Does your friend always seem to have the perfect ASCII art for any situation? From table flipping to bears, from cats to banners made up of smaller characters, she’s always got something up her sleeve. Is she a genius?
Possibly, but she also probably knows where to find such things – quickly. And now, so will you.
Today, Cool Websites and Apps brings you five little-known places to find and create ASCII masterpieces. Bookmark these pages, and get your clipboard ready.
Hexascii (Web): Database of Simple ASCII Faces and Shapes
Our first site offers galleries of one-line ASCII art. You see these images everywhere, but have no idea how to make them. This makes sense, because many include Japanese and other characters that are hard to type on Western keyboards.
Hexascii offers a variety of different sets of such emoticons, which you can copy for your own use. You’ll find everything from trolls to shrugs to cats, so get exploring and find something you like.
Leave your favourites in the comments below, maybe? We could make a pretty long thread of these things reacting to each other if we really tried.
Sprezz (Free, iOS with Web Preview): Use ASCII Fonts With Your iPhone Keyboard
You can’t use custom fonts on sites like Facebook or Twitter…unless you’re sneaky. Sprezz is an iPhone app that adds all sorts of ASCII “fonts” to your iPhone’s keyboard. This lets you type messages that will leave your friends asking how you did that.
If you don’t have an iPhone, don’t worry: you can also try it in the browser, if you want. Just type a message and you’ll see it in every font Sprezz offers.
What’s your favourite?
TAAG : Make ASCII Banners In Seconds
Weird-looking fonts are fun, but if you really want to make a message clear you need to make a banner. We’ve shown you Linux commands for quirky ASCII art, but if you’d rather not mess with the command line TAAG is here for you.
Just type your message, then choose from dozens of banner styles. There’s a lot here, including most of the fonts supported by figlet. I bet you could make a real mess of our comments section using this.
ASCIIFlow : MS Paint for ASCII
Want to try your hand at drawing with ASCII? This site gives you tools for making boxes, lines, arrows and even text(!). This is great if you want to make a quick diagram, though I myself am not talented.
Can you do better? I’d like to see you try.
Moondraw (Mac, $50 with free open beta): Powerful ASCII Creator For Mac
If ASCIIFlow isn’t powerful enough for you, look into Moondraw. If ASCIIFlow is MS Paint for ASCII, this aims to be Illustrator.
You’ll get access to all kinds of special characters, as well as a variety of drawing tools. The app’s site shows it being used for all sorts of practical purposes – time will tell if it’s used for that or increasingly detailed ways to put pictures into text-only contexts.
If you’re going to spend $50 on ASCII art, this is probably the only tool worth doing that for. If you just want to play around a bit, though, the free open beta is worth checking out.
What Did We Miss?
ASCII is a longstanding web tradition. Like GIFs, they’re part of the language of the web.
I want to know: are there any other sites out there for finding great ASCII art, or making your own? Of course there’s the cool VLC trick where you watch a video in ASCII or the tools for converting images into ASCII art, but I want to learn more from you. Let me know, okay?