General Question

queenzboulevard's avatar

Why won't my icons paste?

Asked by queenzboulevard (2549points) December 12th, 2008

When I copy and paste the new app icons I want, they won’t paste and change the icon. I have done this once before and it worked fine. The icons I have downloaded are from interfacelift. I have noticed that when I look at the info, the icons don’t have any extention (.png .ico .jpg), and Preview can’t be set as the default app to open them because the info says they’re documents.

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6 Answers

queenzboulevard's avatar

I have some new info. I can copy and paste icons from applications I already have. For example, I copied the default Safari icon and pasted it to Skitch and it worked. New icons that I download will not paste, however.

bob's avatar

You’ve probably already followed these steps, but just to make sure: select the icon, choose “get info”, click on the icon in the get info window, then copy, then select the destination app/folder/etc, choose get info, click on the icon in the get info window, then click paste.

Does that work?

queenzboulevard's avatar

Yeah I’ve been doing that, but the icon won’t paste. It has something to do with the type of file the new icons are. I pasted the default iPhoto icon to the new icon’s Info, and it worked. But when I Cmd – X to remove it, the old (new iPhoto icon) wouldn’t show up anymore; it’s gone.

queenzboulevard's avatar

More update…....any new icon that I download can be pasted to another new icon, but when I remove it, it disappears. It doesn’t even return to the original.

bob's avatar

Aha. I think this is the result of the way the Finder handles icons. Files don’t retain the old icon you’ve pasted over, so if you use Cmd-X you’ll be left with nothing. You’ll have to back up the folder icons you might want to use in the future. If you copy the new icons using Cmd-C instead of Cmd-X, you won’t lose the icons you’ve downloaded, but when you paste them you will still destroy what you’re pasting over.

benseven's avatar

What I would do:

1. Right click on the application you want to replace the icon for – click ‘show package contents’

2. Look in ‘Contents’ > ‘Resources’ – the Icon file is usually specified in here (and usually a .ICNS file)

3. Click to rename that file, First copy the existing name, don’t forget this, and rename it old_icon.png or whatever.

4. Paste your new desired icon into this folder and give it that old icon’s name you’d copied – so that it’s called what it should be to be called for that particular app.

5. Make sure you keep a backup of all the nice icon’s you’ve downloaded as chances are if you upgrade the app you’ve customised it will lose its custom icon and you’ll need to do this again – I keep a whole stash seperate from my apps.

You don’t need to do this for all apps, just the stubborn ones.

Bonus ball: Check out this bundle of apps for converting and managing icons, to make your own custom icons easily etc. Note that some of them won’t create Leopard-friendly 512×512 icons, but I find I can survive without those most of the time!

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