Most of us who used mobile phones in the late nineties and early 2000s remember the black-and-white matrix screens and monochromatic display. The quality of graphics used to be poor, and only a few pictures were available for greetings and expressing emotions. It was extremely time-consuming to make complicated figures, and hence computer programs were developed to make complex ASCII art figures. ASCII art slowly disappeared with the introduction of smartphones. High-quality pictures, videos, animated characters, emoji and smileys have wiped out ASCII art which was once a trend in mobile phones. However, the nostalgia of ASCII art lives on. ASCII art still attracts a lot of people for its unique outlook. Converting photos into ASCII text images gives a new refreshing look and expression. Here we explain how to convert photos to ASCII text art in Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac.
ASCII Text Art
ASCII art was commonly used for salutations, show feelings or converting personal photos to text art format. Earlier, people create ASCII art by writing the text message and placing characters at locations to become a figure. For example, the following ASCII art is created by placing the “#” signs at certain positions while composing the message.
Nowadays, you can easily convert any of your photos to ASCII text art using free apps. After creating text art, you can share it with your friends as an image or paste anywhere as a text message. Note that you can also use alt code shortcuts to create lenny text face symbols in Windows and Mac without using any third-party apps.
Creating ASCII Text Art from Photos in iPhone
Similar to Android, there are many free apps available for iPhone.
- Go to App Store, find “Image to ASCII Art” app and install it on your iPhone.
- Open the app and you have options to either pick an image from your Photos app or take a picture using camera.
- After selecting the image or taking picture, the app will instantly convert to an ASCII art.
- Tap on the share icon showing on top right corner and select the option for sharing the ASCII art with your friends.
- You can copy the ASCII text or download the converted image or share directly in iMessage app.
Related: How to type emoji in iPhone?
Convert Photos to ASCII Text Art in Android
“Photo to ASCII Characters Converters” is a free Android app to convert photos into ASCII text images. It provides an array of valuable features like image density adjustment. Moreover, a dark but well-lit background will bring good results if the foreground is vibrant and not too bright.
- Install “Photo to ASCII Characters Converter” in your Android phone from Google Play store.
- Once the installation is completed, run the program and the home screen shows tips to get high-quality ASCII text images.
- Tap on “Select Photo” to browse and select the photo from your phone.
- The next screen will show pre-processing tools like rotating, flipping, and cropping. You can select the specific area of the photo by moving the rectangle on the picture. Once all the settings are done, hit the “CROP” button.
- The app will start converting the photo or a part of it to ASCII art. It will display the preview of the resulting ASCII text image.
- There is a slider with the title “Adjust Pixel Density.” Move it to improve the converted ASCII text image.
- Scroll down, and you see options to export the ASCII text image. You can email the ASCII text and then paste it into the text editor to see on your computer. Alternatively, you can directly copy all the text and paste it somewhere within your mobile phone.
Note that image processing is a computationally expensive process. Therefore, converting high resolution images may crash or take a long time on low-resource mobile phones. If the program gets stuck, use the “Force stop” feature to end it.
Convert Photos to ASCII Text in Windows
Conversion from photo to ASCII image needs extensive computational resources. A computer may be a better option as computer programs are relatively stable and easy to use for repetitive work. ASCII Art Studio is a freeware allowing you to create your own ASCII art in Windows PC.
- Download the “ASCII Art Studio” app and install the program by running the downloaded executable file.
- After successful installation, run the program, and the home screen will appear with all the tools.
- The software showcases numerous tools to create your own ASCII art. A comprehensive list of characters is also given at the bottom.
- The “Freehand” tool in the toolbox on the left side is easy to create random ASCII art. Click it and then draw any shape in the workspace.
- Select the “Text Mode” in the toolbox and then click anywhere in the workspace. Type any text you want. It will show the old typing style of computers and mobile phones.
- Choose the “Selection” tool in the toolbox and drag over the content to select it. Press the “Delete” button on your keyboard to remove all the selected content.
- The “Brush” tool in the toolbox is handy to draw ASCII text images. Select it. Now select any suitable character from the list down there. Move the brush in the work area, and it will draw a trail of the selected characters.
- To convert a picture into ASCII art, click on the “File” and select “Convert Picture to ASCII Art” from the menu. It will open a dialogue box. Insert the path of the file. Have a look at the other settings and options and hit “OK.” It will convert the chosen picture into an ASCII image.
- You can save the ASCII text image as a Notepad text file with characters. Alternatively, you can save it as an image file.
Convert Picture to ASCII Art in Mac
Mac has many free and paid apps for converting ASCII text art.
- Open App Store in your Mac and search for “ASCII art”.
- You can find the same “Image to ASCII Art” app available for iPhone as explained above.
- Install and launch the app.
- The app screen will look like below and click on “Choose Image” button to select the image. Alternatively, you can drag and drop any picture to start the conversion.
- The app will convert the image and show you the preview. You can enlarge the preview by clicking on the zoom icon to view the entire image contains plain text characters.
- You can either copy the text image and paste anywhere or download the ASCII text art in PNG image format.
Using Online ASCII Art Generator
There are websites where one can upload the photo and convert it to an ASCII text image. Conversion efficiency is better because processing is done on high-end online servers. Online services also have the latest high-performance algorithms to get good looking result in high resolution.
- Open the ASCII Art Generator website in your browser.
- The welcome page will display the list of three radio buttons. Select the right choice from the list of radio buttons.
- The “Image to Monochrome Ascii Art” will generate the standard black and white ASCII art. Click the “Browse…” button and upload the file for conversion. You can instead give the URL of the picture in the text box. Press the “Start” button to initiate the processing, and the final ASCII text image will show up on the webpage.
- “Image to Color Ascii Art” will create the standard ASCII text image but with colors. Click the “Browse…” button and give the location of the file for conversion. You can instead provide the URL of the picture in the given text box. Press the “Start” button to initiate the processing. The final ASCII text image with colors will display on the webpage.
- “Text to Ascii Art Banner” will produce a banner. Write a message in the given text box. Select a font of your choice. Now click the “Start” button at the end. The statement will show in ASCII art.
Many people still love to ASCII text art. Depending on your device, you can use the above explained methods to convert photos to ASCII text art. ASCII images are also PNG or JPEG images making it easy to share. However, if you want to share large ASCII text format, make sure to send as plain text attachment so that the receiver can easily view it without distortion.