the Dock, then dragging them back in from the Applications folder, where they at this stage would appear with their new icons on.

    It's a bit silly, since I've just gone through the massive procedure of converting my entire collection of very mixed format icon files to .icns because on my main computer it seemed like all of the other formats had become less compatible or obsolete over time. Now I'll have to convert some to folders anyway but it's fine, image2icons does its job on my main computer very fast and it's not like I'll have to maintain a hot library of all of the icons on the Tiger machine, I'll simply convert the odd ones every time I need something.

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6 February 17, 2017