Many of the users watching IconPaper are experienced Mac customizers. Although, there are also watchers who are new to the idea of customizing their Macs. Every Friday I will review a different application and tell you if it is worth downloading. Today I will be reviewing the well known application by Panic, CandyBar.
CandyBar is an easy to use application allowing Mac users to change icons on their desktop, as well as system icons. Users can collect icons, from 512×512 pixels to 16×16, and store them in folders. You can make folders for your different types of icons, sorting them by color, author, type, or any other way. CandyBar not only sorts icons but also stores docks. And to make things even easier, CandyBar has a Quick Look feature, showing the icons in all their pixel states. These are only some of the many features Candybar has.
A major feature in CandyBar is the ability to export icons. If you want an icon exported, all you have to do is right click and click Export. From there, you can chose to export the icon as a PNG, ICNS, ICO, TIFF, GIF, and JPEG. You may also save the icon as an iContainer, a sort of .zip where all the exported icons are put. When the iContainer is opened, it imports all the icons that were in the .zip to your CandyBar icon library. If you export an icon as, say, a PNG, you can chose what size you would like your exported icon to be. One last feature I would like to share with you is the ability to convert an icon from PNG to ICNS, ICNS to Icons, and many other types. This is done by right clicking on an icon and exporting it. You may be exporting what was originally a PNG, and by choosing ICNS you are taking that PNG and making it an ICNS. As you can see, CandyBar allows the user to customize and organize their icons in a simple and quick way.
The great thing about CandyBar is that you can make your own docks and when you’re done, put them in CandyBar. You can change your default dock to the one you made, allowing you to see your finished product all day long. There are some great tutorials here on IconPaper that will help you. A great one, written by Vivian, is about just that, making docks for CandyBar. Here’s the link.
I have been using CandyBar for over a year now and I am pretty satisfied. If I had to rate this application, I think I would give it a four out of five. The UI of CandyBar is nice, but not all that impressive. A bug that really annoys me is that sometimes CandyBar does not replace the icon immediately, even after a dock/finder relaunch. Since there is no real way to stop this bug or permanently fix it, users must either log out and then back in or reboot their computer to see the icon change. The last bug I found was when exporting, a user can’t export the icon to size 256. The closest you can get is to 255 pixels and this is troublesome for Windows users because that is a pixel size used often on Windows. There are probably other minor bugs that other people have noticed as well. Overall, CandyBar is a good application, all it needs is for the developers to sort out the performance and stability issues.
CandyBar is expensive and I’m sure there are other applications that are free and offer the same services. However, after buying CandyBar, you get the ability to collect more than 100, which is all the free trial version allows. In my opinion, it is worth buying this application as long as you can see yourself using it for more than a couple of months.