As a web developer, I don’t need the features, or the expense of full-blown Photoshop. When Photoshop Elements arrived at a reasonable price, it was very welcome.
In both products, I am surprised Adobe didn’t build in the ability to save images in .ico format. After researching, it appears the best solution is to download a plugin, which will work with CSx or Elements. There is a free (donation requested) plugin at http://telegraphics.com.au/sw/. I have Elements 10 and downloaded the 32 bit format version since my app is 32 bit even though my OS is 64bit.
It allows you to save an image up to 256 pixels, but don’t expect it to look nice. Older versions of IE need it to be an anemic 16×16 pixels. IE10 allow 32 px icons. Other browsers vary, but can use PNG formats, up to 128 px. You can declare them, but it gets very tricky. There is a good SitePoint article on how to handle the varying browsers in your declaration.
Then follow the directions included in the zip file (see below):
The plugin gives Photoshop the ability to directly Open and Save Windows icon (.ICO) and cursor (.CUR) files (saving .CUR files is supported by version 2.1 or later). Download the latest version here.
- 64-bit Windows (Vista/Windows 7):
- Restart before installing;
- put plugin in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop \Plug-Ins\File Formats.
- If you are running on a 64-bit Windows system and are launching the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS4 or CS5, download the 64-bit version of the plugin and put it in the Plug-Ins folder corresponding to 64-bit Photoshop (i.e., the one in “Program Files” not “Program Files (x86)”).
- Move the plugin into the “File Formats” folder inside your Photoshop Plugins folder:
- For Windows (32-bit), ICOFormat.8bi
- For Windows (64-bit), ICOFormat64.8bi
- For Mac OS X, ICOFormat.plugin (note that separate versions are provided for CS2, CS3/4 and CS5)
- For Mac OS X/Classic, icoformat
- For 68K MacOS, icoformat(68K)
- If using Corel PSP Photo X2, put the plugin in C:\Program Files\Corel\Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2\Languages\EN\PlugIns
- Quit and relaunch Photoshop, if it’s already running.
To use the plugin
- Use Photoshop’s Open command (File menu) to open .ICO and .CUR files (which will now appear in the file browser)
- Use Photoshop’s Save command to create .ICO and .CUR files.
- If saving .CUR, note that the cursor hotspot is defined by the ruler origin.