Contents of the IEDIT.DOC file
Welcome to IEdit! This new version is a minor revision of IEdit,
and I hope you enjoy it. New features include:
(Since IEdit 3.1)
* Ability to save an icon as a Windows mouse cursor
* Checkerboarding colors selectable from CHART
* Problem with non-standard icon files fixed
* Minor problem with EXTRACT fixed
* Updated mouse driver code
* Added NEWS.TXT to explain latest features
(Since IEdit 3.0)
* LOAD now supports the .ico extention as well as .icn
* IExtract is now built into IEdit
* IEdit is now "Windows aware"
* Esc exits at nearly any time
* Marker in corner to denote being called from in Windows
* Checkerboarding of two colors by using both buttons
* Color chart shows combinations of all 16 colors with each other
(Since IEdit 2.2)
* Line, box and filled box drawing modes
* Alt-H creates a hexadecimal icon text file for programmers
* New license numbering allows the full version of IEdit as Shareware
* Improved Help function is completely mouse driven
* IExtract now allows graphic selection of the icon to extract
* Significantly faster icon drawing during the LOAD function
* 80286 specific code for faster execution throughout
(Since IEdit 2.0)
* New icon-based function selection
* Invert Mask editing
* Icon scrolling in any direction
* A View function to preview your icon in a Windows-style dialog box
* Graphic Load function lets you pick your icon visually
* A "Best Guess" invert mask function
* An "Undo" function
* A built in file length check guards against viruses
* A "Change a Color" function to alter a color over an entire icon
* "Rotate" turns your icon 90 clockwise
* A Grid for precise icons
* A shell to DOS for quick jumps to the DOS command line
* "Mirror" function makes symmetric icons easier
* "Quick Help" for functions with a single mouse click
* A scroll "Chain" to link or unlink icon and invert mask scrolling
* Be sure to try IInject, it allows you to permanently replace the icons in *
* Windows applications with your own. * *
Quick Tip #1:
You will find IEdit's Help functions contain much of the information below.
IEdit's "Quick Help" pops-up when you click the right button on a function
IEdit is a full featured tool for creating and editing icons for the
Microsoft Windows environment. IEdit itself however, is a DOS application.
As many users know, IEdit was released in two versions, a Shareware version
(IEDIT.EXE), and an Enhanced version (IEDITE.EXE). Now IEdit is released as
a single version using License Numbers for registered users. License numbers
for version 3.0 or 3.0a will work with this version as well.
IEdit was originally created for my own use, but caught on with the
rapid growth of Windows 3.0, and now enjoys users from California to Austria!
If you're curious about the technical aspects of IEdit and icons, read the
Technical Information section at the end of this file.
* Dos 3.0 or greater
* A VGA system
* Approximately 150k disk space (depending on number of icons)
* At least 300k of free ram
* 300-500k free disk space for swapping if SHELL feature is used
* A Microsoft compatible mouse
* At least a '286 based computer (AT or better).
* Windows 3.0 (of course) to use your icons.
Users who have a different system setup may be able to obtain a special
version of IEdit from me (e.g. An 8088 (XT class) version).
Right off the bat I'd like to recommend you fire-up IEdit and give it
a whirl. I try to write programs that a user can figure out without the
use of a manual. Get a feel for it and come back to read the manual, you
may discover features you never knew existed, but I hope you can figure
the major features out without much trouble.
First, start IEdit by typing "IEDIT" at the DOS prompt, be sure that
you've loaded your mouse's driver program beforehand (Usually MOUSE.COM).
Quick Tip #2:
You can also load an icon into IEdit from the command line by typing:
The left side of your screen will have the main icon editing box. The
icons you create are actually a square of dots 32 by 32. Each dot can be
one of 16 colors (including black). Icons also have another 32 by 32 square
of dots (at the right center of IEdit) called an "invert mask". You won't
need an invert mask for most icons so we'll cover them later.
Between the main icon area and the invert mask is a color bar
containing the 16 colors you can choose from. Select a color by moving the
mouse pointer over a color and clicking the left mouse button. Above the
icon area the upper "Current" color box will reflect your choice. You can
select a second color with the right button, it will appear in the lower
"Current" box. The idea here is pick a main (upper) color for drawing with
the left button, and a secondary (lower) color for drawing with the right
button. I like to choose my icon's background color for the lower color,
that way I can draw with the left button and erase with the right.
You can now move the mouse pointer over to the main icon area and use
the either mouse button to draw a single dot. You can also hold the button
and move the mouse to draw continuously. In the upper left corner you'll
notice a tiny version of the main icon area, this is the actual size of the
icon you're drawing. You'll want to check this box to insure that your
icon isn't too detailed to be seen when it's finished. If you're trying to
be precise you'll find the coordinate display (also above the main icon
area) helpful, as well as the GRID function which puts a grid over the icon
area (using your current upper color).
When you start drawing, the main icon area is black, so you can erase
any mistakes by choosing the color "Black" from the color bar. Later
you'll see that you can start with any color you choose as the background,
and then you'll need to use that color to "erase" a mistake.
Once you've created a suitable icon, choose VIEW from the function
icons at the bottom. You'll see a small Windows-like box in the center of
the screen. This is the way your icon (including the invert mask, if any)
will look inside Windows, click either mouse button to erase the View box.
Saving and Loading icons
You'll need to save your icon to a file in order to use it in Windows.
If you're editing a previous icon, just choose SAVE and IEdit will
replace the old icon file with the new one you're editing. If you choose
SAVE TO, or if you haven't previously saved the current one, you'll be
prompted for a file name. Type a name for your icon and press enter. IEdit
will give your file name the extention "icn" if you don't specify one.
When you want to edit an icon, choose LOAD from the function bar.
You'll be presented with a screen with all the icons in the current
directory. Just click on the icon you want to edit. You can choose
CANCEL to go back without loading an icon. You can also choose NEW DIR
and you'll be prompted for a new directory path. BE SURE and give the full
path (i.e. Drive etc.) such as "C:\Windows" or "C:\Icons". If you know the
name of the icon you want to edit, choose LOAD FROM, it will prompt you for a
specific file name to edit.
More editing functions
IEdit has four drawing modes, DRAW, LINE, BOX and FILLED BOX. A
summary of each mode is below:
MODE -> DRAW LINE BOX FILLED BOX
Draws Freestyle Line between Box between Filled box between
two points two corners two corners
Button Left or Right Left Left Left
Notice that your mouse pointer will change to alert you of the current
The DRAW mode allows you to draw single dots wherever you move the
mouse. You may use the left button to draw with the upper current
color, or the right button to use the lower current color. You can also
hold either button to draw continuously. Hold both buttons to "checker-
board" an area with the upper and lower colors.
The LINE mode lets you draw lines by selecting two points, the first
point will be marked when you click the left button. When you click the
left button a second time, a line will be drawn between the two points.
The BOX mode lets you draw boxes similar to the line mode except
that instead of selecting points with each mouse click, you are
selecting the corners of a box.
The FILLED BOX mode works exactly like the box mode except that the
box drawn is filled in with the current (upper) color.
Quick Tip #3:
You may change your color choice in the middle of drawing a line, box
or filled box by simply selecting the new color before clicking on the
second point or corner.
The "buttons" along the edges of the main icon area will scroll the
icon toward that edge, click on them to scroll your icon. Likewise, the
buttons below the invert mask are used to scroll it. The CHAIN function
allows you to link the two so that when you scroll either the icon or the
invert mask, both will scroll. Click on the CHAIN icon and you'll see
tiny links appear on it, click again to unlink.
The INVERT function lets you invert the colors in your icon. The
invert function is easier to use than to explain, so just try it. You can
un-invert the colors by simply selecting INVERT a second time.
The CLEAR function will clear both the icon and the invert mask,
and start over. IEdit won't let you lose your work by clearing or loading
without prompting you. You'll see the message "Abandon this icon ([Y]/N)",
you can press the right button for "Yes" or the left for "No", or press Y
or N. The CLEAR TO function is similar to the clear function except that it
clears the icon to the "Current" selected color (instead of black). The
MOUSE icon lets you increase or decrease the sensitivity of your mouse.
Click and hold on the right button to increase the sensitivity, or on the
left button to decrease it. You'll hear a rising or falling tone also.
You may need to experiment to find the proper setting.
The CHG A CLR ("Change a color") function is simple. First, click on
the color in the color bar that you wish to change. Second click on the
CHG A CLR icon, then click on your new color choice. The first color will be
replaced by the second throughout the icon.
New Feature (to version 3.1):
Now you can "dither" two colors by pressing and holding BOTH mouse
buttons and filling in an area. IEdit will alternate between the
upper and lower current colors, checkerboard style. Try it!
The ROTATE function simply rotates your icon 90 clockwise.
The MIRROR function erases the right side of your icon and replaces it
with a mirror image of the left side. By using ROTATE and MIRROR you can
easily make icons that are symmetric horizontally, vertically or both.
Quick Tip #4:
If your planning to draw an icon with a symmetric border around it,
the rotate and mirror functions can save you some time.
The UNDO function returns your icon to its state before the last
function was executed (except LOAD). You cannot undo manual drawing you have
done. You can use UNDO again to go back to the state before the first UNDO.
The EXTRACT function lets you extract icons from Windows applications.
Click on the EXTRACT icon, then give the path and filename of the Windows
application whose icon you want. EXTRACT will search through the file
looking for icons. When it finds one it will ask if it has found the correct
icon. If it is, the icon and its invert mask will be copied into IEdit as
if you had drawn it, you can save it to a file, or edit it or whatever.
New Feature (to version 3.2):
If you choose SAVE TO and give a filename with the extention CUR,
Your icon will be saved as a Windows cursor resource file. Since
cursors are monochrome, any colors in the icon will be interpreted
as white. White areas in the invert mask define transparent areas
in a cursor. You'll need a seperate program to make use of this
IEdit will recognize any 766-byte 16 color icon file, regardless of
ICO, ICN, etc. extention. The LOAD function will only display the *.IC?
files. A file named with an ICO or ICN extention that is NOT 766 bytes will
be displayed as a question mark.
Another program, called IInject, will let you replace the icon in a
Windows application with one of your own. See the end of this file for
details, or check your local bulletin board.
Quick Tip #5:
Whenever you see the "Abandon this icon (Y/N)?" prompt, you can click
the RIGHT mouse button for "Yes" or the LEFT for "No".
About Invert Masks
Invert masks are a smaller version of an icon. They do not use
colors, each dot in an invert mask is either on (white) or off (black).
When Windows is DISPLAYING (not moving) an icon, it uses the dots as a mask
to determine where on the main icon to invert the colors. My experience
has been with VGA systems, other (particularly monochrome) systems may
behave differently. Most often you'll want to make the black portions of
your icon inverted, this will make them the same as the background color
in Windows. This point bears repeating, if an icon has a black area, you
can make that area transparent by drawing an invert mask for the black
For example: Suppose you create two icons, both with red blocks at
the center. You make them nearly identical two different ways. You can
put a white background on one (example 1 below), and leave the other black,
but give it an invert mask around the block (example 2). This will invert the
black to white in Windows. So, you wind up with two icons that look
identical; until you move them. Then you'll see that the one without the
invert mask has a white area that runs over whatever you're moving over, in
contrast the invert mask icon won't. In addition, the inverted icon will
change its background to the same as Windows', while the uninverted one will
stay white. In some cases, the invert mask icon will invert the colors behind
it. I realize this is difficult, I suggest you make a few icons for yourself
and try them out.
The red tracer will appear to guide you if you manually edit an invert
mask (it moves with you over the main icon). Be sure and try the GUESS INV
function first. Also be sure to use the VIEW function, it uses the invert
mask information in its display (The icon in the upper left corner does not).
Example 1 Example 2
White (Black) White
RED (Blank) RED
icon invert mask icon invert mask
> RED RED <
(in Windows or with VIEW) (in Windows or with VIEW)
Background always white Background same as screen's
Pressing Alt-H will create a hex text file of the current icon (with the
extention ".HEX"). This may be useful for including an icon within
About License Numbers
IEdit has changed it's style, instead of distributing a Shareware
version freely and an Enhanced version to registered users, a single
version is distributed and registered users obtain a License number that
removes the "annoyware" displays (and relieves their conscience).
Registered users should be aware that the License number is unique to
them and "pirated" versions found will identify the offender. In
addition, the License number is coded and permanently "installed" in
IEdit, and cannot be changed.
How to order
First print out the file "ORDER.FRM" and fill it out. Mail it to
me with a check for $8 (or $10 if you want IEdit shipped). BE SURE TO
INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER! I'll need it (as well as a best-time-to-call)
in order to give you your License number.
If you no longer have the order form, simply send me your name,
address, telephone number and (heh heh) a check, so I can call you and give
you your License number.
IEdit $8 (Add $2 S&H if you don't wish to have
Updates $4 me call for your License number.)
Dollar amounts are U.S. funds. Checks or money orders only; not
responsible for cash lost in shipping. Add $2 to total for shipping to UK
Minor revision updates (e.g. from 2.0 to 2.2) are free by modem to
registered users. Registered users are notified when the next major version
is available. Most orders shipped within 48 hours. Checks are not cashed
until product is shipped or License number given. IEdit is guaranteed to
perform reasonably, if you have a problem that cannot be solved, return
any shipped materials within 10 days for a full refund of purchase amount.
Notes on recovering from errors and bugs
* Mouse trouble... Since the beginning I've had trouble with mice. In
every case so far the problem has been one of these two:
1) An "old" mouse driver, If your mouse is truly "Microsoft" compatible,
you should be able to use Microsoft's MOUSE.COM driver with it. You
received a copy of MOUSE.COM with Windows, if you have trouble, use
the EXPAND utility that also comes with Windows to uncompress and try
MOUSE.COM. Or, contact your manufacturer for a mouse driver update.
2) Mouse Systems mice, by far the most trouble-laden mouse I've seen,
"standard" calls to its (supposedly compatible) driver simply don't
work. Again you could try contacting Mouse Systems for a new driver,
but I can't justify re-writing major code to accommodate a single
brand, particularly when el-cheapo $25 mice seem to be able to be
100% Microsoft compatible. So there .
IEdit has been tested with the following brands: Microsoft, Logitech, IBM,
Genius, Emerson, and more.
* If you crash or run a TSR during a SHELL, the IEdit swap file will remain
on your disk, it's a hidden file called "$IEDSWAP.AAA". IEdit places it in
the directory specified by your TEMP environment variable (in your autoexec),
or in the current directory if a TEMP is unavailable. Be sure and delete this
file if this happens as it will take up about 512k of disk space and will
cause errors the next time you use SHELL. Use Norton Commander, PC Tools or
a similar product to delete it. * Be carefull! * You will lose your work if
you crash the system during a SHELL.
* If you're running IEdit from a DOS Window in Windows 3.0, IEdit is now
"Windows aware" and won't allow you to use the SHELL function.
* It's possible that you have just enough free memory to load IEdit itself,
but not enough for one of IEdit's functions. IEdit traps for this, but I've
been unable to test it. In any case your current icon should be saved as
* Please let me know if you find any other annoyances/bugs.
Notes on Version 3.2
* LOAD now recognizes any file with the extention *.ic?, this allows icon
files named .ICN, .ICO, etc. By the way, in a technical sense, .ICO is the
proper name for what Windows calls an "icon resource file", to be used when
compiling a Windows application. An icon resource file need not be the
"garden variety" 766-byte file, there are different icon formats and sizes.
This is why IEdit, and at least one other icon editor, use the .ICN
extention, to designate a 766-byte, 32x32x16 icon file with invert mask.
* The upper right-hand corner will be filled in if you run IEdit from
Windows ('386 or Standard mode). This is just there as a reminder.
* A new dithering scheme is available. Many interesting colors can be
"made" by combining two of the 16 you have to work with. Since this
"checkerboarding" is tedious, IEdit lets you do it easily. Simply choose
the two colors you want to draw with (DRAW mode only) and press and hold
BOTH mouse buttons, then move the mouse and fill in the area.
* You no longer need be in the same directory as IEdit to call it. The
associated .OVL files must be in the same directory as IEdit though. This
was a user suggestion that I simply never noticed before (See, your
suggestions make a difference!).
* The annoying flicker of the mouse pointer while in the invert mask area
was eliminated, but has returned with a vengance for various technical and
generally stupid reasons - I'm working on it.
* IEdit is now "Windows Aware", in other words, it knows when it is being run
from a DOS window. IEdit uses this to prevent the use of the SHELL function,
which would cause trouble from within a DOS window.
* IEdit now allows ESC to exit at nearly any time. This became useful when
my mouse went on the fritz and I discovered that I had to reboot to exit my
* The icons-per-directory limit has again been raised, and is now 504. The
reason for this limit is simply a matter of space. 504 icon filenames times
13 bytes per name is over 6k of space. With 504 there is room for 6 pages of
icons. Again, this was at user suggestion.
Technical and Miscellaneous Information
* IEdit itself was created with Microsoft's QuickPascal and now stands at
roughly 3000 lines of code. Despite the fact that IEdit had to overcome
at least three bugs in QP, I still can't recommend it more highly. The
editor is very similar to Notepad (and indeed all MS products) and the
Help is amazing (the manual rarely leaves the shelf).
* The 766 byte icon file format is tricky at best, it is in three parts.
A 126 byte header tells Windows what it is and color info, bitmap size, etc.
Next is the "main" icon, 512 bytes (2 pixels per byte x 1024 pixels).
Then a 128 byte block (32 x 32 x 1 bit/pixel) defines the invert mask.
An early bug that made it's way into several icon editing programs,
(ICONDRAW in particular apparently started the bug) and one icon
distributed with IEdit v 0.9 (beta) actually caused Windows to give an
"Unrecoverable Application Error" immediately after it was used, but
only in '386 Enhanced mode. This has been eliminated by the offending
programs, and IEdit's icons are fine. In fact, IEdit can be used to
"clean" those offending icons, by simply loading the icon and then
saving it back again. IEdit forces the correct header onto every icon
file it saves.
* Why VGA only? Well not entirely due to a lack of EGA graphic
capabilities, but more due to a lack of similar TEXT modes between the
two. Keeping 640x480 and 640x350 straight is tricky enough without
dealing with text as well. Ignoring that, EGA simply looks bad with
25% less resolution. Also, most Windows users have a VGA anyway. The
same applies to mice and '286 specific code.
* Astute readers may have figured out that IEDIT3.OVL is really just the
upper menu bar. It is never executed, but I named it with the .ovl extention
to insure it would be included if someone was copying files around their
hard disk. IEdit will crash without it. Also, IEDIT31.OVL is actually a
screen image of the icon function bar.
* Why is it so cheap? I'm a college student (Computer Information
Sciences major, wanna hire me next year? Please?) and I've done more than
my share of "leeching" the Shareware market, so I priced IEdit so that I
could have afforded to register it. Also, I love writing software. But
the best result thus far has been getting letters (and checks) from all over
the WORLD(!). I'd also like to thank people who called and wrote with
comments and suggestions, they are reflected in this version.
* My address: James Bell 4511 Sherwood Trace Gainesville, Fl 32605.
or call me at (904) 372-3695.
* Windows and QuickPascal are TM's of Microsoft Corp.
* Many thanks to Tom Wagner and (of course) Dr. Dobbs for the swap-to-
disk ideas and examples.
About the "I" series
The "I" program series includes several programs to create, edit,
manage, and even "steal" icons. IEdit and IDir require a VGA and mouse,
IExtract and IInject require at least an EGA. All of the "I" series of
programs require an 80286 or better processor.
* IEdit - The Icon Editor
The core of the "I" series, IEdit is a feature-packed icon creation
and editing tool. Functions like Mirror, Invert, Grid, and more
separate IEdit from the other icon editors. IEdit is being used
across the U.S. by individuals, corporations, universities, as well
as in Europe and the U.K.
IExtract lets you look inside of your favorite Windows programs and
"steal" their icons for editing or use elsewhere.
This is now been built into IEdit as the EXTRACT function.
The companion to IExtract, with IInject you can permanently replace
the icon in a Windows application with your own. You can even change
those annoying "Group" and "DOS" icons in Windows itself.
IMenu lets you use your Windows 3.0 icons to create a DOS menu system.
No mouse is needed and IMenu supports EGA, VGA and Hercules. An 8088
(PC/XT) version is available.
IDir gives you point-and-shoot icon file deletion so you can keep
track of icons easily.
* ISetCRC, IStrip, and ICheck
For managing icons, these utilities help track down duplicates by using
a CRC value to find identical icons.
IEdit (now with icon extracting built right in!)...still only $8!!
IEdit with IInject............................................$15
IEdit with IMenu..............................................$15
IDir with ISetCRC, IStrip, and ICheck.........................$15
...or get the entire "I" series for just $25!
Many of the above programs are available as Shareware from bulletin
boards and Shareware houses. You'll have to endure some "annoyware" screens
with the Shareware versions, but all of the features are available.
To register any of the "I" series, simply send me a check:
4511 Sherwood Trace
Gainesville, Fl. 32605
You can print and use the included file ORDER.FRM for orders, if you
no longer have it, please be sure to include an address and phone
Any other features added to future versions of IEdit will depend almost
completely on user suggestions. As-is IEdit has more features than any
other icon program I've seen, and about all that's left is to make it a
Windows application. But (sigh) I simply don't have the $315 for the
Windows SDK. So, if you wanted to instantly become my best friend in
the entire world....
I am working on a graphic-based manual viewer. The idea is to let a
program's doc file include instructions for drawing EGA graphics. The
result will be a doc file with pictures for better explanation, all within
a nice graphic, mouse-aware environment.
Thanks again, good luck, and happy Windows-ing!
James Bell 2/19/91