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Can I use 32-bit icons in older apps (like Visual Basic)?

If you are using Visual Basic 6 or another application that was created before the release of Windows XP, it’s likely that the application won’t support 32-bit icons.

Microsoft only supports 32-bit icons with their newer products. And, even if you get the 32-bit icons to work, you need to worry about backward compatibility (ie. running your application on Windows 98, 2000 as well as XP.)

In our experience, the best solution is to focus on the 256 color icon first. Then work on a 16 color version of the icon. This will get you maximum compatibility with older versions of Windows (and the application environments like Visual Basic.) After you’ve gotten these icons sorted out, you can work on a 32-bit version (including the 8-bit mask) for those users who are working on Windows XP.

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