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  • Post last modified:February 24, 2023

Sure, you’ve seen those cute rabbits, kittens, even faces made of figures and mathematical symbols. They are made in ASCII mode that has the plainest explanation you would never think of – American Standard Code for Information Interchange. In this post, I will show how civils have transformed military unencrypted text into a piece of art.

What is ASCII art?

The decoded text appeared together with typewriters in the 19th century. Wikipedia says,

“One of the main reasons ASCII art was born was because early printers often lacked graphics ability and thus characters were used in place of graphic marks.”

And one more,

“Since 1867 typewriters have been used for creating visual craft. The oldest known preserved example of typewriter technique is a picture of a butterfly made in 1898 by Flora Stacey.” I posted it as a title image for my post.
Exmaple of RabbitsThe first computers didn’t have enough capacities to support graphics as well, that’s why programmers were interested in developing a way to display pictures with the help of characters and symbols.

How is ASCII Art Made?

Since vanilla text is way to code images with text symbols there are many ways to make an graphics out of text technique. Here are the top 4 ways how’s ASCII picture is made:

  1. use one of free online generator tools;
  2. use a free online converter app to convert a colorful JPEG or PNG photo into a black-and-white text picture
  3. go a true geek way and make the text image in Linux terminal (check this step-by-step guide)
  4. create an image in Python – there many ready pieces of code on GitHub for you, like this one.

How to Turn Picture into Text Symbols with Best ASCII Art Tools?

Actually, you can do almost anything, for example, convert your full color photos or Windows screenshots into the text with the help of a special ASCII image converter. Take any picture and convert it into a colorful or black-and-white image like I did.
Convert image to decoded text

Here’s how to turn image into art with ASCII Code Generator:

  1. Open in your browser;
  2. Upload your original photo (PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP);
  3. Select a background type: colorful or monochrome;
  4. Wait a few seconds to create an image;
  5. Download a ready text file with picture saved as UTF-8 symbols.

If you want to have more image customization settings, try free open-source generators software for Windows PC. Watch video tutorial showing you how to convert photo to ASCII symbols:

You can transform an ordinary email or digital note into an text styled notification that everyone will appreciate. Take ASCII Art Generator for that. What I liked about this service is that it gives you the opportunity to preview the font style. Click on the Font Preview link and select the font you like.
Text to image generator resultsThere are also many resources where you can select and download funny images that you can transfer to your iPhone, iPad, Android or any other portable device. When I was preparing for Christmas I found the Archive (  Be prepared, you’ll get lost there. The only disadvantage of this website is that there is no image search on the site. But it’s a matter of a few minutes to browse the image library using the categories and copy the images that you need. You can also try ASCII World directory where thousands of black and white pictures are divided into several categories.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Suse

    I love this picture! I check out picnik and love it! Do you have the premium subscription? I couldn’t figure out how to do 1/2 black and white like you did here -very cool! Thanks for the picnik suggestion!

  2. Barry

    Another fantastic read…. thanks a lot 😀

  3. Jonis

    What’s up mates, want to say tnkx this article,
    its truly worked for me.

    1. anna


      Thanks for kind word! I hope you enjoyed your ASCII art 🙂

      Best regards,
      Anna, Photo Software & Design Blog Team

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