Icon Metaphors

From Tango Desktop Project

This document is a very rough draft. Feel free to improve it.

Icon name Proposed Icon Metaphor Current KDE Metaphor Current Gnome Metaphor
Actions
address-book-new Address book with a flare in the top right corner Rolodex catalog
application-exit Arrow pointing into an open door with darkness beyond it
appointment-new Calendar with an area roughly circled (as if with a thick pen), and a flare in the top right corner Paper with a clock in front. The upper-right quadrant of the clock is highlighted.
contact-new Business card with a flare in the top right corner Business card with a person and text Business card
dialog-cancel A red X
dialog-close A black X
dialog-ok
document-new A paper sheet with a flare in the top right corner A paper sheet with a flare on the middle right side A paper sheet
document-open Page emerging from folder A page emerging from an open folder An open, empty folder
document-open-recent No icon
document-page-setup Page with visible margins, and tick marks around two sides A printer with an overlaid wrench
document-print A printer with a arrow pointing up from it A printer A printer
document-print-preview The printer icon inside a computer screen? A page with an overlaid magnifying glass A printer with an overlaid magnifying glass
document-properties Page overlaid with an "i" information symbol Page with a wrench next to it
document-revert A floppy disk with an overlaid 'Undo' arrow.
document-save Hard drive with an arrow pointing onto it. Floppy disk Floppy disk
document-save-as Hard drive with an arrow pointing onto it. Additionaly a text entry widget with some text overlaid. Floppy disk with overlaid pencil Floppy disk with overlaid pencil
edit-copy Two offset, overlapping text documents Two offset, overlapping text documents Two offset, overlapping text documents
edit-cut Pair of scissors Pair of scissors Pair of scissors
edit-delete A shredder A page with an overlaid 'X' A trash can
edit-find Animal footprints on either side of a magnifying glass Blank text document with overlaid magnifying glass
edit-find-replace Blank text document with overlaid magnifying glass and pencil
edit-paste Clipboard with document Clipboard with document Clipboard with document
edit-redo Arrow making a leap up, then ends pointing right Arrow arcing down from right to left, then ends pointing up Arrow making a leap up, then ends pointing right
edit-select-all No icon
edit-undo Arrow making a leap up, then ends pointing left Arrow arcing up from left to right, then ends pointing down Arrow making a leap up, then ends pointing left
format-indent-less Block of light indented lines, with bold unindented lines in the middle Lines of text in a square. The indented lines are preceeded by an arrow pointing left and are bold.
format-indent-more Block of light unindented lines, with bold indented lines in the middle Lines of text in a square. The indented lines are preceeded by an arrow pointing right and are bold.
format-justify-center Block of centered lines of various lengths
format-justify-fill Block of justified lines, with the last line aligned left/right in LTR/RTL locales
format-justify-left Block of left-aligned lines of various lengths
format-justify-right Block of right-aligned lines of various lengths
format-text-direction-ltr
format-text-direction-rtl
format-text-bold Bold sans-serif "A"
format-text-italic Italic sans-serif "A"
format-text-underline Underlined sans-serif "A"
format-text-strikethrough Sans-serif "A" with strikethrough
go-bottom Arrow pointing down with a horizontal line at the arrow tip
go-down Arrow pointing down
go-first Arrow pointing to the left (for ltr-languages) with a vertical line at the arrow tip
go-home House House House
go-jump Arrow making a leap up, right and then pointing down with its tip at its baseline
go-last Arrow pointing to the right (for ltr-languages) with a vertical line at the arrow tip
go-next Arrow pointing to the right (for ltr-languages) Arrow pointing to the right in circle Arrow pointing to the right
go-previous Arrow pointing to the left (for ltr-languages) Arrow pointing to the left in circle Arrow pointing to the left
go-top Arrow pointing up with a horizontal line at the arrow tip
go-up Arrow pointing up
help-about
help-contents
help-faq
insert-image Picture frame with a landscape picture inside
insert-link
insert-object Cube in isometric perspective
insert-text Dotted box with an "A" inside
list-add Bold "+" symbol
list-remove Bold "−" symbol
mail-forward
mail-mark-important A star
mail-mark-junk Rubbish bag
mail-mark-notjunk Rubbish bag with a (black) diagonal line through it
mail-mark-read
mail-mark-unread
mail-message-new Page with a pencil writing on it
mail-reply-all Two arrows curling back
mail-reply-sender One arrow curling back
mail-send-receive Circle of two arrows chasing each other
media-playback-pause Two solid (black) vertical rectangles
media-playback-start Solid (black) equilateral triangle pointing right
media-playback-stop Solid (black) square
media-playlist-shuffle
media-record Solid (maroon) circle
media-seek-backward Two solid (black) equilateral triangles touching, pointing left
media-seek-forward Two solid (black) equilateral triangles touching, pointing right
media-skip-backward Solid (black) equilateral triangle pointing left, touching a vertical rectangle
media-skip-forward Solid (black) equilateral triangle pointing right, touching a vertical rectangle
system-lock-screen Stylized keyhole in a stylized screen
system-log-out Stylized keyhole
system-run A gear-wheel A gear-wheel A set of gear-wheels
system-search Magnifying glass Folder with magnifying glass
tools-check-spelling Checkmark over sample letters (e.g. "ABC")
view-fullscreen Stylized screen with arrows pulling each corner outward
view-refresh Circle of two arrows chasing each other Single arrow pointing around back at itself Circle of two arrows chasing each other
view-sort-ascending Downward arrow alongside block of lines with shortest at top and longest at bottom
view-sort-descending Downward arrow alongside block of lines with longest at top and shortest at bottom
window-close
window-new
wallpaper-center A rectangle with smaller rectangle centered inside, contrasting colors
wallpaper-fill
wallpaper-scale
wallpaper-tile
zoom-best-fit A magnifying glass with 4 corners of rectangle sign A magnifying glass with 4 corners of rectangle sign
zoom-in A magnifying glass with + sign A magnifying glass with + sign
zoom-original A magnifying glass with 1:1 sign A magnifying glass with 1:1 sign
zoom-out A magnifying glass with - sign A magnifying glass with - sign
Applications
accessories-calculator A handheld calculator A handheld calculator A handheld calculator
accessories-character-map A keyboard key displaying a character
accessories-dictionary Large book with large amount of pages visible
accessories-text-editor A paper notepad
help-browser
multimedia-volume-control
preferences-desktop-accessibility
preferences-desktop-font "A" (or locale equivalent) in a variety of overlaid fonts
preferences-desktop-keyboard Keyboard
preferences-desktop-locale Globe
preferences-desktop-multimedia
preferences-desktop-screensaver Stylized screen displaying moon and stars
preferences-desktop-theme
preferences-desktop-wallpaper
system-file-manager
system-software-update
utilities-terminal A computer screen with command prompt
Categories
applications-accessories Scissors and triangle-ruler
applications-development A yellow hard hat
applications-games Console game joystick Console game control-pad
applications-graphics Paintbrush and palette
applications-internet Globe
applications-multimedia Film reel and film
applications-office Typewritter Typewritter
applications-other
applications-system
applications-utilities
preferences-desktop
preferences-desktop-accessibility
preferences-desktop-peripherals
preferences-desktop-personal
preferences-other
preferences-system
preferences-system-network
system-help
Devices
audio-card A circuit board with a small note or speaker in the corner?
audio-input-microphone Microphone
camera-video Video camera
computer Computer
drive-cdrom
drive-harddisk
drive-removable-media
input-gaming Joystick
input-keyboard A keyboard
input-mouse A computer mouse
printer A desktop printer
video-card A circuit board with a Tv or picture embeded on it?
video-display
Emblems
emblem-default
emblem-documents
emblem-downloads A globe? A package?
emblem-favorites A heart
emblem-important An exclimation point
emblem-mail An envelope
emblem-photos
emblem-readonly An eye? Maybe a pencil with a red X on it?
emblem-shared
emblem-symbolic-link An arrow with a 90 degree curve in the corner. A short segment of chain in the corner?
emblem-synchronized
emblem-system
emblem-unreadable An eye with a red X on it
Emoticons
face-angel
face-crying
face-devil-grin
face-devil-sad
face-glasses
face-kiss
face-monkey
face-plain
face-sad
face-smile
face-smile-big
face-smirk
face-surprise
face-wink
Mime Types
audio-x-generic
font-x-generic Page with "Ff" printed on it
image-x-generic
text-x-generic Page with lines of unreadable text
video-x-generic About 1.5 frames of film reel
x-directory-normal A folder
x-directory-remote Folder with a small planet Earth in the corner
x-directory-remote-server
x-directory-remote-workgroup
x-directory-trash A trash can or recycle bin
x-directory-trash-full A full trash can or recycle bin showing contents
x-office-address-book
x-office-calendar
x-office-document A fileable document containing some lines of text surrounding an image
x-office-presentation Something (a x-office-document with visible pie chart) left and right bordered by a theater-like curtain. Maybe one part of it hit by a spotlight.
x-office-spreadsheet A document containing a spreadsheet and a pie chart in the bottom-right corner
Status
appointment-missed
appointment-soon
audio-volume-high
audio-volume-low
audio-volume-medium
audio-volume-muted
battery-caution A battery with a yellow glow, yellow coloring
battery-low A red battery, A battery with a red glow
dialog-error
dialog-information
dialog-password
dialog-question
dialog-warning
image-loading
image-missing
mail-attachment
mail-unread
mail-read
mail-replied
mail-signed
mail-signed-verified
network-error
network-offline
network-online
printer-error
printer-printing Printer with paper passing through it, animated
software-update-available
software-update-urgent
sync-error
sync-synchronizing Circle of two icons chasing each other, animated
task-due
task-passed-due
user-away (Maroon) filled square
user-idle (Yellow) horizontal oval
user-offline (Grey) dash
user-online (Green) filled circle
weather-clear Sun
weather-few-clouds Sun partly overlaid by a cloud
weather-fog Whiteness with roofs jutting out
weather-overcast Clouds
weather-severe-alert (Yellow) triangle with (black) exclamation mark
weather-showers Cloud with light rain
weather-showers-scattered Sun partly overlaid by a cloud with light rain
weather-snow Snowflake
weather-storm Cloud with lightning bolt

Possible changes

edit-undo (Blue) arrow curling back, away from a small (maroon) cross
edit-redo (Blue) arrow curling forward, toward a small (green) tick
document-revert (Blue) arrow curling back, away from a page
document metaphor If sheets of paper / pages are being used to represent a "document" in icons, maybe they shouldn't be used anywhere else, as this could create functional uncertainty and reduce visual obviousness of the document-related icons. eg. A proposed "blog" icon was a sheet of paper with some small thing on top of it. many icons in other sets are just sheets of paper with some random small annotation.
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