How to Create a PNG Icon

By Editorial Team

Updated April 02, 2020

Closeup of woman's hands using computer mouse and keyboard.
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Icons are popular on the Internet where many people use them in signatures in chat rooms, message boards, forums and even as decorations on the personal profiles and websites. You can download icons for free online at many websites, but you might want to create your own. The icon file format isn’t supported by all image-editing programs like the ones that came pre-installed on your computer. No need to worry if you don’t have a program that supports the .ico extension because you can simply create an icon and save it in the PNG format.

Launch your image-editing program. The one that came pre-installed on your computer like Microsoft Paint (for Windows) or Image Editor (for Mac) works fine.

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Size your icon to 36 pixels by 36 pixels, which is the standard icon size. You can make yours slightly larger or smaller if you wish, but keep the length and width equivalent so that you icon remains a perfect square.

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Create your icon by using the tools provided within your program. Use the “Fill” tool to fill the background of your icon with a color. Use the “Airbrush” tool to create a spray effect. Use the “Draw” tool to manually draw an image. Copy and paste clip art onto your icon and whatever you want to do to create your icon.

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Click “File” and then “Save As.” Give your icon a file name and next to “Save as type” select “PNG” from the file type drop-down menu. Your icon is saved in the PNG format.

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Open an image from your computer inside your image editing program and resize it to an icon size to create a PNG icon from it.


Beware of copyright infringement when creating icons from pre-existing images. You should not reduplicate or alter images from other authors without the author’s permission.