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Home: Icon Library: User Manual


User Manual 4


Section Contents
  • Table of Contents

  • Starting Icon Library - Shortcut, ICL file, Shareware Popup
    Methods of starting Icon Library and reason for shareware popup.

  • Options Menu - Loading Menus, Selecting Colors, Icon Menus
    Registered/Shareware Menus, Background and BMP Transparency Colors.

  • Icon Menus - Displaying Icons, Extracting Icons, ICO, BMP, Shareware Topics.
    Click on icons in display to extract and save the selected icon.

  • Customize Your Menus - Your Own Icons, Icolib.INI, Third Party Utilities
    Add your own ICL files to the library, INI file format, useful icon programs.

  • More Help - About Box, Web Page, Contact Details, Samples
    What is in the About Box and the Icon Library web page, where to send email.



Customize Your Menus
  1. The menus used for selecting the various icon categories for display are controlled by a configuration file called icolib.ini. This file controls the layout of the menus, the descriptions for each menu item, and the location of the associated ICL file for each menu. This file also stores the size of the Icon Library window and its position on the screen last time it was used. Future parameters may also be stored in the icolib.ini file in later releases of the software. In order to keep Icon Library self-contained there are no parameters stored in the Windows Registry, with the exception of providing an optional file type association of ICL files with Icon Library so that double clicking on ICL files will start Icon Library.

  2. Why would a user have a need to customise the Icon Library menus? Some possible reasons might be to...

    • Add new libraries of icons to the collection. Note that changing, adding or deleting icons in existing ICL files does not require any changes to the icolib.ini file.
    • Remove categories no longer required.
    • Re-arrange the menus so that more frequently used items are near the top of the selections, or perhaps to make the menus more intuitive for a particular user.
    • Change the descriptions on the menus.
    • Translate the menu descriptions to a foreign language.
    • Specify a new filename or pathname for ICL files.

  3. When you make changes to the icolib.ini file, you can see these changes immediately, without having to restart the Icon Library viewer by selecting the Registered or New Menu option.

  4. The format of the icolib.ini is fairly straight forward once you understand its basic structure. Each of the items in the main menu bar of Icon Library are positioned and described by two lines in this file. For example, the Things menu heading has this entry in the icolib.ini file...

    Menu Example

    [Menu_3]
    Name=&Things

  5. The characters Menu_ are required by Icon Library and cannot be changed. The numbers following these characters (3 in this case) are sequential, starting at 1. Note that is you skip a number, all following menu items will not be displayed. Keep the numbers sequential! Finally, the line must be enclosed in square brackets. The Name= parameter specifies what will be displayed for that menu item, in this case &Things. The & is used for keyboard navigation between menu items. Try this experiment. Open Icon Library and press the Alt key on your keboard. You should see a letter on each menu item underlined. For example, pressing Alt-T will select the Things menu. The character following the & is the hot-key, and it does not have to be the first character. &Things is the way to make the letter i the hot key. Each main menu group is started with two similar lines in the icolib.ini file.

  6. After these two lines, there follow a set of descriptors for the drop-down menu group. The first menu item under the &Things menu is Brigdes and Towers... which is described with this line in icolib.ini

    Menu Group Example

    Item_1=things\bridges_towers.icl,Bridges and Towers...

  7. This parameter has 3 main parts, a descriptor Item_1 followed by an equals sign, the pathname to the ICL file followed by a comma, and finally, the text that is displayed to the user for that menu item.

  8. The pathname can be either relative or absolute. For example, these addresses will point to the same ICL file on my system.

    • things\bridges_towers.icl
    • c:\icolib5_shar\things\bridges_towers.icl

    Here are some more examples of the types of pathnames you can use.

    • Item_1=icons\rabbit.icl,This is a rabbit...
      This is a relative path based on the location of the icolib.exe program.
    • Item_2=..\icondir\rabbit.icl,This is a rabbit...
      This is a more complex relative pathname.
    • Item_3=d:\tmp\rabbit.icl,This is a rabbit...
      This is a direct pathname and includes a disk drive specifier.
    • Item_4=\top_dir\icons\rabbit.icl,This is a rabbit...
      This is a direct pathname on the current disk drive
    • Item_5=c:\windows\notepad.exe,Windows Notepad...
      This is a direct pathname pointing to the Windows Notepad file which contains a few icons. Note that Windows EXE and DLL files which contain icons can be directly referenced in the ICOLIB.INI file although there is a technical problem which prevents you from extracting ICO files from EXE or DLL files.

  9. Some menu items point to a sub-menu like this.

    Sub Menu Example

    Item_1=Faces
    Item_1_1=human\faces\eyes_ears.icl,Eyes and Ears...

  10. The first line only contains a descriptor Item_1 and the text to be displayed to the user. Because there is no pathname, the Icon Library program knows that this is just a pointer to the real menu item. The actual Eyes and Ears... menu is then described in the second line. The format is the same as described in the previous section, except that there is now an extra counter contained in the descriptor Item_1_1

  11. Here is an example of a complete menu group and the parameters used in icolib.ini to create this menu structure.

    Sub Menu Example

    [Menu_6]
    Name=&Communications
    Item_1=Data
    Item_1_1=comms\data\lan.icl,Local Area Network...
    Item_1_2=comms\data\wan.icl,Wide Area Network...
    Item_1_3=comms\data\modems.icl,Modems...
    Item_1_4=comms\data\other.icl,Assorted...
    Item_2=comms\ham_radio.icl,Ham Radio...
    Item_3=comms\isp.icl,Service Providers...
    Item_4=comms\fax.icl,FAX...
    Item_5=comms\phone.icl,Telephone...

  12. Icon Library does not have the ability to Create Icons or to group icons into Libraries. You will need some other software to achieve these tasks. I strongly recommend a product called MicroAngelo from ImpactSoft. This program can create new icons or edit existing ones. It can handle icons of any size with 16 or 256 colors. MicroAngelo also has a Librarian function which lets you group icons together into ICL files. It also has many other features desirable to an Icon Enthusiast. I highly recommend this program! Please note that I am in no way affiliated with Impact Software other than as a happy user.

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