Labeling Icons with Text

DVMUG

Labeling Icons with Text

Check It Out by Caryn Lum

After a hard drive failure, I was forced to get a new M1 MacBook Air and therefore forced to make a big jump from Yosemite to Big Sur. I had previously used a now-discontinued application, “Folder Brander,” to put text on the icons of drives, folders, and documents to help me with organization. A quick internet search revealed no good replacement, but it turns out that you can accomplish this task using only the Finder and Preview.

Step 1.

1_Reading_Info
In the Finder, select the item whose icon you want to label and click cmd-I (Get Info).
Click on the item’s icon in the Get Info dialog box and click cmd-C (copy). You are copying the .icns file to your clipboard.

Step 2.

2_Preview_New
Launch Preview and select “New From Clipboard” (cmd-N)

Step 3

3_Preview_Editing
Preview will open a document with multiple thumbnails of the icon in its sidebar. The thumbnails are for various icon sizes, with the largest icon size at the top. Pick a large to medium icon to edit. You will be able to have larger text size on your icon if you choose a medium size – #3 is good. Use Preview’s markup tools to add your text. You can also change the color (Tools > Adjust Color), but Big Sur users should beware – the OS 11 Preview is said on the internet to be buggy and Preview crashed several times while I was playing with this tool.

Step 4

4_Preview_SelectAll
In Preview’s main window (not the sidebar), “Select All” (cmd-A), then “Copy” (cmd-C) to copy your customized image to your clipboard.

Step 5

1_Reading_Info

Back in the Finder Get Info dialog box, click on the item’s icon again and click cmd-V (paste).

Step 6

6_GetInfoPasted
You have replaced the item’s original icon with your custom icon. Selecting the icon in the Get Info dialog box and clicking delete will restore the default icon.

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