The stock icons that come with many programs, file types and shortcuts are often pretty enough to make you want to use them elsewhere. Before you use them, though, you need to learn how to extract them and save them. Then, you’ll be able to assign them to represent a file or folder or use them anywhere else. Here’s how you grab, save and reuse icons that you like.
You need a special utility
A quick search on the Internet easily brings up a number of icon grabbing tools. With most easily available tools, though, you are limited to small icons under 48×48 pixels. If you’re interested in large, 256×256-pixel icons of the kind that you see in Windows 7 and Windows 8, you’ll need a special tool that’s designed for the job. BeCyIconGrabber is one of the most popular ones.
Not only does BeCyIconGrabber allow you to capture large, high-quality icons from a wide range of file formats (among others, you have access to .ico, .src, .cur, .cpl, .icl, .ocx and .exe), you even have access to cursor shapes. Whatever you extract, BeCyIconGrabber allows you to save it in a variety of popular icon formats – .ico, .bmp and so on.
Using the utility
BeCyIconGrabber is a portable utility — you don’t need to install it on a computer to use it. Rather, you download it from becyhome.de , double-click on the portable executable file to launch it, and get to work.
The program interface is simple enough. To begin, you use the Directory function to navigate your way to the file whose icon you need, or use the Search function to look for them. Whatever files you select, BeCyIconGrabber automatically extracts its icon and categorizes it under a tab that mentions its resolution. Once you have a collection of icons that you like, you can use the Save dialog to save your newly extracted icons in a format of your choice. Along the way, you also get to specify the color bit depth to use — anything from 1-bit monochrome to full, 24-bit color.
If you’d like to go for cursors rather than icons, merely directing the utility to the Program files folder in the C dive should get the job done. The tool should navigate its way to the Windows folder that contains all the cursors that your computer uses and extract them.
Using your newly extracted icons
Once you have your icons, you need to find a use for them. While many use the icons that they extract in their PowerPoint presentations, their primary use is in sprucing up files, folders and shortcuts all over your computer. To apply your icons, you simply need to right-click on the destination file or folder, select Properties , navigate to the Customize tab or Shortcut tab and click on the Change icon button.