Every day, we see on our Windows 10 desktop some small images that represent some of the computer programs that we have installed on the computer. Those little images are what we know as icons. Today we bring you an advanced icon editor so you can create your own images. Let’s talk about Pixelformer .
Pixelformer is a bitmap editor that is optimized to create medium and small images such as icons, buttons or web graphics. Being dedicated to this type of images, you will be able to work faster, easier and more efficiently than with other much more advanced image editing tools, such as Photoshop or GIMP .
What makes Pixelformer good?
Faced with the restrictions of other programs, Pixelformer will not force you to use specific sizes to create your icons. This means that you can create images with great freedom and with the certainty that they will later be exported as icons and with the correct size.
Nor will you have limitations when working with different color depths. By default Pixelformer works with the 32-bit RGBA color space but can generate new monochrome bitmaps from 1bpp up to 32bpp polychromes. It also works with formats such as 16-bit BMP, 24-bit PNG with transparency or grayscale with additional alpha channel.
Pixelformer allows you to work with a higher resolution than necessary to export your work. This is what is called “supersampled”. Thus, you can edit your images in detail with the assurance that the image will be exported resized and will keep all the changes made.
When importing material, Pixelformer accepts BMP, PNG, JPEG / JPG files as well as PSD, EXE, DLL files or image libraries saved with the ICL extension. Once your project is finished, you can export it in BMP, PNG, ICO or TGA format.
Other notable features of Pixelformer is that it allows working with translucent colors, creating masks in specific areas of the image and using an unlimited number of layers.
Starting your project with Pixelformer
Once the installation file has been downloaded and Pixelformer integrated into your computer, you only have to select “File” in the initial interface and choose between “new”, if you want to start a project from the beginning, or “import”, in the case of that you want to take a previous image as a starting point.
If you want to start with a new project, you have to configure three variables. The first, the size of the image. You can choose from one of its eight default dimensions or create your own. Note that the program gives the option to paste from the clipboard. The second, the color format. You have five options from monochrome (1bpp) to RGB with alpha channel (32bpp). And finally, from deciding if you are going to use the “supersampled” option and if you are going to want to export the final image.
The main Pixelformer tools
Pixelformer’s interface is very similar to that of other image editors. On the left side you will find classic tools such as selection, move, color picker, pencil, brush, fill, gradient. On the right side of the screen you will see information regarding your project, the layers and tools used as well as a preview of your work.
Above, and through the icons , in addition to opening and saving the project, you will control the zoom and how to see your image, being able to select to see only the color layers, only the alpha channel or both at the same time.
Finally, in the menu bar, if you select “Image”, you can rotate or flip the image as well as import or export new ones. In the “Layer” menu you can create or delete layers as well as obtain information about them. Finally, if you want to adjust the program settings to your liking, you have the possibility to do so in the “Tools” menu.
Exporting your project from Pixelformer
When you have finished your project, you will have to export it to be able to use your icon in different situations. The export option is inside the “File” menu that you will find in the initial interface. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + S
Pixelformer allows export in four PNG, TGA, BMP and ICO formats. In each of them you can adjust different variables, typical of each type of file.
How to download Pixelformer
You can find this advanced bitmap editor on its website and the installation is done through a wizard so it is not difficult.
The system requirements are not very demanding. You will need any Windows operating system from the XP version – the 32-bit and 64-bit versions are equally valid. The basic requirements are 500MHz of CPU processing speed, 256MB of RAM and a 1024×768 monitor with a depth of 15bpp. However, Pixelformer programmers recommend 1GHz, 512MB, and 1024x768x32bpp respectively.
Although the program has not been updated since 2009, the available version is fully functional in Windows 10 so you will have no problem taking advantage of all its advantages.
Other alternatives to Pixelformer
If you want to delve into the field of bitmap editors, we offer Pixelfomer three options.
This paid software offers licensing options from $ 29.99 to 499.99 and, compared to Pixelformer, it has a more modern and pleasant interface. The basic option or “Home” offers the Pixelformer options but includes improved image editing resources. The second option, “Business” allows to automate processes or create specific projects for iPhone and Android. Finally, the “Site” version allows the program to be used by an unlimited number of users.
You can get the trial version of its Home version on its website .
Free and open source, GrafX2 is a 256-color bitmap editor recommended for novices for its simplicity. It includes various tools and effects that make it suitable for editing icons and working on pixel art . It is cross-platform so you can use it on Linux, MacOS and Windows and it also has portable or installable editions, depending on what you prefer.
Get started in the world of bitmap editing by clicking on the link .
RealWorld Icon Editor
The peculiarity of this software is that it focuses on creating 3D icons and has a large icon library created by its users. Thanks to it, you won’t have to start from scratch. In addition, it has several video tutorials that will help you progress quickly.
Choose another way to work the icons by clicking here .