VS 2005 Image Library Restrictions RRS feed

  • Question

  • I really liked the fact that Visual Studio 2005 came with the ZIP library of icons. I have used them a lot. I just randomly opened the restriction files that are in the same folder.


    For example, the restrictions file _MS32bitColorPNGCommandArt - Readme.html states:


    Use Restrictions
    Command icons are used to represent commands in the menu structure. These are most often action verbs, but sometimes are nouns (objects or tools) with actions associated with them. As part of a visual language, the following images (or any part of the images) should be used consistent with, although not necessarily identical to, the usage described below


    So, does this mean I can't use them on toolbars, custom user controls, ect? Seems like a bad decision to restrict the developers to menus...How should I interpret?


    Also, the Use Restrictions on the ICO library seems weird if I can't convert them into a PNG, ect and use them where ICO files are not required...:


    Use Restrictions
    Icon files contained in this folder are to be used in a variety of places in which .ico format is required. They represent objects or annotate the state of objects, and must be used consistently with the descriptive name given to the file as listed below.



    Is there someone from MSFT who can help me understand these restrictions?

    Friday, May 18, 2007 1:36 PM


  • I would ignore those "use restrictions" as they apply to being used for "menus" (or any particular UI element).  For example an image on a menu needs to match an image on a toolbar.  I would say you're allowed to use the images freely for the their intended purpose.  If you provide a "delete" functionality use the delete image(s) wherever you need an image representing that delete functionality.  To me, that would include menus, buttons, dialogs, help files, printed documentation, or any future technology used in graphical user interfaces (especially those coming out of MS).


    For any image to be used it needs to be converted into an infinite number of different formats before it can be displayed to the user, a restriction on use based upon file format is wholly unenforceable.


    I doubt you'll get any legal clarification on this out of MSFT.


    I would doubt anything would come of it if you didn't; but I get from that that you shouldn't use images to represent functionality that they weren't intended for (i.e. using the Delete image for "sort" functionality).  You're sure to get into trouble if you redistribute those images for application development.

    Friday, May 18, 2007 2:56 PM