Greenfish Icon Editor Pro

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Greenfish Icon Editor Pro

Published by on November 12th 2007.

Free icon editors have been growing like fruits on the trees this year. Greenfish Icon Editor Pro is the second free icon editor released (the first being IcoFX). And both of them are quite good…

This blog is focused on development of our own graphics software, but starting today some space will be given to notable 3rd party software as well. After all, learning more about the real world is beneficial for both users and developers of graphics apps. Today, I have downloaded and tested the Greenfish Icon Editor and was positively surprised.

Basic features

Using hue shift filter in Greenfish Icon Editor Pro

  • Opening and saving in ICO, CUR, PNG, XPM, BMP and JPEG formats.
  • Creating icons up to 256×256 @ 32-bit including Vista(tm)-compatible, PNG compressed icons.
  • Extracting icons and cursors from executable files.
  • Dynamic color depth: you do not have to specify it explicitly, Greenfish Icon Editor will determine it for you.
  • Drawing lots of kinds of gradients.
  • Filters including Remove matte, Drop shadow, Inner/Outer glow and Bevel.
  • No installation required, Greenfish Icon Editor Pro is absolutely portable.

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Pros and cons

The most notable feature of GFIE is the ability to work with arbitrary selections. Having a good selection tool can make many icon retouching task easier. Color of the hills on the screenshot above shows a colorize filter applied on the selected area. As far as I know, Greenfish Icon Editor has the most advanced selection handling of ALL the icon editors available today.

Another unique feature of the editor is that you need not explicitly define the color depths of the images. The editor will save the image using the least color depth possible. Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.

The editor has no apparent weak points. You’ll find all the usual tools, a color picker, a couple of gradients for shape filling and all the basic image filters.

The software is relatively new and focuses on its core functions, missing the bells and whistles the older icon editors have collected during their evolution. That means no batch operations, no Windows icon customization and no icon library management. This is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes it is better to focus on one area and not spend time creating almost useless functions just because the others have them.


As an author of a commercial icon editor I should be worried about the fact that there are now two very good and free icon editors available. Fortunately, we have a couple of unique features left in the area of image-to-icon conversion and integration of 3D tools, but things are a lot more interesting with such a good and free alternatives. Isn’t competition a great thing?

Recent comments

user icon The Sword of the Heart registered user on February 8th 2008

Actually, that’s three. The GIMP supports Vista icons, XP icons, icons of all color depths, and icons of any size in pixels. Each layer is saved as a different image in the icon.

I love your software, and you have the best cursor editor I’ve seen. But with all the power of The GIMP, it’s an attractive alternative. Which I use. You have to admit GIMP is more powerful in terms of a raster editor.

Vlasta, you’ve got some tough competition. I hope this only makes your software better and better.

user icon Anonymous
What about ICL files?
Vista & Win 7 icons
I wish there were...
Select background