The Favicon, an Untapped Photograph Promotion Trick – Animated Favicons?

A favicon is certainly that little image that most browsers display on the handle line and in the favorites (bookmarks) menu. Tabbed browsers like Firefox and Opera lengthen the operation of favicons, adding them to their tabs. The brand was coined predicated on Internet Explorer (the first browser to aid it) and derives from “Favorites Icon”. Each browser has a unique interface, and as a result uses the favicon in various ways. The favicon allows an organization to help expand promote its identity and photograph by displaying a company logo, a graphical message, etc. Often, the favicon reflects the appearance and feel of the web page or the organization’s logo.
A traditional favicon is truly a Microsoft Windows ICO record. An ICO file is actually a repository of bitmap like images. They are used because in a few locations a 16×16 pixel image is desired, and sometimes a 32×32 image may be needed. Sometimes a 16 color image is desired, and quite often a 256 color icon is desired.
You probably already knew each of the above.
But did you know that Firefox can exhibit animated favicons? Unless you believe me, open Firefox and go to my site, (there should be a link at the bottom of the article). if you don’t have Firefox, download it, it is a “must have” and you will quickly fall in love with the simplicity and convenience of tabbed browsing. Even if you are not a designer but only a site owner, in today’s environment you absolutely must know how your site looks in every browsers. You would believe all websites should look the same, but as browsers are more diverse and much more sophisticated, standards are not respected and things can get messy. For example, I simply discovered that a few pages on my webpage don’t look as expected in the most recent version of Opera and have to be adjusted.
Ok, I hope right now you noticed my animated favicon in Firefox and came back to the article for more information about it…
The main reason why you can view animated favicons in Firefox is basically because Firefox abolished the proprietary ICO structure in favor of the ability to display any supported image structure in the favicon location, like BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG and… animated GIFs.
So now you understand the big top secret, the animated favicon is only a tiny animated GIF.
Here is a very neat trick, that may actually be used to visualize how any impression appears like as a 16×16 pixel icon – once you start designing one of those, you will realize that it is very hard to make a legible image on a 16 square pixels canvas:
Find any page with any graphic that you are interested in. Right click on the image and chose “View Impression” from the dialog. A blank webpage should display together with your chosen image and surprise: you can see a miniature 16×16 backup of the photograph as a favicon! Uhh… carry out I must mention again that people are doing all of this in Firefox?
A hacker’s mind will immediately think of how great it might be to use this feature as a conversion tool. Unfortunately, unlike WEB BROWSER and Opera, Firefox doesn’t retail outlet FavIcons in .ico data, the icons are stored within an encoded format straight in the bookmark file.
You can apply the same principle to animated GIFs and you will notice that a miniature variation of the animation in addition plays in the address bar and on the tabs.
Perhaps one of many reasons why you don’t note that many sites using animations will be browser compatibility. Animated favicons aren’t treated at all by WEB BROWSER. A static image will never be extracted from the animation also. As an alternative, the default .htm icon (as defined in Windows’ filetypes) will undoubtedly be placed under one’s Favorites – once added, that’s. The animations are not backed by Netscape, Opera, Konqueror, Safari; at least so it seems at the time of this writing. The Firefox family members seems to be the only real friend to animations, but as browsers evolve, broader help for animation will most likely come along (or, the idea will die).
So, why not take advantage of this *now* and ‘beat the rush’?
Basically, this is how it’s done:
1. You create a 16×16 animated GIF.
2. You upload the animated GIF to the “root” of one’s site, or to any other location.
3. You hardcode in your page the location where Firefox should search for the animation.
That’s really it, “big picture” wise.
If you don’t feel too creative or just don’t have time and/or patience, an established professional design firm (such as Bsleek) should be able to create a nice animated favicon for you personally. Another alternative – I don’t endorse it, as your goal ought to be to excel through unique information and push your own image out there – is to find one of the many galleries online and sometimes download a all set made animated favicon or have a large animated GIF and resize it and/or edit it in one of the many available tools. There also are sites that offer online animated favicon creation from the standard image (check out, find “FavIcon from pics”, they will have a straightforward but neat scrolling text feature).
Should you be however a fellow do-it-yourselfer, next let’s elaborate and appearance at some techniques and valuable tips:
So far as tools go: If you’re a lucky manager of Adobe’s excellent Photoshop, you then also have a companion program called ImageReady. Linux consumers have Gimp, an incredibly powerful and free graphics program that may easily handle animated GIF creation. What many people have no idea is that Gimp can be available for free for House windows and the Mac. Addititionally there is GIMPShop in the wild, that is a nifty GIMP version for the photoshop-inclined viewers (did I mention free?). Additionally, there are many specialized GIF animation makers, some freeware, some not.

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