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Friday Favorite: Folder Icon Maker

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I'm an organized kind of guy in general, and even more so when it comes to my digital items. For files on my computer, this means my Documents folder is neatly populated with various subfolders. There's my "Finance" folder, my "Health records" folder, various "Work" folders and so on.

I'm also a big fan of icons, so I tend to navigate OS X in icon view. It just speeds up my workflow. The problem is OS X only offers one kind of folder icon. Yes, you can add colored labels to them, but only up to seven, which makes distinguishing an icon by eye hard if you have plenty of different folders. What I used to do was download folder icon sets so I could set unique icons for each of my folders, but now I've found a better way: Folder Icon Maker.

Folder Icon Maker is a little shareware utility by NiteOwl Software that lets users create custom folders in just a few clicks. Launch the app and then work with a default OS X folder icon to modify it to your liking. I usually drag and drop another image onto the folder (such as the GBP£ icon on the folder above), to create my custom icons. Once you drop an image on the folder, you can move it around, adjust its size and play with opacity and rotation.

Once you've created your folder icon, simply click the "Copy to Clipboard" button. Then setting it to be a specific folder's icon is easy. Simply find that folder on your hard drive, select it and hit Command-I on the keyboard to bring up the Info window. Click on the generic folder's icon in the Info window and hit Command-V to paste the new icon over it. That's it. You're done and your folder has a nice, new, easily identifiable custom icon.

To be sure, Folder Icon Maker isn't going to win any design awards, but the app does what it's meant to: making custom folder icon creation easy for non-graphic design people. The app is shareware, so it's free to use (although each time you launch it you need to wait 15 seconds to use it if you don't want to pay). To get rid of the waiting period, buy a license from NiteOwl for US$25.

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