How to make pictures using keyboard keys

Perhaps you’ve seen them in an e-mail forward or a signature file: pictures that are made entirely of keyboard keys. These pictures, commonly called ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) art after a code system that can be used to designate keyboard key characters, can be surprisingly fun to create and a unique creative outlet.

How to make pictures with just keyboard keys

Have you ever come across a picture made entirely out of keyboard characters and wondered how it was created? These intriguing creations are known as ASCII art, where the art is formed using a combination of characters available on a standard keyboard. In this article, we will delve into the world of ASCII art, exploring its origins, learning how to create pictures using keyboard keys, and even providing you with some captivating examples.

Understanding ASCII Art

What is ASCII Art?

ASCII art is a form of visual representation that uses characters from the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) character set to create images. In ASCII art, each character is assigned a specific value, and when these characters are combined in a specific pattern, they form a recognizable picture. ASCII art originated in the early days of computing when monospaced fonts and limited graphics capabilities were prevalent.

History of ASCII Art

ASCII art traces its roots back to the 1960s and 1970s when computers were primarily text-based and lacked graphical interfaces. Artists and programmers began exploring ways to create visual representations using only the characters available on the keyboard. ASCII art gained popularity in the 1990s with the rise of the internet and was often used to decorate online profiles, create banners, or simply for artistic expression.

Importance of ASCII Art

ASCII art holds a significant place in the history of computer art and serves as a bridge between the digital and analog worlds. It showcases the creativity and resourcefulness of artists who could create intricate images using limited resources. ASCII art is also an essential part of internet culture, with dedicated communities sharing and appreciating these unique creations.

Creating Pictures Using Keyboard Keys

Basic Techniques

Creating ASCII art begins with understanding the characters and their values within the ASCII character set. Simple pictures can be formed using basic geometric shapes, such as squares, circles, or triangles. By arranging these shapes strategically, you can create recognizable objects or animals. Experimenting with different characters, sizes, and spacing allows you to add depth and detail to your artwork.

Advanced Techniques

For more complex ASCII art, artists employ advanced techniques that involve using a wide range of characters, including letters, numbers, and symbols. These intricate designs require precise placement of characters to achieve the desired effect. Artists often study existing ASCII art pieces and experiment with various styles and techniques to enhance their skills.

Examples of ASCII Art Pictures

ASCII art is incredibly versatile and can depict a wide range of subjects. Here are a few examples of ASCII art in different categories:


    / @ @ \
   (   "   )


     /         \
   | __   __   __ |
   |/  \_/  \_/  \|


       /  /    /\
      /  /    /  \
     /  /    /    \
    /  /____/______\


      / \
     /   \


( o.o ) 
 > ^ <


| - - | 
|  |  | 


   \ ☼ /   
  - ☼☼☼ -  
   / ☼ \   



Music Note

Remember, ASCII art is versatile, and you can create a wide range of pictures using keyboard characters. These examples should give you an idea of the possibilities. Feel free to experiment and create your unique ASCII art creations!

Tips for Creating ASCII Art

While creating ASCII art, keep the following tips in mind to enhance your artwork:

  1. Choosing the right characters: Experiment with different characters to find the ones that best represent the shapes and textures you want to depict.
  2. Using spacing and alignment: Proper spacing and alignment are crucial for achieving the desired look. Adjust the placement of characters to ensure accurate proportions and visual balance.
  3. Experimenting with different styles: ASCII art allows for various styles, ranging from simple and minimalist to complex and highly detailed. Explore different styles to find your unique artistic voice.

Tools and Software for ASCII Art

To aid in the creation of ASCII art, several tools and software are available:

  • ASCII art generators: Online tools and software can convert images or text into ASCII art automatically, saving time and effort.
  • Text editors and software: Basic text editors, such as Notepad or Vim, can be used to create ASCII art manually. Some dedicated software offers advanced features like color customization and shape manipulation.

Sharing and Displaying ASCII Art

ASCII art has a vibrant online community where artists share their creations and interact with fellow enthusiasts. Here are a few ways to share and display your ASCII art:

  • Online communities and forums: Join ASCII art communities and forums where you can showcase your work, receive feedback, and collaborate with other artists.
  • Social media platforms: Share your ASCII art on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Reddit to reach a broader audience and connect with like-minded individuals.
  • Printing and framing ASCII art: Transform your digital ASCII art into physical prints and frame them for display in your home, office, or art galleries.


ASCII art is a captivating art form that allows artists to create pictures using keyboard keys. It has a rich history, and its importance in the digital landscape cannot be overstated. By mastering the techniques, exploring various styles, and utilizing the right tools, you can create impressive and visually appealing ASCII art pieces. So, unleash your creativity, experiment with different characters, and enjoy the fascinating world of ASCII art!


1. Can I create ASCII art on a mobile device?

Yes, you can create ASCII art on a mobile device using text editing apps or dedicated ASCII art apps available on both Android and iOS platforms.

2. Is ASCII art still popular today?

Although ASCII art has evolved over time, it remains popular among art enthusiasts, computer history buffs, and online communities that appreciate its unique charm.

3. How long does it take to create a complex ASCII art piece?

The time required to create complex ASCII art pieces varies depending on the size, complexity, and the artist’s proficiency. It can range from a few hours to several days.

4. Can I sell my ASCII art creations?

Yes, you can sell your ASCII art creations. Some artists offer their artwork as digital downloads, while others create physical prints or merchandise.

5. Are there any copyright issues with ASCII art?

ASCII art, like any other form of art, can be subject to copyright. It is essential to create original artwork or seek permission if you are reproducing existing ASCII art created by someone else.

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