Create your own Scrivener icons using Gimp tutorial


Those of you who’ve followed me for a while know I’m a big software fan-girl of Scrivener and Scrapple (both programs produced by Literature & Latte.) One of the great things about Scrivener is its file based approach. Instead of one huge document, it uses a series of document folders and files that can be linked in various ways. And for those visual types mourning colored Post-its in this electronic age, you can even assign icons and colors. Sadly, the stock icons in Scrivener in my opinion… Well, they kind of suck… (sorry.)
Fortunately the great people at Literature & Latte anticipated our rabid need for customization and made it possible to easily add custom icons.
Now you can download ready made icons off the web (ico files) from a number of online archives or you can choose to make your own. After sorting through hundreds of icons (a major time suck,) I found all kinds of intricate and wonderful images. But although I have the maturity of a sixteen-year-old, I have *insert mumbling here* eyes. Those intricate faces that looked so good large, shrunk down, just made my project binder look cluttered.
All I wanted was a bunch of colored balls that I could assign to my characters. So deciding I’d wasted enough time (ironically by trying to save time,) I decided to make my own boringly simple icons using Gimp, an open source(free) Photoshop type program. It was so surprisingly easy that I decided to share.

Download and install a copy of Gimp if you don’t have it.Gimp screen shot

Launch Gimp.. c’mon peeps keep up.

Go to… File> New>  click on the advance + sign in the new image box. Select transparency for background and 256 x 256 for size and click okay.

gimp new image prtscr Go to >filters >render >sphere generator. A window will pop up with a generic sphere.

Notice the  layer section in the top right. Each layer can be adjusted independently for  color (properties  section) and position lower right.gimp sphere gen

gimp orang sphereYou can use the preview to see how your adjustments affect the output. Click Okay when it’s just right. You can save here or add some bling. I like using the supernova filter.

gimp supernova

Adjust the properties to get it just right.

Gimp supernova 2Bamb!

gimp bling

Save your new Icon! Give it a name  and select ico file type in the save window.

gimp save icoSee, piece of cake. Now your ready to add it to your Scrivener binder. Right click on the file you want to assign it to, scrivener change iconAdd your shiny new icon to the library.

scrivener iconBrowse to  new icon file and click okay and it will show up in your library the next time you access the ‘Change Icon’ menu command.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. The things I didn’t know you needed to know to be a writer…;-) I think this is probably one of the reasons I am better off without the cool tools. I’d play with them all day.


    1. I love tools…*sigh*… they can be real time savers once the shiny has worn off and you stop playing. I find color coding prevents me from accidentally switching POV in the middle of a scene when I’m writing from multiple POVs. I can also sort by color and follow just one character’s development development.


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