We call it ASCII art – Image to Text

By | November 24th, 2009

 We call it ASCII art   Image to Text

To make pictures using text is called ASCII art and it’s a recognized graphics design technique. The picture is pieced together in this art from characters like A-Z and 0-9 or other symbols. If you’re good at thinking, you can create ASCII art using any text editor. It’s very useful for typewriters and mobile SMS for the representation of images as text. When I first got access to a software that converts image to text, I tried it on many pictures. Trust me, it’s fun especially when you see your friend’s pictures in text. The idea is not new, I remember seeing this art in X-Files TV series.

I have found this awesome software, ASCII Generator, that can convert any image to text that accurately represents the original image. The text can be stored in black & white as well as color. You can save the text-image in the .txt file and we also have the option to save text in a .gif file. The software has many features like:

  • Supports up to 40 image input formats including gif, jpg, jpeg, png, tif, ico, bmp
  • Save as a TXT or as a bitmap image in black and white or colored
  • Modify brightness and contrast
  • Edit the text by hand with all the usual text editing functions
  • Apply various effects to the text
  • Modify color levels
  • Print the text image directly from the application
  • Conversions are optimized for various fonts
  • Use your own character ramp, use default ramp or the most common available

The images that have a lot of sharp edges and a variety of colors get the best result when converted to text. I have tried it on many pictures, let me show you 2 good ones:

steve jobs We call it ASCII art   Image to Text

steve jobs funny We call it ASCII art   Image to Text

You have the option to save the text in a .txt file which will give you the freedom to use and edit it like a written text. Here’s a crazy idea, pick some silly smiley from the internet, convert it into text, copy the letters into your cellphone and send it to friends.

Smiley soldier We call it ASCII art   Image to Text

Smiley soldier ascii We call it ASCII art   Image to Text


The software name is Ascgen and it stands for ASCII generator. The software is available for free download under general public license. Download link.