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I created a 128x128 icon and gave it alpha in Photoshop and dragged into Icon Composer and bg is all greyed out indicating alpha working so I add the .icns file to my project and specify it to be the icon for my app. Launches fine and is properly transparent in dock, but not in finder - white block in finder. Is there some trick? I selected what I wanted of image and made a new channel and it seems right - and works right in Dock as I said.

Help? Thanks.


Open up the icon again and confirm that the mask is set properly for every icon size. If the size of the icon in the dock is different than the one in the finder, it might be using a different representation of the image. Play around with changing the size of the icon in the finder/dock to see if that’s the problem. – General/RyanBates

…hmmm. In the mask for the other sizes - it’s just black for the clickable area, white for the non-clickable bgnd, right? Or is it more complex than that? Thanks.


No, you are doing it correctly. It uses a 1 bit mask (only two colors) for all of the icons smaller than 128x128 pixels. I don’t know what the problem could be if this is set for each of the images. Instead of using Icon Composer, look at it in Icon Browser, it shows a few more representations. Not all of them need to have an image, but each image should have a corresponding mask. You could also try remaking the .icns file. Did changing the size of the icon in the finder/dock make a difference? – General/RyanBates

Here is a screenshot of Icon Composer and Icon Browser running, both looking at this particular .icns file. Do I look to be in trouble here?? Thanks.


Ahha, notice the 8 bit mask is all black. I have no doubt that’s your problem. Try remaking the .icns file and see if it has the same problem. Are you importing a tif file made in Photoshop or something? – General/RyanBates

…but I don’t see how to “remake” the file or do anything to the 8 bit mask. Icon Composer does not let you edit the 8 bit mask. ??

Thanks –blakespot

What images are you loading into Icon Composer? That may be affecting the 8 bit mask. When I created an icon using Icon Composer, the 8 bit mask was correct. I used flattened TIFF images with a single alpha channel (created in Photoshop). – General/RyanBates

I think I did a cut and paste from Photoshop. The orig had a single alpha, for the 128x128. I have since removed all but the 128x128 and the icon behaves fine. Is this a problem? Why must I have the smaller images at all?

Thanks – blakespot

If they aren’t specified, I’m guessing the smaller representations are created automatically by either Icon Composer or the Finder. I can’t imagine the Finder resizing the large representation every time it wants to display the small icon. Anyone want to confirm this? – General/RyanBates

Not sure about that, but I can confim that you can’t just paste from Photoshop into Icon Composer and get a proper 8-bit alpha channel in your icon. That will result in a black alpha channel exactly as shown in the image above. I had to write out a .tiff file with an alpha channel and then read that into Icon Composer to get a proper alpha channel in an icon. -endymion

Agreed on the copy/paste. Configure the alpha/transparency, then save the files out to .png files, then use them from disk. Copy/paste = baggage :)