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Standard Telephone Icons
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 Standard Telephone Icons

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Icon sizes: 256x256, 48x48, 32x32, 24x24, 20x20, 16x16
File formats: ICO, GIF, PNG, BMP

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What Are PNG Icons?

Many independent vendors are providing custom icons in sizes and resolutions common to certain computer platforms. The article explains what icons are, how they are designed and implemented in various systems, and what standards exist for Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons.

Computer icons are an integral part of any modern GUI. Icons are small pictures of standardized sizes that depict objects, actions, and other concepts. In graphical user interfaces, icons are used as a quicker, more intuitive way to communicate with the user. Icons depicting standard elements of a user interface are better visible than text, can be recognized faster, and are easier for new computer users.

Originally developed in 1970 by the Xerox Research Center and widely popularized by the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows systems, icons make computer novices feel more comfortable with operating systems, learn faster and interact more efficiently. Icons can be employed to replace or supplement text messages. Widely used in menus, toolbars, on buttons and in new ribbon-type user interfaces, icons have come a long way from the original concept.

There are multiple file formats for storing icons. The Windows systems store Windows icons in the platform-specific ICO format. Apple Macintosh computers store Mac icons in their specific formats, while Unix-based systems use PNG icons for most applications. As such, icon editing software is generally available for the Windows and Apple systems, while Unix users can design PNG icons with any image editor.

Generally speaking, icons are square pictures that come in a variety of standard sizes and color resolutions. Most platforms support icon sizes of 16x16 to 128x128 pixels, while some systems readily accept icons as large as 512x512 pixels. The ultra-high definition 512x512 pixel icons were first used in Mac OS Leopard.

Pixel dimensions of all icons are platform dependent. For example, Windows icons are specified as images in 16 and 256-color gammas as well as True Color pictures with alpha channel. Windows icons are supplied in standard sizes of 16x16, 32x32, and 48x48 pixels. Windows Vista defines new standards for Windows icons, including icons in resolutions of up to 256x256 pixels in True Color only. Optionally, images of 128x128 and 512x512 pixels are supported. Interestingly, the higher resolution versions of Windows Vista icons are stored in compressed PNG format instead of Windows ICO used in older versions of Windows and for lower resolution icons. Other platforms such as Windows Mobile can use standard icons of other sizes, e.g. 24x24 pixels.

Numerous independent vendors are offering custom icons. Aha-Soft offers a wide selection of Windows icons, Mac icons, and PNG icons in all sizes and resolutions standard to those platforms. The company provides royalty-free icons individually and in matching sets incorporating icons drawn a common style or theme.

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You can buy individual icons to suit your needs. Each icon is $1 when purchased individually.

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Business Icon Set Business Icon Set is a collection of top- quality ready-made icons for use in programs and on websites. They are delivered in a variety of formats, sizes and color schemes.

16x16 Pixel Toolbar Icons 16 x 16 Pixel Toolbar Icons collection has everything that are required for your web site or software toolbar.

24x24 Free Application Icons 24x24 Free Application Icons collection has everything that are necessery for your web project or software toolbar.

32x32 Free Design Icons 32x32 Free Design Icons pack contains everything that are necessery for your web page or software toolbar.

Music Icon Library Music Icon Library will help you illustrate all the musical instruments and actions. Provided sizes are 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48, the file formats are GIF, BMP, PNG and ICO.