Help & FAQ

Need help with NewIcons? The best resource obviously is the NewIcons documentation that comes with the package (it answers 95% of the questions we get asked). If you’re still stuck, try this page. If you’re still stuck, send us an email.


Q: I just installed NewIcons version 4. Now my computer seems to freeze up during the boot process. What the hell?!

A: Hopefully we have placed this information in enough places in the archive that users won’t have this problem. If you have updated from a previous release of NewIcons, and didn’t originally install everything with the installer, you may have to make a change in the user-startup. Since V3, NewIcons requires a change in the command line that launches it. NewIcons MUST now be launched with

RUN <>NIL: c:NewIcons

If your old command line in user-startup still says

you must change it. If you installed NewIcons previously with the Amiga Installer program, the version 4 installation should take care of this automatically.

Q: When I ran the installer script, it didn’t convert every single icon on my hard drive. Why not?

A: Since everyone’s system can be configured differently, the installer can’t possibly configure for all setups. The installer is designed to install the typical Workbench System file icons. To convert the rest of your icons, use the CopyNewIcon utility to copy images to other icons. You can quickly convert lots of drawer images using the UpdateDrawers utility.

Q: I really don’t want a great looking Workbench… How can I deinstall it?

A: There is a script in the archive that will deinstall the package for you. To remove NewIcon images from icons by hand, just run KillNewIcon on them.

Q: The NewIconsPrefs editor won’t start, complaining about a missing gadget/image. Where can I get this gadget?

A: The ClassAct gadgets can be found here:

Just get the latest archive from there, and install it on your system via its supplied Install script.

NOTE: ClassAction is NOT the same thing! Do not confuse them.

Q: I clicked on Install and got an error message from Installer saying it couldn’t compile the script.

A: Your Installer version is outdated. Get V43.3 or better from Aminet.


Q: I’m using the borderblank option and some of my old non-NewIcon images look very strange. What’s wrong?

A: Workbench 2.04 and up was not designed to have the borders removed around the icons. With the borderblank option turned on, color zero is now transparent. Any area of the icon with color zero will now show the backdrop through the icon. This can cause some icons to appear strange. The options for fixing it are 1) change your backdrop to a somewhat neutral gray color 2) don’t use the borderblank option, or 3) get rid of those old icons altogether, and use NewIcon images instead.

Another note about the borderblank option: some non-newicon icons will really look bizarre, especially the secondary image if the alternate image is just a complemented color. You can try toggling the DEPTH PROMOTE option in NewIconsPrefs on or off. Depending on whether you use a graphics card, this option might help either way.

One further note about the borderblank option: If you use colorfonts for your icon font, these can look weird also with non-NewIcon icons. It appears to be a quirk in the OS. The solution is the same as above: 1) don’t use borderblank, or 2) use only NewIcon images on the Workbench. Some icon authors also have forgotten to use color zero for the background image of their icons. The backdrop will look gray instead or transparent.. To fix these images they have to be converted back to brushes and have the background color changed to color zero.

Q: Can I use RTG mode if I don’t have a graphics card?

A: No. You will end up with garbage displayed instead of icons, if not plainly crashing your system.

Q: If I have a graphics card, must I use the RTG mode?

A: You don’t have to, but there’s certainly no reason not to, unless you like eating up all your chip RAM, or your graphics card software doesn’t support using FastRAM for image data (like the older Picasso-II software). Both CyberGraphX and Picasso96 support RTG mode.

Q: When I enable the RTG mode, I get garbage for my icons. I do have a 24-bit card, since I have a Picasso II. Why won’t it work?

A: RTG Mode uses Fast RAM for allocating icons. You need to use a RTG software that properly patches graphics.library to allow blitting to FastRAM. The old Picasso-II native software didn’t. Either use Cybergraphics, or the new Picasso96 instead of your older software.


Q: Can I run Deficons without running NewIcons?

A: Absolutely, if you only want to use the default icon feature. In this case you will only have the standard icon images to view, however. NewIcons can be run without Deficons also, although you won’t get default icon images for “fake” icons.

Q: If I want to make my own default disk icons, do I have to make them a disk type icon?

A: No. can use drawer type icons for disks or drawers in most cases. It will also use any type of icon for the “kick” type icons. Therefore, if you make new default icons for your ENVARC:sys drawer, you don’t usually have to convert them to a disk or kick type icon. This applies to the custom icons only, such as def_RAMdisk, etc. The standard and icons still must be of the proper type.

Q: When I double click on an iconless file, sometimes the “Execute Command” gadget doesn’t get filled in with the default tool like it’s supposed to.

A: This is due to Intuition, not Deficons. If you open a drawer and click on an iconless Amigaguide file for example, Multiview should be selected in the “Execute Command” field. However, if you open a second drawer or click on other icons in a different drawer than the first, then try to open that same AmigaGuide file, the default tool will not appear. Sorry, there is no easy solution to this problem; it’s a fault of the OS. If you select Update Window from the Workbench menu and try again, all will be well.

Q: I’m running DefIcons, but my Ram Disk won’t use the supplied icon. What’s wrong?

A: Make sure your icon is of Disk or Drawer type. Also, check that you aren’t copying a icon in your user-startup, overriding the default icon.

Creating and Editing NewIcons

Q: I used CreateDefaultIcon to convert my icons into NewIcons. Now my tooltypes and default tool settings are missing from the icons. Help!

A: Go back and read the documentation. If the default icon in Env:sys associated with the icon you created has a default tool setting in it, it will be used, as well as the tooltype settings. For general use in converting existing icons to NewIcons, use CopyNewIcon instead. CreateDefaultIcon is for adding icons to files that don’t have .info files!

Q: I want to make my own icons that are different sizes and colors from the supplied icons. How can I get injectbrush to work with the brushes I use to make the images?

A: All the supplied icons use the same 31 color palette to preserve the number of available colors on the Workbench. If you choose, you are certainly not limited to these colors and you can make icons as complex as your heart desires. Icons also do not have to be the 36 x 40 pixel size either. Using the FORCE option in InjectBrush will allow you to use nonstandard palettes and sizes (up to 93 x 93 pixels). Make sure your brushes are the same size and palette, or injectbrush won’t allow you to make them into icons.

Note: Although you can create up to 256 color icons, this is not really recommended, since you will very likely eat up all the available colors for the workbench, and programs like Multiview will not be able to dynamically allocate the correct colors for viewing pictures and so forth (unles you have a gfx card). Note that icons with large palettes take up a larger amount of disk space.

Q: IconEdit doesn’t work with my NewIcon images. What gives?

A: Do NOT use standard icon editing tools to manipulate NewIcon images. Some programs could cause serious damage to the icon data, saving the NewIcon image as an old-style image, therefore losing palette information. The best way to create NewIcon images is to use a paint program; create a brush, and then use injectbrush; there are NewIcon editors out there as well, such as Iconian. Probably the best way to make NewIcon images is with a good paint program such as Personal Paint or Deluxe Paint. That’s how we do it.

Q: I prefer the magic workbench style of icons. Can I get the benefits of using NewIcons with mwb?

A: Absolutely. Just convert the images to brushes and change them into NewIcons with InjectBrush From now on you’ll never have to worry about what your palette is set to. There is also a utility to convert mwb icons to NewIcons available on Aminet, called MWB2NI.

Q: With 2 images in each icon, my icon sizes are a bit bigger than standard icons. Is there anything I can do about this?

A: If you decide that you really like the NewIcons system, and make it a permanent part of your Workbench, you can make the standard icon images very small, i.e. a few pixels large. This is done quite easily with the included utility “Killoldicon”, by Michael Barsoom. This changes the old icon images permanently, so don’t do this procedure unless you are sure you won’t need them back. To use, simply shift-click on killoldicon, then shift-click on the icons you wish to convert. While holding shift, double-click on the last icon to convert. Since NewIcon images are compressed, the resulting final icon can be considerably smaller than a standard icon with the equivalent number of colors. Also these icons load considerably faster with the old image removed. One drawback of this method, however is that if you share these icons with people not running NewIcons, they will only see the tiny pixel icon.

Q: How can I make my NewIcon icons into brushes for editing?

A: There’s a utility on Aminet (gfx/conv/newicontobrush) which will do this for you.

Q: Where can I get more icons in the isometric/McVey style?

A: There are loads of them on Aminet (well over 1000 images) in the pix/nicon directory. Try Roger McVey’s NewIconsXTRA and NI-V2 packages (16 color only), and the AESicons series (16 and now 32 colors).

Q: Are there any backdrop sets for NewIcons?

A: Yes! Look in the pix/nicon directory on Aminet. Roger McVey has uploaded literally hundreds of NewIcons compatible backdrops. They look great!

Q: How do I use the DEFAULTIMAGE tooltype?

A: Use it with icons that have NO NewIcon image data in them. For example, to make all your drawers use the image of an icon called, add this tooltype to your non-NewIconized drawers:

Now, you can change the look of ALL your system drawers just by changing the MyDrawer icon’s image. Pretty cool! You could even set up your user-startup to randomly copy a different image at each bootup to Env:sys, and make your Workbench look different every time you start your computer!

Using this feature slows down loading time slightly, because two icons have to be loaded (the main one and the one whose image is to be borrowed), but has several advantages, especially with icons which are used frequently, like drawer icons:

1) It saves disk space, because the image is stored only once.
2) Saves memory when the icons are on screen, because the Tooltypes containing the compressed image are loaded, decompressed, and freed, whereas in the normal method they stay in memory until the icon is freed.
3) If you get bored of an image, just replace the default one, and all the others will change automatically!

Remember that the image stored in the icon has precedence. Therefore, you have to run KillNewIcon on a NewIcon to have the DEFAULTIMAGE ToolType work.

WARNING!!!: This trick is recursive, that is, if DEFAULTIMAGE points to an icon which has a DEFAULTIMAGE itself, a third icon will be loaded, and so on. Pay attention not to create loops which refer back to another icon. If you do, you will likely meet the big GURU. You have been warned.


Q: Sometimes when I change screenmodes, the colors of my NewIcon appicons don’t look right. What’s going on?

A: Intuition doesn’t reset the colors properly for appicons, unfortunately. You’ll have to switch back to the screenmode you were using, or restart the program that created the appicon. Sorry, this is a fault of the OS. For Toolmanager 2.1 Docks, this shouldn’t be a problem with NewIcons version 4. A fix for Toolmanager docks only has been implemented. This might break with future versions of Toolmanager.

Q: My icon colors don’t look the right colors.

A: The NewIcons system dynamically allocates colors as needed when an icon appears on the Workbench. Most likely if you are having a problem with the icon colors, you don’t have enough free colors available on your Workbench screen. Unless you are using a back- drop with a large number of colors, 32 or 64 colors is usually plenty with the supplied icons. Increasing the number of bitplanes in the screenmode settings should fix this problem. Alternatively, you can set the DITHER mode in NewIconsPrefs to ON (Note that dithering does not work with the high-end library installed).

You can check how many free pens you have currently by pressing LAlt-shift-N while the NewIcons program is running.

Q: I’m running DOpus 5.5, and my NewIcon icons keeps changing colors! What’s wrong?

A: The NewIcons executable is meant to be a patch for the original Workbench, to allow it to use NewIcon icons. Unfortunately, it won’t properly work with DOpus 5.5, unless you ran DOpus on the Workbench screen. Future Workbench replacements should directly support NewIcons via the newicon.library to avoid such problems. (Note: DOpus Magellan supports NewIcons fully).

Q: I’m running ToolManager 3, and my docks using NewIcon icons won’t appear. What can I do?

A: ToolManager 3 relies on datatypes to display its dock imageries. Either convert your NewIcons into IFF brushes, or install a NewIcon datatype. Or, go back to ToolManager 2.1 (which is what we, Eric and Phil, did 🙂

Q: If I change the Workbench screenmode, all the displayed icons that use the DEFAULTIMAGE tooltype show weird colors.

A: This is a bug in the DEFAULTIMAGE handling. With prior versions, the system would plainly crash. The only way we could “fix” it was to simply not attempt to reload and remap these again.

Q: Sometimes at boot time, some of my disk icons don’t show as NewIcons.

A: Your Workbench must be loading too fast – NewIcons isn’t fully installed yet that Workbench is already loading and displaying disk icons 🙂 Either move the line running NewIcons higher in your Startup-Sequence, or add this line right below the line running NewIcons: C:Wait 1

Feature Requests

Q: How about adding built-in pictograms?

A: This was originaly planned for 4.5. In fact, the code was even written, but then problems caused by the NI design itself (NI was never meant to be extended) appeared, forcing us to drop the idea for now.

Q: How about eliminating the 93×93 size limitation?

A: This is another problem inherited from the original design. Increasing this limitation would cause various problems, most serious one being that people still running the older versions of the software would crash their system as they would run into one of those larger icons. Anyway, keep in mind that these are file ICONS. If you need to put a 320×200 screenshot of your program, please put it elsewhere than in a Workbench drawer window.

Q: How about (insert your favorite feature or bug fix here) for DefIcons?

A: DefIcons is no longer being supported or developped. It’s included in the NewIcons archive purely because it’s simpler than making a separate release (and having to release the default icons in both archives). If someone updates the deficons brainfile, send it to us and we’ll stick it on the website (the source is in the NewIcons archive).

Q: I need an icon for (insert your favorite program name here).

A: Phil often fulfills such requests if you ask nicely. Drop him an Email, and he’ll see what he can do.

Q: How about: animated icons? 16-bit or 24-bit icons?

A: Such things cannot be implemented just by patching icon.library. They require a Workbench rewrite. So implementing these is quite simply impossible for us.

Q: I’d like to be able to use a “theme concept” kinda like what Win95 allows (being able to switch between different iconsets in an easy way).

A: There is various ways to do it. The best one IMHO is to use the DEFAULTIMAGE tooltype in your icons, loading icons from a THEME: assign. Put your theme icons in separate directories, then create a THEME: assign in your user-startup, pointing to the directory containing the desired icons. Just moving the THEME: assign will let you use a whole different iconset, as DEFAULTIMAGE will always obtain the icons from the currently set assign.