Apple releases info on designing document icons for macOS Big Sur

Macos Text Icon
Macos Text Icon (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has released information for designing and implementing icons for documents on macOS Big Sur.

In a new post on its Developer website (opens in new tab), Apple has laid out instructions on how developers can create effective icons for their macOS documents. The company says that designing and implementing good document icons will help users identify your app's files across the Mac experience.

A good document icon aids in the identification of your file on the Desktop, in a Finder window, or in an open dialog, especially when previews aren't available. These icons may be displayed on screen as small as 16pt or large enough to showcase every glorious design detail.

Macos Music Icon

Macos Music Icon (Image credit: Apple)

Developers can also, in certain scenarios, set their document to show off a preview of the content contained in the file.

Depending on the file type and personal preference, document icons can also display document previews. If someone has chosen not to show document extensions in System Preferences, these icons can additionally provide additional context in deciphering their file type and native program.

Apple says that macOS Big Sur lets developers control how their document icons display across the entire user experience.

With macOS Big Sur, you can customize and control how your app's document icons display across the system. We'll show you how to design a great icon, integrate it into your Xcode project, and assign document types and type identifiers.

Developers can check out all of the information related to macOS Bir Sur document icons on the Apple Developer website (opens in new tab).

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.