Icon Maker Help


Making Icons
Hacking Files


This is Norm's hacking program for making icons and placing them into already completed programs. Actually, what this does is take a bitmap image created with any program (MSPaint) that has been created in 32x32 with 16 color format and convert this to a simple icon (*.ico) file. The format I use is not perfect, but its ok for "home" use.
To then place this icon iside a completed program, you "open" the *.exe file and scan for the existing icon image, then replace it with the new image. Don't worry, the original *.exe is not modified, a duplicate file is created for that purpose. And before you ask, this will not work with DBpro because DBPro uses 256 color icons and I chose not to support that at this time.


Making Icons:

For this example, I'll assume you are using MSPaint. So open paint now. Select "File - New" from the menu. Then go to "Image - Attributes" and ensure the image is 32x32, pixels, in color. Next select "File - Save" and come up with a filename. Then be sure to save in 16 color format. The default is 24 bit. The reason for saving now, before editing, is that the colors will get messed up if you create in 24bit and then save in 16 color. The selection for color format is right below the filename entry space and also whats called "Save As Type". Once the settings are done, just draw your icon in MSPaint.
There are still some things to keep in mind...
The top left color you use is assumed to be a transparent color to be used for the desktop. This color will be drawn in reverse color in file folders. By reverse, white is drawn black, yellow turns blue and so on .... But, on the desktop, this will be transperent.
Now you are ready for the easy part. Launch IconMaker. Go to "File - Open Bitmap" from the menu. Open your 16 color bitmap you created previously. It will be displayed if the format is right. Almost done. Select "File - Save Icon" from the menu. You will be prompted for the final *.ico name, thats it. Done. Your new icon is ready for use.


Hacking Programs:

OK; so you want something fancy. Maybe you should try ResourceHacker for me, My internet connection is not 100%. I only have access one day per week. I wrote this app in 2 days. So this feature is not for everyone. Be warned. Enough with the warnings. ResourceHacker is overkill for most users. If all you want is a simple icon for your *.exe then this might be better. Its very simple to use and pretty safe (the original *.exe is never modified).

First select "File - Hack EXE" from the menu. Select the *.exe file you wish to hack. The window will expand to show another image with lots of "pretty colors" and two virtical scroll bars. For the moment, lets just not look at the pretty colors. This app is designed to handle very large files... well, about 10MB (10000x10000=100MB maximum) is pretty fast. The left scrollbar is for scanning your file in small chunks at a time. Think "fine tuning" while the right scroll bar is for large adjustments. Remember the math (100000x10000)? The left scroll bar will adjust the displayed memory 0-10000 bytes either 1 byte at a time or by 500 bytes at a time. The right scroll bar shifts the scan by 10000 bytes or 20000 bytes at a time.

So, you ask, what am I supposed to do? Well, the first thing is scan to the end of the file. Thats usually where most resources are stored. You do this by first holding the mouse down, over the right virtical scroll button and moving it to the bottom. Then let go. Your file is "hopefully" not that big, and my app will adjust to the end of your file. Then adjust the left virtical scroller by 500 bytes at a time by clicking in the blank spot. Do this until you reach the end or ..... but thats later. Then click ONCE the top arrow on the right scroller. Then go back to the left scroller and continue scanning by 500 bytes at a time. Repeat this procedure until (I did not tell you earlier because this is hard) you see the program's icon displayed in the window (the one with all the pretty colors). The pretty colors are showing just random colors because my app thinks the entire program is an image.

When you see the actual icon image, you need to fine tune a bit. Use the left virtical scroller's arrows, instead of clicking on the white space (which shifts memory by 500) the arrows will shift memory by 1. Adjust until the Icon image is centered in the window. When ready, select "File - Replace Icon" from the menu. You will be asked for a new filename for the new *.exe. This is just to prevent problems with your original. My program may "become unresponsive" for a few minutes with large programs,over 10MB, just wait. What is happening is your original program is being copied (1 byte at a time) and your new icon inserted instead of the original one. Done.


My Web Site:

My website is www.archonrpg.com
The you will find links to my other games and apps and also some movies. other useful links are:

Contact Information:

I (Norman Perry) can be reached via email here
or via my website www.archonrpg.com
or in the darkbasic forums as user "waffle".