Converting Mac OS X Icon Files to PNG

Posted on in Graphics Design

Mac OS X Help Viewer Icon Important commands: sips

A few folks have asked me where I got the nice looking Software Update icon for my post regarding Apple's Security Update 2007-004. First, let me say, "Thanks for noticing!" Second, let me point out that Steve Jobs will probably be knocking on the door of the SlaptiShack wanting some sort of money. Let's hope he takes SlaptiBucks.

Finding the icon file was the most difficult part of the task. As you know, Mac OS X applications are actually directories. Inside the .app directory, you'll find a Contents/Resources directory. In that directory, should be an image file with a .icns extension. This is the icon file. In Terminal, copy that file to somewhere useful (~/Desktop comes to mind).

Here's the command line I ran to convert the Help Viewer icon to PNG for this article.

sips -s format png HelpViewer.icns --out help_viewer.png

I haven't seen many posts with positive comments regarding sips as an image manipulation program. But, as far as I can tell, it's the only thing that will accept an ICNS file and dump out PNG. I think the quality speaks for itself.

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