View Application Icons Close-Up – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 202View Application Icons Close-Up

This isn’t the most useful tip in the world, but it’s worth a try if you’re a fan of your Mac’s look and feel and want to explore more. Here are a variety of ways to view most Mac application icons, which are often high-quality works of art.


Figure 36. Viewing OS X icons at full resolution

Using Preview

Go to the Applications folder within Finder, click the application whose icon you’d like to examine, and hit Command+C to copy it to the clipboard. Start Preview (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then double-click Preview) and hit Command+N to create a new file based on the clipboard contents. Hey, presto! You should now be able to view (and even save) the application icon in glorious high resolution. Several different sizes will be available, shown in the drawer at the side.

Looking Inside Packages

You can also look inside individual app packages to find the icon, along with any other icons the app uses. To do this, just find the app in the list within Finder, and then drag and drop it on top of the Preview icon on the Dock.

All the icons and images contained within the application will appear in the drawer to the left. If you want to export one of the images or icons, just select it in the drawer; then hold down Option before clicking the File menu, and select the Save As option. Then type a filename and choose a location in the Save dialog box that appears.

Viewing the Core Set of Icons

If you’d like to take a look at the basic set of OS X icons, open a Finder window, hit Shift+Command+G, and type /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources. Then double-click any icns file to view (for an example, see Figure 36, Viewing OS X icons at full resolution). To save any of the icons, hold down Option before clicking the File menu, and select the Save As option. Then type a filename and choose a location in the Save dialog box that appears.

However, be careful not to alter anything within the folder! Doing so could damage your system.