1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What Is 'ASCII Text Art'? How Do I Make ASCII Art?

By

ASCII zebra by Wilinckx at the Wikipedia project

ASCII zebra by Wilinckx at the Wikipedia project

Wilinckx
Question: What Is 'ASCII Text Art'? How Do I Make ASCII Art?
Answer: 'ASCII art' is also known as computer text art. It involves the clever placement of typed characters to form a visual shape spread over multiple lines of text. You will see these ASCII text art pictures in email signatures, online discussion forums, and online game chat.

The level of ASCII art sophistication varies: from very simple single-line emoticons like these:

(''')>^,.,^<(''') <--- angry kitty attacking you

t('.'t) <--- fists up, I will fight you!

@>-->---- <--- a rose because I love you

o>-<]: <-- skateboard kid


To more sophisticated multi-line ASCII text art shapes like these:
()()
( '.') <--- bunny!!
(('')('')

(\__/)
(='.'=) <-- different bunny
(")_(")

(-.-)
(.)(.)
) . (
( v ) <-- naked person
( )( )
<0 0>

_______________
|^^^^^^^^^^^\||____
| The STFU Truck |||""'|""\__,_ <-- yelling
| _____________ l||__|__|__|) |
(@)@)"""""""**|(@)(@)**|(@)

................_@@@__
..... ___//___?____\________
...../--o--FORUM-POLICE------@} <--humor
....`=={@}=====+===={@}--'


To some very complex ASCII text art like these examples:
  1. Patrick Stewart portait
  2. Fashion model portrait
  3. Cat portrait
  4. Mr. Spock portrait
  5. Gallery of famous people portraits
  6. Shark
The term ASCII comes from American Standard of Coded Information Interchange, which is the most common text character set used by English Internet computers.

If you want to make complex ASCII art, you will want to research ASCII software choices like the examples below. These software packages convert digital photographs into complex ASCII portraits comprised of text characters. By using an ASCII software package like the following, it is relatively quick to create some spectacular ASCII images.


Creating and displaying ASCII text art is not difficult. With a few minutes of practice and experimentation, and using CTRL-C / CTRL-V to copy-paste, you should be a beginning ASCII artist within 30 minuntes!

More on ASCII Art: Samples of ASCII art you can copy-paste for your email use:

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.