Got an image you'd like to use as a desktop icon? Seanau Icon Toolkit ($30, feature-limited demo) can take images in multiple image file formats and convert them to icon-ready images for use with many Windows apps, with numerous image manipulation functions along the way. Seanau Icon Toolkit is one of many icon editors I've reviewed, and its feature set puts it squarely in the middle of the pack. To pull ahead in this race, it needs either a pixel by pixel editor or simple paint tools--preferably both.
What Seanau Icon Toolkit can do is easily work with multiple layers and increase or decrease transparencies between those layers. You can adjust contrast and other values. And you can increase or decrease the size of the imported image or the size of the canvas. It's easy to use, but that may be due to its limited feature set and may actually be a drawback.
Unlike other icon editors, Seanau Icon Toolkit doesn't come with any pre-made icons out of the box. However, one of the menu dropdowns provides a link to several sample icons, and the dropdown item below that leads to a purchase screen for the $99 Seanau Icon Set, which contains around 4,000 icons. A demo of Seanau Icon Set is also available at PCWorld.com.
Those who really want to fine-tune their icons down to the pixel level ought to try IconCool Editor instead, and those who want a completely free alternative should try Greenfish Icon Editor Pro. Seanau Icon Toolkit doesn't rise to the top in either feature level or price compared to the competition.
Note: This is the demo version of Seanau Icon Toolkit. The file export function is invalid in this version. The full version costs $30.