5 Free Photo Editing Tools to Create ThingLink Custom Icons

One of the best features of ThingLink EDU Premium is the ability to create and use custom icons to tell deeper stories. 

For educators, custom icons are a truly useful tool for providing students with differentiated resources. They help students tackle a learning task through the use of these small attention grabbing visual cues. Let’s learn how to create custom icons.

Start with a Base Image

Every custom icon starts with a base image. You can create a base image from scratch or you can use an existing image as an icon. Since icons are very small, it’s best to stick with simple icons.

Icon Specifications

  • Recommended size, 36 x 36 pixels
  • Maximum size, 140 x 64 pixels
  • Any shape 
  • A second image with inverted colors to achieve a hover effect, optional
  • Images must be saved as .png files

You can adjust the size of your icon, change the file type, and create hover effects with the help of Photo Editing tools. 

5 Free Photo Editing Tools to Try

If you already have photo editing tools in your toolkit to help you perform the tasks above, use your favorite tool. If you are looking for free online tools with the features necessary to create great custom icons and more, you might want to explore the interactive image at the top of this post and try some of the tools yourself.

Upload a Custom Icon

After you create custom icons, you upload them to ThingLink. They will be directly accessible in the image editor, along with existing EDU Premium icons. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to upload an icon with a hover effect. 



Join Our Live Demo with Q & A

In an effort to support the EDU community, we are pleased to announce a weekly broadcast designed to highlight ways to use ThingLink EDU for teaching and learning, as well as demonstrate how to achieve these goals. These informal webinar broadcasts began as Interactive Image Slams last year. The new name celebrates more collaboration between panelists and guests featuring on the spot demos in response to questions. Think of it as a live help session that will inspire, offered at a regular time.

ThingLink Live
Episode 1: Ignite Your ThingLink with Custom Icons

Sign up for our first episode of ThingLink Live at 7:00 PM EDT as a participant or a panelist.
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Susan Oxnevad
Susan Oxnevad is the Director of Education at ThingLink. She strives to build a powerful network of educators who share a passion for using ThingLink to transform teaching and learning. In addition, she also hosts ThingLink webinars for educators and blogs about thoughtful ways to leverage the power of technology for teaching and learning on the ThingLink Blog for Education. Follow her on Twitter @soxnevad
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