CandyBar Plus combines The Iconfactory’s CandyBar 2 icon changing utility and Pixadex, the icon storing and organization utility from The Iconfactory and Panic.
CandyBar 2 customizes your system and application icons quickly and safely – it’s pretty easy to undo everything in one fall swoop, should the need arise.
Pixadex sports an iPhoto-like interface in which to import, organize and search for icons. Icons are arranged by attributes like name, date, and author, and a search engine helps you find what you’re looking for.
More than 1,000 icons are included, and more are available online at www.iconfactory.com. Supplied Icons are found in three folders labelled iContainers. Double click on a red iContainer to open it in CandyBar. If you like the look of the icons you can automatically change your system’s icons to the ones in the container. If you like some icons but not others it’s easy to remove them from the lineup, either reverting to the icons you had before by dragging them off, or by dropping in an alternative.
Pixadex displays all the icons installed on your Mac. You can install icons from the CD by double clicking on a blue iContainer, or drag-&-dropping blue and red iContainers. Drag each iContainer into the folder column to store icons according to the container they came from. You can also drag-&-drop into the icon view – but they will join the folder of icons you drag them into rather than be listed as a separate file in the left hand column, which could make it more difficult to find them.
It’s easy to drag-&-drop icons from Pixadex to CandyBar to further personalize your Mac, but the two apps don’t work so smoothly the other way round.
My experience with CandyBar Plus was mixed: swapping icons around can get quite addictive, especially when it is so simple, but I did encounter problems. It didn’t bode well when after loading up Pixadex with icons the first time: a re-install solved the problem, although I also had to reinstall the icons.
The lack of clear instructions is a limitation. The interface aims to be easy to use, but the simplicity seems to be at the expense of guidance in how to use the applications – and how they can be used together.
If you’re personalizing your Mac by pasting in your own icons to make applications, documents and folders more appealing, Aspyr’s CandyBar Plus can help you keep track of your collection. It can also save the day if you get carried away, only to decide you preferred things the old way. Pixadex’s ability to display all your icons in a format akin to iPhoto is another advantage, but the lack of clear instructions is unacceptable.