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I can't seem to find Icon Composer on the Xcode versions at run on Mountain Lion.

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Where is it? Has it been taken out? How to get it back?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 28 down vote accepted

It's been moved into one of the add-on packages for Xcode, and is now part of the Graphics Tools for Xcode package.

Apparently this is (at least partly?) because this is no longer the 'officially recommended' way to generate (high resolution) icons. See the OS X Human Interface Guidelines and the High Resolution Guidelines for more info.

I believe Icon Composer doesn't support the highest resolution icons required these days (1024x1024), and you're encouraged to use iconutil instead, which does, and allows you to convert between ICNS and "iconsets" (effectively just a folder containing a collection of PNG files of different resolutions).

If you still want it, you can get it as follows:

In Xcode, go to the Xcode menu, then Open Developer Tool and select More Developer tools....

You'll need to log in (or register) with your (free) Apple Developer account, and then you'll be shown a list of available packages for Xcode, including the Graphics Tools for Xcode. Grab the latest one and install.

This DMG of Graphics Tools contains:

  • CI Filter Browser
  • Icon Composer
  • OpenGL Driver Monitor
  • OpenGL Profiler
  • OpenGL Shader Builder
  • Pixie
  • Quartz Composer
  • Quartz Composer Visualizer
  • Quartz Debug
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Actually you are mistaken. Icon Composer in its latest version does support the 1024x1024 size. Just go to the menubar and go to view > Show 1024x1024 or click the 1024x1024 button at the bottom of the window. I have made icons with that size before. –  smoke.tetsu Aug 19 '12 at 3:14
I found the answers above useful, especially from drfrogsplat. In addition to using Icon Composer, I find that I prefer a utility from iDeveloper - "Icon Generator" to quickly make icons in every required size. It's in the Mac AppStore. –  David DelMonte Aug 19 '12 at 3:41
Apple sez, "There is no longer a 1024x1024 size. That’s replaced by 512x512@2x," and "Don’t use Icon Composer—it can’t create high-resolution icns files." ...and lastly, "Use iconutil to Create an icns File Manually The iconutil command-line tool converts iconset folders to deployment-ready, high-resolution icns files. (You can find complete documentation for this tool by entering man iconutil in Terminal.)" –  iynque Jan 11 '13 at 21:41
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What I found easier than downloading, installing, and finding Icon Composer was using the command-line tool iconutil.

  1. Put your png files of each size into a folder. The folder must have the extension .iconset
  2. Enter this command into the Terminal window:

    iconutil -c icns <iconset filename>

    where <iconset filename> is the path to the folder containing the set of pngs.

  3. The output .icns file is written to the same location as the folder.

You must have the following set of pngs:

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Check out Icon Composer 2x. It's a replacement for Apple's Icon Composer that supports Retina Resolution Icons.

You can get it here: http://www.lemonmojo.com/work#IconComposer2x

I wrote the app, it's free and source code is available on Github if you're interested.

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thanks, that looks useful! I'll test it when I need it again. –  houbysoft Jun 19 '13 at 17:32
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