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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
Hi there. Welcome back to another installment of Creative Quicktips. My name is Justin Sealey. And this week, we're talking about how to add a custom Apple Touch icon to your website. Now exactly what is an Apple Touch icon? Well, if we take a look at this website that I'm viewing here, which is my Photoshop Blog, Photoshop Quick Tips. Anytime I hit this little icon right here. You'll notice that the Add to Home Screen button has a custom QT icon. Whereas if you went to a regular site that didn't have an icon attached to the site, you would actually just see something like a screenshot of the website which makes it not really stand out and doesn't look very customized at all.
So how do we get Apple to recognize this little icon that we have? Well, that's what we're going to be talking about in this movie. I'm going to start off here inside of Adobe Photoshop. You don't have to be in Photoshop. You could be in pretty much any image editing application you want. The key here is to understand that you need to create actually four different sizes of icons. The first of which is going to be the largest size. And then you can work your way down by saving the document out at different sizes thereafter. So I'm going to create a new document here, and the key is to make sure that the width and height are, the right size.
So you want to make sure that the width is 144 pixels, and the height is 144 pixels. This is going to be the biggest one of the icons that you're going to create, and it's also going to be related to Apple's Retina iPad. And so once we create this, we're going to hit OK. And there we go. It's just a standard square. And if I wanted to create the icon. Let's just make one up here. I'll just do something like green. And let's say that j is the letter that I want there for this icon. And we'll change that color to white. Let's get sort of a blockier font.
Impact, that's pretty big. There we go. And we'll also shrink the size of it down so it fits. And then we'll just kind of maneuver it. So let's say we wanted this to be my icon. We could use whatever we want. A shape, our logo, whatever the case may be. But in this case, this is going to be our icon. What we're going to do now, is we're going to save this out from Photoshop, or wherever we go. As a certain thing. The file name is also very important. So what we're going to do now is bring up the Safe For Web dialog box and I'm going to make sure this is a PNG file. And I'm just going to save this out to my Desktop and I'm going to save this as apple-touch-icon-144x144, indicating that this is the Apple Touch icon.
It is 144 pixels by 144 pixels and then I'm going to hit Save. From there you're going to create three more sizes for this, so I'm just going to save it again. This time coming down here to the image size, we're going to change this to one 114 by one 114. And again you're going to save it now as the same basic thing except this time you're changing 144 to 114 just like so. And then we'll save out one more. And this one is going to be the same thing except this time it's going to be 72 pixels and by the way each one of these signs corresponds to a specific type of Apple device.
So 144x144 is Retina iPad's. 114 would be like a Retina iPhone. 72 would be something like the iPhone 3GS. Things like that. It just keeps going down, down, down, until you get to, like, the original iPhone. So, 72 by 72. And then finally, we'll save this out, 57 by 57. That's the smallest one that you're going to need. And so this one is just no sizing whatsoever, just Apple Touch Icon. And save it. How do we after we save these get these to actually work on our website? Well what you're going to do, is you're going to navigate over to your website.
You're going to start editing the code in the head tag of your website, an you're going to add, link references like the ones that you see here, that reference the Apple touch icon. Now I have two ways to write this. With shiny effects and without shiny effects. If you've ever seen Apple's icons, by default they have this little curved glass looking shine on the top of them. If you like that, you want Apple to add that sort of gloss, you just save your icons just like I did right there and then you add this to your head tag. If you don't want that shiny icon, then you have to do two different things.
You have to add this part to the front end of it, apple-touch-icon-precomposed. And then each one of your icons, you need to save out, with the appenditure at the end, of precomposed.png. Like you saw earlier in the Photoshop quick tips icon, I actually saved that as a precomposed icon so it looked more flat so it didn't have that glossy touch to it. And as you can see here your just referencing each one of the sizes that we have 144, 114, 72 And in the original one, right there. So, just stick this up in the head tag.
The same place where you would put references too. Job descript, CSS style sheets and all that good stuff. And then make sure that you're referencing the correct icons and their correct location on your FTP server. And once you do that, any time someone is browsing your webpage in mobile safari on an Apple device, and they hit, Add to Home screen. They should see that icon appear. And it will make your brand stand out. It'll make your website stand out. And make it look like a much more customized, almost web app. Like experience. The next time you have to create website, keep this in mind.
Create your icons in all these different sizes and then save them out, use these little code snippets like this to just insert it into the head tag of your website and you'll have a much greater mobile experience for your readers.
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