Panels are small windows that help you with drawing, editing and monitoring your work. You can right click a panel to bring up a popup menu with extra options.
IcoFX has 13 panels:
- Preview Panel
- Info Panel
- Histogram Panel
- Colors Panel
- Swatches Panel
- Palette Panel
- Tools Panel
- Brushes Panel
- Gradients Panel
- Text Styles Panel
- History Panel
- Layers Panel
- Actions Panel
- Explorer Panel
On the preview panel you can preview the images you are working on. The "Preview" panel can be resized to any size. If the image shown is bigger than the panel it will be resized to fit the panel.
The Preview Panel
If you are working with animated cursors then you can also see a preview of the animation, just move the mouse over the Preview panel. The preview will be animated until the mouse is over the Preview panel.
The panel is divided in two areas: the preview area and the quick colors. The preview area shows the image you are working on. A rectangle shows the visible area or the image. You can drag this area to pan the image. Using the mouse scroll bar you can zoom in and out the image. To disable the rectangle right click the panel and deselect the "Show View Box" menu item.
The quick colors are located on the right side of the window. Here are some predefined background colors for easy background color changing. Clicking on a color will change the background color of the preview. If you right click on the quick colors you can change the predefined color. The new colors will be stored and will be available for future use. If you right click on the preview area and select the "Change Background Color" menu item then a color dialog will pop up where you can change the background color of the preview window.↑ Top of PageContent
The Info panel shows information about the image.
The Info Panel
When you move the mouse over the image it shows the color of the pixel under the mouse in RGB and HSB mode. It also shows the mouse coordinate. If you drag a tool it can show the current cursor position, the anchor point, the size of the dragged rectangle, angle and length information.↑ Top of PageContent
A histogram illustrates how pixels in an image are distributed by graphing the number of pixels at each color intensity level.
The Histogram Panel
The histogram shows detail in the shadows (shown in the left part of the histogram), midtones (shown in the middle), and highlights (shown in the right part) A histogram can help you to make a good correction. The histogram also gives a quick picture of the tonal range of the image. An image with full tonal range has some pixels in all areas.
You can view the histogram of different channels. You can choose the desired channel from the histogram panel menu.
- RGB displays a histogram representing the composite channel.
- Red displays a histogram representing the red channel.
- Green displays a histogram representing the green channel.
- Blue displays a histogram representing the blue channel.
- Luminosity displays a histogram representing the luminance or intensity values of the composite channel.
To view statistics about the histogram check "Statistics" in the histogram panel menu. The panel displays the following statistical information below the histogram:
- Mean Represents the average intensity value.
- Std. Dev. (Standard deviation) Represents how widely intensity values vary.
- Median Shows the middle value in the range of intensity values.
- Pixels Represents the total number of pixels used to calculate the histogram.
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In the Colors panel you can select the foreground and background colors. These colors will be used when you draw wit the tools. It contain two parts: The color preview and the color mixer.
The Color panel with different color modes: HSB, RGB and Grayscale
In the color preview area we can se a preview of the foreground and background colors. Clicking on one color it becomes selected and the color mixer will change the value of the selected color. Double clicking on one of the colors brings up a color selection dialog.
The color preview area contains three buttons:
- Default Foreground and Background Colors - Resets the foreground color to black and the background color to transparent
- Switch Foreground and Background Colors - exchanges the foreground and background colors
- Make Selected Color Transparent - Makes the selected color transparent
Using the color mixer we can select our color with precision and we can set the opacity level. It offers three color modes: RGB (red, green, blue) and HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) and Grayscale. We can change between these modes in the popup menu of the panel.
RGB Mode: We can mix the foreground color using three bars. With the help of these bars we can specify the amount of red, green, blue in the color color. After the bars there is an edit box. Here the amount of color is displayed. If we want more precision we can edit this value manually by entering a value between 0 and 255. With the lower bar we can set the opacity of the color.
HSB Mode: This is a more intuitive method than the RGB. We can mix the color using three bars. With the hue bar we can select the color, with the saturation bar we can set the color saturation, and with the brightness bar we can select the color's brightness. After the bars there is an edit box. Here we can see the value selected with the help of the bars. This value can be edited. With the lower bar we can set the opacity of the color.
Grayscale Mode: Using the grayscale mode we can select different shades of gray. With the lower bar we can set the opacity of the color.
Using the popup menu of the panel you can copy the selected color to the clipboard as HTML color.
If you right click on the foreground or background color box a quick color selection popup window will appear allowing you to select quick/recent colors or pick a custom color. This popup window is available at right click for every color box througout IcoFX. It provides a global color picker that allows you to select a color from any pixel of your desktop.
The quick color selection popup window
The Swatches panel is used for storing often-used colors. You can add or delete colors from the panel.
The Swatches Panel
Clicking on a swatch will change the selected color (foreground or background color). Clicking with the middle mouse button will always change the background color.
To add the current foreground color to the swatch list press the "New Swatch" tool bar button. Pressing the "Edit Swatch" button you can edit the currently selected swatch. You can change the name and color of the swatch. Using the "Delete Swatch" button you can delete the selected swatch.
Using the "Save Swatches" tool bar button you can save the current list of swatches. Using the "Load Swatches" button you can load the saved swatches. IcoFX comes with many predefined swatches.
Using the popup menu of the panel you can copy the selected color to the clipboard as HTML color.
Note: "IcoFX supports Photoshop color tables (*.act) and swatches files (*.aco)↑ Top of PageContent
In the Palette panel you can select the foreground and background colors. This window displays the palette of the image.
The Palette Panel
Left clicking on a color will change the selected color (foreground or background color). Clicking with the middle mouse button will always change the background color. On the left side of the panel there is an area reserved for the transparent color. Clicking on this area will select the transparent color.
In the case of 32 and 24 bit images it displays a palette where you can select the desired foreground and background color. Using the popup menu of the panel you can select between three palettes: normal, pale and gray palette.
In the case of palette base images (1, 4, 8 bit images) this panel will show the palette of the image. Changing the foreground or background color will change also the palette. You can also save and load the palette.
Using the popup menu of the panel you can copy the selected color to the clipboard as HTML color.↑ Top of PageContent
This is where you choose tools that let you select, paint, move, edit, type, and view images. The Tools palette also allows you to switch to Quick Mask mode. The Tools panel is described in more detail in the Tools chapter
The Tools Panel
The Brushes panel contains the brushes that you can use to draw your images. It displays a preview of the brush, and the default size of the brush.
The Brushes Panel
To select a brush click on it and the tool will use the selected brush.
Using the toolbar buttons you can create new brushes, duplicate, edit or delete the selected brush.
You can save and load brush collections using the Save and Load toolbar buttons. IcoFX comes with many predefined brushes. You can always create your own brush. IcoFX supports also dynamic brushes. For more information on creating custom brushes see the Brushes chapter.
Using the popup menu of the panel you can customize how the brushes will be displayed on the panel.↑ Top of PageContent
The Gradients panel contains the gradients that you can use to fill the forms. It displays a preview of the gradients.
The Gradients Panel
To select a gradient click on it and the tool will use the selected gradient.
Using the toolbar buttons you can create new gradient, duplicate, edit or delete the selected gradient.
You can save and load gradient collections using the Save and Load toolbar buttons. IcoFX comes with many predefined gradients. For more information on creating custom gradients see the Gradients chapter.
Using the popup menu of the panel you can customize how the gradients will be displayed on the panel.↑ Top of PageContent
The Text Styles panel contains the styles that you can apply using the text tool. It displays a preview of the styles.
The Text Styles Panel
To select a style click on it while the text tool is selected and the text will be drawn with the selected style.
Using the toolbar buttons you can create new styles, duplicate, edit or delete the selected style.
You can save and load style collections using the Save and Load toolbar buttons. IcoFX comes with many predefined styles. For more information on creating custom styles see the Styles chapter.
Using the popup menu of the panel you can customize how the styles will be displayed on the panel.↑ Top of PageContent
Using the History panel you can undo and redo your work.
The History Panel
It displays the steps that you performed during the image editing. Clicking on a step will revert back to the given state of the image.
Using the toolbar you can undo or redo a single step or all steps. Using the Preferences menu point of the history panel popup menu you can change the preferences of the history panel. You can change the number of steps that are recorded and you can also specify the folder where the history data will be temporally stored.
There is a special hidden undo/redo option that allows you to apply the undo or redo to all the images inside an icon. This is useful when using together with the "Apply Adjustments to All Layers/Images" option. You can undo the modification on all the icon images using a single command. You can access these commands only by shortcuts: Shift+Ctrl+Z for "Undo On All Layers/Images" and Shift+Ctrl+Y for "Redo On All Layers/Images". You can change these shortcuts using the "Keyboard Shortcuts" dialog.↑ Top of PageContent
Using the Layers panel you can manage the layers of an image. It displays the preview and name of the layers.
The Layers Panel
You can change the visibility, blend mode and opacity of each layer. You can reorder the layers using drag and drop or using the "Move Layer Down" and "Move Layer Up" tool bar buttons.
Using the tool bar buttons you can create new layers, delete and duplicate layers. Using the "Import From File" button you can import an image as a layer. You can also open the Layer Properties window where you can set the name, visibility, blend mode and opacity of the selected layer. Using the "Merge Down" tool bar button you can merge two layers into one. The "Flatten image" button will merge all layers into one layer.
For more information about working with layers see the Layers chapter.↑ Top of PageContent
Using the Actions panel you can record and playback adjustment and effects. It displays a list of recorded actions.
The Actions Panel
Each action contains a list of effects and/or image adjustments. Actions can be executed. Effects or adjustments of an action can be executed separately. Using the toolbar buttons you can create new actions, duplicate, edit or delete actions or effects/adjustments. You can also save or load actions. Using the play or record button you can execute or record actions. If you select an existing action and press the record button the existing action will be extended with new effects/adjustments.
Using the "Tools/Batch Process..." menu item you can execute actions on many image files.↑ Top of PageContent
Using the integrated "File Explorer" you can view the graphical files supported by IcoFX (ico, bmp, jpg, gif, tif, cur, png, icns, jp2, svg). The "File Explorer" offers thumbnails of images, so you can easily find a given image.
The Explorer Panel
The File Explorer Window is divided in three major areas: the toolbar, the tree view and the thumbnail view.
On the top of the dialog there is a toolbar. The first button is the Up button. You can navigate with it to the parent folder of the current folder. The second button is a refresh button. You can refresh the content of the dialog with it. The third button is the "File Name" button. You can show / hide the file names using this button. The home button will take you to the folder that contains the image objects that come bundled with IcoFX. With the Favorite folders button you can save shortcuts to folders.
On the tree view you can select a folder and on the thumbnail view the content of this folder will be displayed. You can select multiple images in the "File Explorer", then right click and you can add them automatically to the Batch Process dialog or you can create an icon library using the Resource Editor dialog.
You can drop images from the "File Explorer" to the IcoFX workspace and they will be automatically converted to images. You can select multiple images also. In this case they will be all converted to images.
If you drop an image on a window it will be imported as a selection in the given window. If more than one file is selected then only the first file will be dropped as a selection. You can use this technique to create icon from more composite images. Using the "Edit / Bring to Front" and "Edit / Send to Back" menu options this is a powerful technique.
You can drag images also on the side bar of a window. In this case a new image will be added to the icon. If you drag it to the sidebar of an image it will be added as a new layer. Using this method you can easily create icons from the premade image object that come bundled with IcoFX. If you drag an image while holding the Ctrl key then the image will be opened as a selection allowing you to fill it with the desired color/gradient. For more information on how to use image objects see this tutorial.↑ Top of PageContent