iaian7 » code » dashboard   John Einselen, 12.01.11 (updated 12.03.12)    

Iconifer is a helpful OSX Dashboard widget for dealing with the various image sizes required for icons, be they destined for iOS (iTunes store, iPhone 4, iPad, iPhone), Mac OSX (512×512 ICNS), or Windows (256×256 ICO).

The latest version includes support for the new iPad Retina display!

You can drop any number of images (512×512 pixels, preferably larger) onto the widget to have them automatically converted into the desired formats and sizes. The iOS setting will create images for the iTunes store, the iPhone 4 (and other retina displays such as the newer iPod Touch), iPad, and iPhone (along with older touch screens such as the first few iPod Touch models), saving out the files with suffixes indicating their purpose (iTunes = 512px, iPad = 72px, iPad@2x = 144px, iPhone = 57px, iPhone@2x = 114px, and many more). The Mac setting generates a full ICNS file containing all necessary sizes (512×512, 256×256, 128×128, 32×32, and 16×16), similar to the Windows setting, which creates an ICO containing the standard sizes for Windows Vista and Windows 7 (256×256, 48×48, 32×32, 24×24, 16×16). You can also automatically generate all of the above in one simple action!

When creating icons, the original image is sharpened before scaling to increase apparent crispness (especially for 512×512 and 256×256 sized icons), but this can easily be turned off by entering a value of 0 in the amount setting (found in the widget preferences). Sharpening is only applied before 512×512 and 256×256 scaling, to prevent aliasing of details at smaller sizes. Further tuning of the apparent crispness can be handled using specific scaling algorithms, which are also customised on the preferences side of the widget. For more information on the available interpolation filters (though not all of them have been included in this widget, for brevity’s sake!), there are some great articles posted by Bart van der Wolf and on imagemagick.org. For iOS icons, the Catrom method is suggested as a good balance between image accuracy, detail sharpness, and edge smoothness.

To generate ICNS and ICO files, Iconifer first creates scaled PNG files, builds the icons, then removes the temporary PNG files. To prevent accidental data loss in the unforeseen event of mass file removal (shouldn’t ever happen, but hey, weird things do occur sometimes), these temporary files are not actually deleted, but simply moved to the trash.

While Iconifer always supports images with transparency, when creating icons for the iOS platform no transparency or alpha should be included in the original files, otherwise visual errors will occur when submitting to the app store. Apple’s rounded corners are added automatically, so no transparency or alpha is needed, and will actually cause black and white boxes to appear in some cases.


1iconifer.zip version 2.1

By clicking the download link, you signify your acceptance of the following agreement. This application is freeware, to be used and abused however you like. However, the author(s) assume absolutely no liability, and the software is offered with no warranty or quality assurance. And God forbid you use it in the operation of nuclear facilities (a warning I see in the EULA of so many applications, I really do wonder how exactly someone could use a graphics utility in the operation of a power plant). In short, use at your own risk.


This widget requires ImageMagick to run, please see imagemagick.org for details. You can download the installer directly, or download and install via MacPorts. The install location (needed for Sheets to access the commands) is typically /opt/local/bin/.

Working with ICNS files (Mac OSX icons) also requires the installation of libicns, available via MacPorts.

Double check the installations by typing in a sample command, and confirm the install location by typing in which convert and which png2icns (the locations should be the same). Once verified, update the widget information with the correct command location and click “done” to save the preferences.

Version History

2.1 — adds iPad Retina and other iOS icon sizes
2.0.6 — fixed preference saving on hide
2.0.5 — user interface improvements
2.0 — user interface overhaul
1.3 — removed extraneous format preference
1.2 — fixed exponential end sequence error
1.1 — added “all” option
1.0 — initial release


Support is not technically available, but you can still send suggestions and questions via the contact form  (if you don’t mind my slow-or-never responses).