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ASCII Art–Computer Art for Everyone

Posted by on November 9, 2010

ASCII art is that amazing computer drawing where keyboard letters become a picture. Done well, it never fails to impress friends with your geekiness.

I was inspired by my friend, Zakgirl, to try it. I’m inherently lazy so wanted an ‘easy way’ to accomplish this tedious art. I went on a hunt for that method–and found it! Here’s a pumpkin I did for Halloween in about fifteen minutes:

Are you suitably impressed? Here’s how I did it:

  1. Add a watermark of a picture you like, preferably a single image (I picked a pumpkin for Halloween)
  2. Type over it with appropriate letters (if you’re more patient than I, you can pick a variety of letters. That would provide more depth)
  3. Delete the watermark

Looks good, huh?

This is an excellent method of exciting elementary school kids grades 3-6 about keyboarding (much as I do with shortkeys). Without showing them the picture, provide the directions for creating it. It’d look something like:

  1. Type a green X ten times
  2. Type a green X eleven time

…and so on. Have them center the typing at the end.

Here’s a website that will turn your picture into ASCII art. This is one of my students. Click the picture to visit the website:

ascii art

Here’s another ASCII Art generator.

I also found a website that’ll turn your text into ASCII art. Can you read this:


Here are examples from ASCII art pros. You’re going to see a big difference from my simplistic ones:

ascii artAnyone out there have a Thanksgiving image to share?

More on art in class

Keyboarding with ASCII Art

3 Fresh Art and Music Apps for the Classroom

38 Art Websites for K-8

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today and TeachHUB, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

updated 12-23-18

10 Responses to ASCII Art–Computer Art for Everyone

  1. Laura I haven’t done much new ASCII art for awhile. I’ve also noticed that my code for these ASCII pages is now broken. But, you can see what I have made. I used to be in the ASCII art newsgroup when it was active.

  2. Jacqui

    I introduce ASCII Art in my 8th Grade Photoshop classes. Most students brush by it, but there’re always one or two that fall in love with it. Check out the robot one of them did last trimester (

    Love your blog.

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  5. Amy

    I’ve been trolling the Internet in search of the instructions like you posted earlier about typing so many green x’s and so on, where can I get something like that, is there a Website?

  6. bobby

    …./ `–||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||—/—————-##D
    …/==o ____________________/
    …..),—.(_(__) /
    ….// (\) ),——
    ../`—-’ / …
    ./____ / … .

    ASCII Pistol

  7. Norah

    You’ve shared some fun ideas here, Jacqui. Yes, your pumpkin is very clever. What a fun way of doing it.

    • Jacqui

      I was surprised how quickly it came into view. I’ve written a couple more posts on ASCII art–one about a gentleman whose work looks as sophisticated as any I’ve ever seen. For some, this is exactly the right approach to art.

      • Norah

        It great to have options. Different techniques will appeal to different people. It’s great to know what can be done.

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