Standard Microsoft Icons

A customer recently asked me if they can use the standard Microsoft explorer icons in their applications.  The answer is yes!  In fact Soma blogged about the extended set of Icons we have in VS2005, but basically you can find the VS 2005 Image Library at %vs install path%/common7/ide/vs2005imagelibrary/ The Windows, Office, and Visual Studio icons that we license for reuse are all contained in there.


We’d love to hear feedback on what is missing, what you found really valuable, etc.  

Comments (12)

  1. The image library is great, but I was a little disappointed that it only contains 16×16 bitmaps for toolbar buttons. I like to use 24×24 as my standard "toolbar image" size. Maybe that’s just a personal thing, I dunno.

    In the commercial world, people like GlyFX ( are doing a great job. They supply all their images in multiple sizes (16 and 24 in the "small" packs, and 32 up to 64 in the "large", IIRC), and in multiple formats (including PNGs with alpha channels).

    That’s the sort of thing I’d love to see in an "official" image library from MS.

  2. Mark says:

    Mine appears at:



    What is very useful is the HTML readme in each directory that previews all the bitmaps for you.

  3. Tricky says:

    If i own a copy of VS2005 and I am making an application that runs on a non windows platform (the application is not coded in VS 2005), then can I still use Image library’s icons on this application? I am making a windows version in VS 2005, but the non windows version is obviously not coded in VS.

  4. hector jimenez says:

    thanks for all up to date software

  5. PatriotB says:

    I had a suggestion on the MSDN Product Feedback site, to issue a "refresh" of the image library with Vista images/icons once Vista ships.  The bug was marked as "closed/postponed", so who knows if it’ll ever happen.

    The image library is a good idea… so it would be great to be able to (legally) create Vista apps that use the same images as Vista…

  6. The Visual Studio 2005 image library is good, but it’s not enough. I always wondered why Microsoft releases so much source code and yet so little graphic material. Does anybody know?

  7. Peter Ritchie says:

    Agree with only 16×16 bitmaps.  My users really need to be able to make the buttons larger on the resolution they’re working on, 24×24 and/or 32×32 would be GREAT.

    Would you be able to make available (before the next SP) a fix for the icons with a black background (commands/32bitcolor for example.  i.e. fixed icons with a magenta background).  I, for one, would really appreciate it.

    It would also be nice if all the commands sub-directories contained all the same icons.  Some icons are 16-color only, some are 24-bit only, some are 32-bit only.

    Also, my image library path is also %VSInstallPath%Common7VS2005ImageLibrary

  8. Daniel says:

    The icon selection is kind of quirky – why are there icons for Bold and Italic, but not Underline?

  9. John says:

    I definitely agree with the 16×16 comment – shell32 contains most of these in much higher resolution; it’d be great to have all of these in all their various resolutions!

  10. Mark says:

    For those of us that need to create our own icons, are there rules or tools available for how to recreate a similar look and feel to Windows / Office buttons.  Personally, I need to create some unique images that have the same look as Office 2003 buttons.

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