Microangelo 5.5

The Good Enormous array of tools for making and managing icons.

The Bad Costs $60; support available only via e-mail; weak online FAQ.

The Bottom Line Microangelo costs a small fortune, but if you want to alter Windows icons, this is the program to get, thanks to its all-inclusive approach to creating, editing, and managing icons.

Editors' Rating
8.0 Overall

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Microangelo 5.5
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Review

Microangelo 5.5

Anyone can slap a new desktop skin on Windows to make it look like a Macintosh or another OS, but only the most creative minds can dig deeper and churn out new icons. Right? Well, sort of. Microangelo 5.5, the newest version of the popular icon maker/manager, sports all the tools you need to apply icons you've found in other programs or downloaded from the Web. It's also the right tool for left-brain types who want to design icons from scratch, including creating icons for Windows XP. Microangelo's sticking point is its price: at $60, it's not for the budget conscious. But if you want to muck around with icons, make Microangelo your master teacher.Anyone can slap a new desktop skin on Windows to make it look like a Macintosh or another OS, but only the most creative minds can dig deeper and churn out new icons. Right? Well, sort of. Microangelo 5.5, the newest version of the popular icon maker/manager, sports all the tools you need to apply icons you've found in other programs or downloaded from the Web. It's also the right tool for left-brain types who want to design icons from scratch, including creating icons for Windows XP. Microangelo's sticking point is its price: at $60, it's not for the budget conscious. But if you want to muck around with icons, make Microangelo your master teacher.

Office for icons
After you install Microangelo--the 21-day trial download version is 2.8MB--you'll see a coterie of programs in your Windows Start menu: Animator, Explorer, Librarian, Studio, and On Display. Unfortunately, Microangelo's fivesome isn't nearly as tightly integrated as the apps in, say, Microsoft Office. Although you can launch some of them from within the others (for example, when you edit an icon in Librarian, part of Studio starts up), each looks, works, and acts differently. It's like learning to use five new pieces of software--a headache all around. On the upside, this five-pack handles virtually any icon-related chore you can think of, from finding icons squirreled away on the hard drive to building brand-new animated icons.

As with other desktop-disguising utilities, beginners can best use Microangelo as an editing tool for preexisting icons, including the icons already on a PC or new downloaded collections. Need some iconic fodder? Check out the icon section of CNET Download.com, Tucows' icon library, and DesktopLand.com for starters.

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