ActiveX Component for Twitter

Twitter is a popular social networking and microblogging service on the Web that let users send and read short text-based messages (up to 140 characters), also known as a “tweets”. We have now created an ActiveX component (Active control) that can be used to send messages (tweets) directly from desktop applications.

URL shortener
We have also inluded a URL shortering function in the Twitter ActiveX. The function uses the Bitly service to shorten URLs, but it is also possible to the let Twitter shorten the URLs. Both systems are supported by the Twitter component.

More information
You can read more about the Twitter ActiveX component on this web page on our web site:
> SamLogic’s Twitter Component: SLTwitCtrl ActiveX Control

Other news: Also our desktop applications will support Twitter soon
We will also add support for Twitter in our other software. We will first add support to our e-mail marketing tool MultiMailer. You will soon be able to send tweets directly from the program. You can for example tweet about your latest newsletter that you just sent out, or currently is delivering! We will also add this functionality to Visual Installer, so you can tweet about new versions of your software directly from Visual Installer. Same function will be added to CD-Menu Creator.

More information about this new feature in our desktop applications will be coming soon.

Free pictures for newsletters and your blog

In a previous blog thread we published a list of websites that provide free icons (small pictures) that can be used for your newsletter, homepage, blog or program. In this blog thread we bring up a new article that you can find on our homepage which contains links to websites where you can download free images (for example photos) of high quality. Even those pictures will fit well your newsletters, blogs, homepages and programs etc.

There are many websites on the Internet that offer professional images such as photos or computer generated pictures. In an article we have put together a list of links to such websites with high level of standard. Many of these images can be used for free for both private and commercial purposes while others can be bought cheaply. The available image formats usually are JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF and BMP. The article brings also up some search engines – specialized for images – that you can use for finding free images or images you are willing to pay for. You can find the article here:

> Free pictures for newsletters and your blog

Free icons for programs and webpages

In this blog thread we wrote about a good program (Axialis IconWorkshop) that can be used for creating your own icons. An alternative for creating your own icons is to use ready-made icons instead. You can find many websites on the Internet that provide you with ready-made icons of high quality. These icons can be used both for a program and for a webpage. They can even often be used for blogs and newsletters etc. You can use many of the icons for free, i.e. they will not cost you anything, while other icons can be bought for a quite small amount of money.

Search engines that can find icons
There are many good search engines that helps you to look for icons. One good example is IconFinder that can be used for looking up both free icons and icons that you need to pay for. IconFinder contains a large selection of diverse icons. At the time of writing this blog thread there are 214 330 icons available in their database.

Even websites like FindIcons and IconArchive offer many icons for both private and commercial purposes. Both the sites have embedded search engines that make it easy to locate icons of a certain category or look. In certain cases even Google image search can be used for looking up icons.

List of websites with free icons
There is a large number of websites on the Internet that offer you beautiful and well-designed icons. Many of these icons can be used for free for both private and commercial purposes while others will cost you a little bit of money. The available icon formats usually are PNG, GIF, ICO and in some cases even PSD (Abode Photoshop) or BMP. Bellow you can find a list of links with some good websites that we recommend:

1st Webdesigner – Web Design Blog – Over 30 icon sets for designers and developers.
Crystal Clear – Icons from Crystal Clear set by Everaldo Coelho.
Dry icons – Free icons – Many professional icons. They can even design icons at your request.
Fast icon – Many icons with professional look. You can even create icons.
Free Icons Web – Over 28 000 free icons and 950 icon sets.
iCandies Icon Set – 60 free icons for your user interface or your app.
IconDock – Free icon collections rated by users.
IconSpedia – Contains many free icons of high class.
Noupe – Icons in PSD format, but for most of the icons there are even PNG images available.

Some icons require you to link from your homepage to their website or to the designers’ website while others have no such specific demands. Before using an icon, check carefully its license terms of use.

Shutterstock – for you who is willing to pay
For you who is willing to pay a bit extra there is a website that we really can recommend –
Shutterstock. They have an enormous number of icons for commercial purposes and you will probably find every thinkable icon in their collection.

Program for creating icons

Both SamLogic CD-Menu Creator and SamLogic Visual Installer give you the possibility to add your own icon to your project. To create an icon you need a program that helps you to form icons and in many cases Microsoft Visual Studio is sufficient for that purpose. However, Visual Studio has some flaws concerning icon handling (among others shortfalls with handling the color palettes) so if you want to make creating icons easier and escape those problems, it can be a good idea to use a program that specializes in the task instead.

There are several different programs at the market. We use Axialis IconWorkshop which is easy to use while still being a powerful tool. The program can create icons both for Windows and Mac OS and it can convert between them as well. If you use Visual Studio, you can add Icon Workshop as a plug-in into your Microsoft development environment.

You can read more about Axialis IconWorkshop at their webpage:

> Webpage – Axialis IconWorkshop