Apple - Where did Icon Composer go from Xcode?

It's been moved into one of the add-on packages for Xcode, and is now part of the Graphics Tools for Xcode package.

Apparently this is (at least partly?) because this is no longer the 'officially recommended' way to generate (high resolution) icons. See the OS X Human Interface Guidelines and the High Resolution Guidelines for more info.

I believe Icon Composer doesn't support the highest resolution icons required these days (1024x1024), and you're encouraged to use iconutil instead, which does, and allows you to convert between ICNS and "iconsets" (effectively just a folder containing a collection of PNG files of different resolutions).

If you still want it, you can get it as follows:

In Xcode, go to the Xcode > Open Developer Tool > More Developer tools....

You'll need to log in (or register) with your (free) Apple Developer account, and then you'll be shown a list of available packages for Xcode, including the Graphics Tools for Xcode. Grab the latest one and install.

This DMG of Graphics Tools contains:

  • CI Filter Browser
  • Icon Composer
  • OpenGL Driver Monitor
  • OpenGL Profiler
  • OpenGL Shader Builder
  • Pixie
  • Quartz Composer
  • Quartz Composer Visualizer
  • Quartz Debug

What I found easier than downloading, installing, and finding Icon Composer was using the command-line tool iconutil.

  1. Put your png files of each size into a folder. The folder must have the extension .iconset
  2. Enter this command into the Terminal window:

    iconutil -c icns <iconset filename>

    where <iconset filename> is the path to the folder containing the set of pngs.

  3. The output .icns file is written to the same location as the folder.

You must have the following set of pngs:

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Check out Icon Composer 2x. It's a replacement for Apple's Icon Composer that supports Retina Resolution Icons.

You can get it here:

I wrote the app, it's free and source code is available on Github if you're interested.