Fooling An Ubuntu AppIndicator Icon Into Reading PNG

I’m using this appindicator on Ubuntu 11.04 that has an icon that doesn’t blend too well with the Radiance theme. Although the icon is monchrome-ish, I think it was intended originally for the Ambiance theme. On the panel it looked the odd-man-out because it had more white color than black.

Searching for the name of its icon using Synaptic (there you will find what files each package contains and where the individual files are placed), I found out it was under /usr/share/libindicator/icons/hicolor/scalable/status. I had planned to edit it, unfortunately, the file was of SVG type. Gimp can’t save as SVG but can open the file at a set width and height. It will no longer be scalable, in other words.

Since the icon already has two general colors – light (white to light-grey) and dark (dark grey to black) – using the invert color function of Gimp to make the icon look from mainly light to mainly dark was easy.

Now how to save it as SVG? I didn’t have Inksape installed or any other vector manipulation tool. My Internet connection for the past week has been a PITA slow or none-existent. I tried moving the original SVG icon to another place and replacing it with a PNG version. Relogged. No icon on the panel.Bummer!

There were PNG icons available in other directories under /usr/share/libindicator/icons/hicolor/WxH/status. Surely the panel can read PNG image format. This led me to think that I could just fool it into thinking it was an SVG file type. What I did was to change its extension from .svg to .png. A simple stupid move, but the trick worked and I now have an appindicator icon  that blended well with the other icons in the Radiance theme.

Maybe I could have placed the PNG versions of the icon instead in 24×24? It might have worked instead of renaming the extension.


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Notice: This article was published on May 28, 2011 and the content above may be out of date.