GConvert Lets You Customize Your Icons

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GConvert ($25; 15-day free trial) is another entry in the crowded field of icon software, for those users who want to extract icons from their favorite programs, replace those icons, and personalize the ones built into Windows. It worked just fine with my Vista icons; GConvert claims full compatibility with Windows 7 as well.

GConvert screenshot
With GConvert, you can scan your hard drive for images and select some to use as desktop icons.

This utility can scan your computer for icons--a feature not offered by all such programs--but GConvert works on only one folder at a time. Curiously, it ignores subfolders, requiring you to tediously click on folder after folder to find the icons you're looking for. A global scan would be nice, but a scan of an entire folder tree would have also been acceptable.

GConvert also includes what it calls an icon editor, but this is a misnomer, as the editor does not have the usual paint features. Instead, you can replace the image with another one or mess with its transparency layer. If you click "Open Image in Editor," it opens your default external image editor, such as Photoshop, if you have one installed. Other icon editors, such as Sib Icon Editor or Greenfish Icon Editor Pro, include full-featured paint tools, rendering an external program unnecessary.

Another interesting feature that GConvert has is the ability to modify an executable and replace the built-in icons with ones of your own. GConvert automatically backs up any executable it modifies in this way, because changing the icon may render certain apps nonfunctional.

One of GConvert's competitors, Greenfish Icon Editor Pro, does everything that GConvert does, plus it offers a built-in advanced image editor, and has the extra added advantage of being free. If GConvert had a good image editor built in, it might be worth the $25, but there are better alternatives out there.

Note: GConvert has a 15-day trial period. After the trial, GConvert is still operable, but you lose the ability to export icons, there's a limit of 40 icons in icon libraries, and there's a nag screen on startup. The full version costs $25.

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