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Icon Theme Usage

When developing software make sure to use the icons for the proper context of the widgets that you'll be placing in the application. Using icons from the wrong category in the wrong place will cause the application to look inconsistent and force 3rd party theme creators to use workarounds to theme applications.

Inside the icon theme folders the icon themes will have the following structure as described:

Theme_Name/ - The theme's name, pretty obvious.

  • actions/
This folder is for icons that go in the toolbar, menus and buttons like: New document, Open, Save, Exit, Help, Settings, Back, Forward, Ok, Cancel, etc.
  • applications/
This folder is for the software icons, their logos made into an icon. Icons in this folder should never be used for other purposes. Never.
  • categories/
This folder is for icons that get displayed in menus like: Kickoff (Applications>Accessories, Games, Office, System), again, as the name implies to sort the categories. They are used to give categories an image as exemplified by Muon Discover. And like the above, Icons in this folder should never be used for other purposes. Never.
  • devices/
This folder is for icons that are related to hardware a.k.a as devices, the icons here are used to display a device connected in certain places like Dolphin's left side pane, however they should not be used there nor in System Settings but in places like notification bubbles or the default places tab view in Homerun (full-screen). Icons in this folder should never be used for other purposes. Never.
  • emblems/
This folder is for the icons that are displayed in the lower right corner of an icon in certain software to denote usually a characteristic of the file/folder, like permissions, ownership or to know whether its a link. Icons in this folder should never be used for other purposes. Never.
  • mimetypes/
This folder is for icons that display the file type to every application. Icons in this folder should never be used for other purposes. Never.
  • places/
This folder is strictly for user folders icons, folders like Home, Documents, Videos, or the regular folder icon go here, nothing else. Icons in this folder should never be used for other purposes. Never.
  • status/
In Plasma this folder is not as important, as it only contains very few icons used in wvery few applications as the Plasma theme is what provides these icons, however for the sake of informing, here goes icons used in panels like the Mate DE panel, LXDE and XFCE panels and has icons like: Volume, Network, and the like. In Ubuntu-land these icons are known as Indicator icons.
  • index.theme
This file handles how the icons are displayed, at what size, and what's the path for each folder category.

This page was last edited on 30 March 2016, at 12:21. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.