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.

The Semi-Official, Semi-Serious ASCII Ribbon Campaign

This is the old link. Still up, but no updates in a long time. The spelling, punctuation and grammar as all unchanged from the original site. However, the list of connecting sites (2 of them) were dead links.








I have noticed a disturbing trend in software of late, a trend exemplified in the Web. This is the tendency to decide that if you have enough cool looking graphics, you don’t have to have any real content. This trend, on the web at least, has resulted a glut of graphics heavy, worthless pages, that take a million years to download and once you have them, you wish you hadn’t wasted the time, and don’t even get me started on PC games!


This is the ASCII ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the internet! If you are interested in joining the crusade, put the following messsage on you page (or something like it, you get the idea):

– – – –


This page supports the ASCII ribbon campaign!

As a protest to the current trend towards all flash and no substance in modern software, this page will remain graphics free and concentrate only on content. Thank you.

– – – –

Since we don’t have a lot of graphics, and I can’t get a ribbon made out of text charicters to appear right on the page, this will have to do. Suggestions that we make a jpeg file of a ribbon made from ascii charicters were given the silent distain they deserved.

We ask that anyone supporting the campaign place minimal graphics, or none at all. however, I must reinforce that useful, intelligent use of graphics are okay, and are actually really cool. So, support the campaign, my fridends! We will prevail yet!


It has come to the attention of the campaign that imbedded sound files and frames can seriosusly slow page load times. These things, less common when the campaign was started, are slowly becoming mre prevalent. While the campaign is not against them just yet, it does preach serious caution when implementing these features. Pass the word!