IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK Help

Working with Icons

Icons are used widely by IntelliJ Platform plugins. Plugins need icons mostly for Actions, custom component renderers, Tool Windows, etc.

Platform vs. Custom Icons

Plugins should reuse existing platform icons whenever possible.

Use Icons list to browse existing icons. Platform icons are located in AllIcons. Icons from plugins are located in the corresponding <PLUGIN_NAME>Icons class (e.g., GithubIcons).

If custom icons are required, please refer to detailed design guide. To generate SVG icons suited for the IntelliJ-based IDEs, also consider third-party web tool IntelliJ Icon Generator.

Organizing Icons

In the case of a Gradle-based project, icons should be placed in the resources directory. If the project is DevKit-based, the recommended approach is to put icons to a dedicated source root marked as Resources Root, e.g., icons or resources.

If the icons are referenced only in plugin.xml attributes or elements, or in the @Presentation icon attribute, then they can be referenced by paths. In case the icons are referenced from the code and/or XML many times, it's convenient to organize them in an icon holder class.

Icons Class

Define a class/interface in a top-level package called icons holding icon constants as static fields:

package icons; public interface MyIcons { Icon MyAction = IconLoader.getIcon("/icons/myAction.png", MyIcons.class); Icon MyToolWindow = IconLoader.getIcon("/icons/myToolWindow.png", MyIcons.class); }

When using Kotlin, fields must be annotated with @JvmField:

package icons object MyIcons { @JvmField val MyAction = IconLoader.getIcon("/icons/myAction.png", javaClass) @JvmField val MyToolWindow = IconLoader.getIcon("/icons/myToolWindow.png", javaClass) }

The getIcon() method of IconLoader can be used to access the icons. The path to the icon passed in as argument to IconLoader.getIcon() must start with leading /.

Using Icons

Icons defined inside plugin.xml with icon attribute for <action> or extension point, as well in @Presentation's icon attribute, can be referenced in two ways:

  • by icon file path

  • by icon constant in the icon holder class

To reference an icon by path, provide the path relative to the resources directory, e.g., for icons located in my-plugin/src/main/resources/icons directory:

<actions> <action icon="/icons/myAction.svg" ... /> </actions> <extensions defaultExtensionNs="com.intellij"> <toolWindow icon="/icons/myToolWindow.svg" ... /> </extensions>

In the case of icon holder class, reference the icon constants. Note that if the class is located in the top-level icons package, name icons will be automatically prefixed and must not be specified. In case of placing the class in a custom package, the full package name must be provided, e.g.:

<actions> <!-- referencing icons from class in top-level 'icons' package --> <action icon="MyIcons.MyAction" ... /> </actions> <extensions defaultExtensionNs="com.intellij"> <!-- referencing icons from custom package --> <toolWindow icon="com.example.plugin.MyIcons.MyToolWindow" ... /> </extensions>

Icon Formats

IntelliJ Platform supports Retina displays and has a bundled dark theme called Darcula. Thus, every icon should have a dedicated variant for Retina devices and Darcula theme. In some cases, you can skip dark variants if the original icon looks good under Darcula.

Required icon sizes depend on the usage as listed in the following table:


Icon Size (pixels)

Node, Action, Filetype


Tool window


Editor gutter


Editor gutter (New UI)


SVG Format

As SVG icons can be scaled arbitrarily, they provide better results in HiDPI environments or when used in combination with bigger screen fonts (e.g., in presentation mode).

A base size denoting the size (in the user space) of the rendered image in 1x scale should be provided. The size is set via the width and height attributes omitting the size units. If unspecified, it defaults to 16x16 pixels.

A minimal SVG icon file:

<svg xmlns="" width="16" height="16"> <rect width="100%" height="100%" fill="green"/> </svg>

The naming notation used for PNG icons (see below) is still relevant.

However, the @2x version of an SVG icon should still provide the same base size. The icon graphics of such an icon can be expressed in more details via double precision. If the icon graphics are simple enough so that it renders perfectly in every scale, then the @2x version can be omitted.

PNG Format (Deprecated)

All icon files must be placed in the same directory following this naming pattern (replace .png with .svg for SVG icons):


File name pattern




W x H



W x H

Default + Retina


2*W x 2*H

Darcula + Retina


2*W x 2*H

The IconLoader class will load the icon that matches the best depending on the current environment.

Here are examples of toolWindowStructure.png icon representations:


File name




Tool Window Structure



Tool Window Structure, dark

Default + Retina


Tool Window Structure, retina

Darcula + Retina


Tool Window Structure, retina, dark

Animated Icons

Animated icons are a way to show that a plugin is now performing some long-time action, e.g., when the plugin is loading some data.

Any animated icon is a set of frames that loop with a delay.

To create a new animated icon, use the AnimatedIcon. To create an icon where frames follow each other with the same delay, use a constructor that accepts a delay and icons:

AnimatedIcon icon = new AnimatedIcon( 500, AllIcons.Ide.Macro.Recording_1, AllIcons.Ide.Macro.Recording_2);

To create an icon from frames with different delays, use AnimatedIcon.Frame. Each frame represents an icon, and a delay until the next frame.

Use the predefined AnimatedIcon.Default loader icon to indicate a long process. This icon has a larger AnimatedIcon.Big version.

Icon Tooltips

Register a resource bundle via com.intellij.iconDescriptionBundle extension point to provide tooltips automatically for all SimpleColoredComponent renderers.

Create icon.<icon-path>.tooltip key in a resource bundle, where <icon-path> is the icon path with leading slash and .svg removed and slashes replaced with dots (e.g., /nodes/class.svgicon.nodes.class.tooltip).

New UI Icons

To fully support the New UI, the plugin must provide additional dedicated icons and mapping information. This allows supporting both UI variants at the same time, depending on what the user has selected.


  1. Create a new expui directory in the icon root directory (Reference).

  2. Copy all icons for the New UI into this directory.

  3. Create an empty \$PluginName\$IconMappings.json mapping file in the resources root directory.

  4. Register \$PluginName\$IconMappings.json in plugin.xml via the com.intellij.iconMapper extension point.

    Mapping Entries

    All New UI icons must be mapped in the \$PluginName\$IconMappings.json mapping file.

    For each New UI icon, add a mapping entry inside expui block. Each directory starts a new block containing all its entries (see linked MavenIconMappings.json sample from above).

    In this example, the icon root directory is named icons:

    { "icons": { "expui": { "dirName": { "icon1.svg": "icons/icon1.svg", "icon2.svg": "icons/icon2.svg" }, "anotherDir": { "anotherIcon.svg": "images/anotherIcon.svg" } } } }

    If one new icon replaces several old icons, use a JSON list. Example from PlatformIconMappings.json:

    "vcs.svg": [ "toolwindows/toolWindowChanges.svg", "vcs/branch.svg" ]

    New UI Tool Window Icons

    The New UI uses outlined icons for tool windows that have a size of 20x20 pixels and 16x16 pixels in compact mode. Plugin developers who want to provide all necessary variants of their tool window icons use the following suffix scheme for their icon filename, here referred to as iconToolWindow:

    • iconToolWindow.svg: a 16x16 pixels compact mode variant of the icon for the light theme.

    • iconToolWindow_dark.svg: a 16x16 pixels compact mode variant of the icon for the dark theme.

    • iconToolWindow@20x20.svg: a 20x20 pixels variant of the icon for the light theme.

    • iconToolWindow@20x20_dark.svg: a 20x20 pixels variant of the icon for the dark theme.

    New UI Icon Colors

    To work as expected, the New UI requires specific colors for icon content. This is necessary for situations where tool window buttons are active, during which the background is highlighted. To enhance contrast, the IntelliJ Platform dynamically alters the icon's content color to white.

    Hence, for the creation of light and dark mode variants, plugin authors must use the following prescribed colors within their icons:


    Color Code





    Last modified: 11 June 2024