Icon Library (.icl)

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Icon Library (.icl)

An icon library is file containing one of more icons and their names. Because the file format of an icon library is the same a file format of an ordinary .dll file, Windows is able to use icons directly from the icon library (You can say that an .icl file is just a renamed .dll file with some restrictions).

Specifics of .icl files

.icl files usually only contain icons and no other resources (like cursors, etc.). Also, .icl files optionally have a custom resource block with user friendly icon names.

Because there are two formats for .dll files (16-bit and 32-bit), there are also 2 formats of .icl files. 16-bit .icl files are legacy of Windows 3.11 and are not generally supported anymore.

Icon identifier inside a library

Because .icl is a renamed .dll, it follows its rules for identifying icons. Each icon has a numerical (0-32767) or a text identifier. Beside that identifier, each icon also has a language code. Each combination of the identifier and the language code can only be used once in an icon library.

.icl files may also contain user friendly names. Because the format of the names is not standardized, there may be problems using non-English characters or empty descriptions when using the .icl files in icon editors.

ICL files in RealWorld Icon Editor

RealWorld Icon Editor can read 16-bit and 32-bit .icl files and writes always 32-bit .icl files.

Recent comments

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user icon Anonymous on September 28th 2012


user icon Anonymous on February 19th 2013

:-) whew thanks!

user icon Anonymous on September 18th 2013

how do i create an icon library with realworld

user icon Vlasta site administrator on September 18th 2013

Double-click "New icon library" on the Create page.

user icon Anonymous on September 15th 2014

can i use only 32 bit (128x128, 48x48, 32x32, etc...) icon files?
do i need 24 bit or 16 bit?

user icon Vlasta site administrator on September 15th 2014

24bit are very unusual and not recommended, 16bit is not valid for icons; so basically yes, just 32bits is fine these days

user icon pollaris registered user on September 17th 2014

I have no idea where to look to find my comment... I will look back
here periodically for yours...

user icon Vlasta site administrator on September 17th 2014

it was here. It is best to start a topic in the forum for questions like yours.

user icon hillary registered user on September 23rd 2020

uhhh how do i make one i'm cconfused

user icon maxaul567 registered user on November 10th 2020

hum.. how to ad icone in the library ?

user icon Anonymous
What about ICL files?
Vista & Win 7 icons