How to Make Pictures Out of Text & Characters

By Alane Michaelson
Images can be created on a computer by using letters and other characters.

Making art out of typographical characters has been around since the days of typewriters, with typewriter art competitions being held as long ago as 1890. With the invention of the personal computer, text art became more commonly known as ASCII art. "ASCII" is an acronym for the "American Standard Code for Information Interchange," a text format standard for computers. While creating ASCII art can be time-consuming, the availability of ASCII image generators makes the process easier for artists of all skill levels.

Choose the image file that you want to convert to text and characters. The larger your source image is, the more detail will be possible in the final ASCII image.

Go to an ASCII image generator on the Internet. Follow the instructions for uploading your image to the website, noting which file types are acceptable to use as your source image. It may be necessary for the image to have its own uniform resource locator (URL), the address of the image on the Internet. If this is the case, you will first need to upload the image to a photo-sharing website such as Facebook or Photobucket.

Adjust the settings that are available on the ASCII generator of your choice. Various settings may allow for changes in the size and detail of the final image. Dome ASCII generators allow you to change the primary color or the size of the font used in the image. Consider how you will be using the final image when deciding which settings to use.

Experiment with different settings or using different ASCII generators if the final image is not to your liking.

Tip

If the ASCII image generator requires the URL of an online photo, right click on the photo and select "Copy Image URL." You will then be able to paste this information into the URL field of the image generator.

Warning

If you intend to use your image in a email program, limit the text width to 80 characters. Lines longer than 80 characters will wrap to the next line and distort your image.

About the Author

Alane Michaelson began writing professionally in 2002. Her work has appeared in Michigan publications such as the "Detroit Free Press" and the "Flint Journal." Michaelson graduated from Oakland University in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.