Alternative ways to edit images

In the guide to how to create a theme, we used Edit KitKat/Lollipop/Marshmallow image. This creates an image that is a copy of the standard version of the image for you. However, there are alternative ways to edit the resources in a theme.

Different resources have different alternatives available. For example, color resources can’t be assigned to images, and some images can’t be set to colors. In addition, some resources aren’t images by default, which means they can’t be cloned. Some images can be nine-patch images, while this is not applicable for other resources. The following alternatives are shown for resources without any restrictions:

  • Set to color – This alternative sets the resource to a color.
  • Edit KitKat/Lollipop/Marshmallow image -Creates a copy of the standard image for the resource and opens an image editor
  • Edit as PNG– Creates a blank PNG image for the resource and opens an image editor.
  • Edit asJPG– Creates a blank JPG image for the resource and opens an image editor.
  • Edit as 9-patch – Creates a blank 9-patch image for the resource and opens an image editor. Find out about 9-patch images and how to use the dedicated 9-patch editor.
  • Pick image – Lets you set the resource to an image somewhere in your project directory by using a file picker.

Most of the time you will use Set to color or Edit KitKat/Lollipop/Marshmallow image, but there are exceptions. For example, the gradient status bar is a nine-patch image by default. You might want to customize it and use a standard PNG instead. To achieve this, you use Edit as PNG or Pick image.

In general, we recommend that you use one of the Edit as options over Pick image when possible. There are two reasons for this. First, the Edit as options limits the size of the created images to values within the accepted size range so you don’t accidentally spend time working on an image that is either too large or too small. Also, the Edit as options will place the files correctly in the project folder structure for you. This may not seem very important when starting out, but proper file organization makes things much easier when you have several hundred images in your theme.

Sometimes you might see the following alternatives as well:

  • File in resource folder
  • File exported from Photoshop

These appear when the Theme Creator tool detects an image exported from Photoshop or an image created by Theme Creator. These images are normally assigned using the Scan for images function as explained on the page How to work with templates, but you can also assign them one by one by choosing one of these alternatives.