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Ask HN: Good web-based icon editor?
25 points by pg on June 1, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments
Can anyone recommend a web-based pixel-level image editor? There seem to be favicon editors, but they're all hard-wired to make 16x16 images. Is there anything more flexible? (If not, someone should make one.)

You may find http://aviary.com or http://www.pixlr.com/editor/ a good fit.

+1 for Pixlr. I use it quite often when I don't want to reboot or launch VirtualBox for Windows/Photoshop and only need some minor tweaks.

Neither works well. Aviary won't let you zoom in closer than pixels 4 screen pixels wide. Pixlr doesn't seem to work at all.

Actually, I take that back. Pixlr does work. This looks like the best option so far.

This appears to be limited to 16x16 images, unless you pay.

hello pg,

iconfu is my site. I work on it when I'm not busy with rainbow ...

what's your username? I'd be happy to upgrade your account for you so you can enjoy full 48x48 pixel bliss.

No kidding? Bugbear. Thanks!

done. enjoy!

Unfortunately I already made the icon I wanted, a logo for Arc: http://ycombinator.com/arc/arclogo.html

give 'em money and you get up to 48x48

When I tried to pay, it gave me a Paypal page in French.

It got back to english once I logged in.

-Not an answer-

Why do you want it to be web-based? Any particular reason? I think there are certain things for which a browser is not a good application hosting platform. As an experienced web developer, I can imagine the amount of pain it will take to create a pixel based image editor.

Additionally, there are TONS of image editors available (free, commercial) for Win, Mac, Linux. I am sure you can find a program which you like.

Agreed, a web based one makes very little sense.

For a desktop solution, I'd recommend Pixen. http://opensword.org/Pixen/

Why use software that requires installation if there's software that doesn't?

Amount of time required to install an icon editor program < Finding a web based icon editor application*

[Ignoring the actual time needed to use the application and create the icon. I can guess that a native application will further reduce this time.]

* As I wrote earlier, because of browser limitations, there are very few web applications geared towards icon editing/image editing.

Off the top of my head:

- You generally own the license to the installed software in perpetuity. Your application source art will always be readable.

- It will integrate better with your desktop user experience. Printing, drag-and-drop, copy/paste of complex data, input devices (wacom tablets), etc.

I subscribed to iconfu.com the minute I saw it because not only it allowed me to edit the icons but it also laid tons of predesigned icon sets right in front of me (be it OS or Creative Commons licensed).

Digging for all those icon sets alone would take a considerable amount of my time. And community seems to be tagging all those icons so it's very easy to search. I'm not aware of any desktop app providing the help of community like this.

Thanks to noodle for the heads up and kudos to the iconfu team.

icons are really simple. for most people, making an icon will take less time than the download & installation of any software available.

Really? What kind of icons are you talking about?

From the article ( http://simplebits.com/notebook/2004/08/23/anatomy.html ) written by a professional, I understood that creating an icon is a difficult process and you need a specialized tool. [e.g. You need to have two views - Zoomed in, Zoomed out]

And I doubt you can create an icon in less than 30 seconds. [Total time taken to download Paint.NET from http://www.dotpdn.com/files/Paint.NET.3.36.zip and install.]

seriously? i was at least being a little tongue-in-cheek. very reminiscent of the recent "text editor vs IDE" thread.

most people don't need a fully featured editor to create a favicon or something similar and will only spend a few minutes on it, tops. for professionals who are getting paid to produce high quality work, of course they would use a higher quality product.

Actually, 'most people' don't create their own icons. I have been in software industry for 10 years and I have yet to have a need to create an icon.

If you don't have .NET, then try this: http://icofx.ro/files/icofxsetup.exe

i make a handful of favicons a year for sites and apps. most of the available software options are either clunky or too much for a small job. i know i'm not alone, as i've talked to others about this -- i would use an online editor and maybe pay a few bucks for it.

i think its interesting that you admit to having not made an icon ever, but you're trying to convince me that i'm wrong about my (admitted limited and not professional-grade, but valid nonetheless) experiences based on a blog post you read.


I do a lot of image editing and I am proficient with Photoshop. Based on my image editing experience, I can imagine how difficult icon editing can be.

And a buck or two for a web-based icon editing app? Are you willing to pay buck or two per use OR for perpetual use?

a reasonable, usable favicon is a lot easier than i think you think it is. i don't think that pg poured hours into this: http://ycombinator.com/favicon.ico

buck or two for some sort of perpetual usage.

If you want something simple and usable, you can use those Favicon creator websites.

Here's the Hacker News Logo [http://imgur.com/1NTcL.png] which I quickly created in Paint.NET

This site, http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/, will convert it into favicon. You can also get an animated version without any additional effort.


If not, someone should make one

Why? Would you pay for it?

That's hardly the only reason to make things.

Though in fact I would, if it was cheap and (more importantly) easy enough.

Splashup lists "Pixel-level control" as a feature on the front page.

This looks the most promising so far. I can at least zoom in sufficiently. But there doesn't seem to be a way to set individual pixels.

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