A Simple Way to Colour your ASCII Text Art

One downside of creating ASCII art is the lack of colour. We type it into plain text and plain text comes out black on white. It’s pretty plain that way.

For most ASCII art that is fine. It keeps it simple. The focus is the art, the way it was created, rather than making it prettied up just for the sake of being prettier.

However, you can easily bring colour to ASCII art.

You will need:

  • your ASCII art picture (of course)
  • an HTML editor (or text editor with font and colour features)
  • a screen capture software
  • an HTML colour guide (not essential)

First, open the HTML editor. (I actually use Composer with Sea Monkey). Cut and paste your ASCII art into it. Make sure it shows right, change the font as necessary. You can even try a few fonts and see which gives you the look you prefer. My favourite is still FixedSys but Consolas comes in a close second.

Next, highlight your ASCII art and use the HTML editor to colour the text. This is just what you would do if you were changing the colour of a text sentence, quote or paragraph in a written post. Any HTML or text editor that lets you change the font and colour of your text will work. If not, try another one, there are lots of good, free HTML and text editors.

When your ASCII art is highlighted bring up your screen capture. (I use KSnapshot). Before you capture the image check the position of your cursor. Make sure it’s not in the picture, literally. (I still do this once in a while and have to take a second screen capture to fix it). When you’re ready, take the screen capture of the ASCII art and turn it into an image file. If you have a choice, the .png file tends to give best results.

That’s it! Of course this makes the image all one colour. If you want to make the image a light colour, change to a dark background colour. You can spend time and effort on doing more. I don’t usually. I like to keep it simple and not spend more time colouring the ASCII art than I did in creating it.

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