How to Change Ubuntu Icons

Posted on Sunday 28 March 2010

Every now and then I come across a problem with Ubuntu which once again re-affirms my belief that it isn’t quite ready for the general user. In this case it was something as simple as selecting an icon for a program that I added that wasn’t part of the Ubuntu library of programs.

Don’t get me wrong, I was given a choice of icons that I could have selected for it ( instead of the boring default one ) but I didn’t think any of them properly reflected what the program was really about. So I went out and found an icon library – there are thousands of them out there…. and found an icon it it that would suit, but for the life of me I couldn’t get the icon selected. Every time I went to the directory that the icon ( or for that matter any other icons ) existed. I found it empty…. I knew I was missing something but REALLY! It shouldn’t be this difficult!  👿

So I’ve been looking on and off, for solutions for months and most of them said the same thing.

1) Go to your drop down menus and click on System -> Preferences -> Main Menu

2) Go the the program you want to change the icon on Left click on it then Click on Properties off the menu

3) Left click on the icon and select browse

4) Go to the folder that holds the icon

5 ) Select the icon and it’s done

That sounds great only no matter where I went after step  4  – NO icons ever showed up! Even if I knew they were there – it was driving me crazy. This shouldn’t be a difficult thing. Why couldn’t I find any icons this way! 😯

Well today all was made clear, after once again doing a lot of searching on the Internet I found the missing step…. that’s right there is a non obvious step that most people don’t tell you about.

I found it buried as a one liner hidden in a larger article all about how you can change find and make your own….. it said

Using ‘Browse Icons’ you often get to what seem to be empty folders & you need to click on OK to open them & find they are not empty!

It is an extra step, and not well documented, and I really am not sure why you have to do it that way but you do and here it is…..

After step 4 you need to:

4a) Select the Folder you want then click on the OPEN button found on the browser window

4b) After a few seconds a window will open up showing you all the icons available in that folder

6 ) Select the icon you want then click OK

Why the extra non-intuitive steps? I’m sure there is a logical reason somewhere…. but once again it makes what should have been a simple process elaborate and frankly painful. If you have several folders containing icons it can take a while, unless you know the icon you want to add before hand….

So for those of you looking for the answer on how to change your Ubuntu Koala icons here it is

1) Go to your drop down menus and click on System -> Preferences -> Main Menu

2) Go the the program you want to change the icon on Left click on it then Click on Properties off the menu

3) Left click on the icon and select browse

4) Select the Folder you want that contains the icon you want to use and click on the OPEN button found on the browser window

5) After a few seconds a window will open up showing you all the icons available in that folder

6) Select the icon you want then click OK

7) Click on all close buttons as your icon has now been changed

Now it does appear that once you have done this, that in future you just need to select that folder from the drop down menu when you are browsing and all the icons magically appear. So there is definitely something going on. But really, would it have been so hard to just let a body browse and select the icon wanted instead of having to open the folder first and allow it to load up everything in it before selecting the icon one wanted?!

End Article

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