Draw Using ASCII Characters Online, Share it Anywhere: ASCIIFlow

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ASCIIFlow is a free website where you can create impressive designs solely with ASCII characters. Such text based designs are commonly found in Read Me files and NFO files of software downloaded from the web. You’ll be provided with a variety of tools that you can use to create intricate text based designs. The interface is basically a grid of cells which users can fill in with ASCII characters. It’s just like pixels being filled with the paintbrush tool in a paint software. There is a lot more you can do with ASCIIFlow. You can import ASCII designs from other sources and also export the current design on other ASCII supporting software. The ASCII designs can also be exported to Google Drive.

There are sites which can convert an image file into an ASCII design. Using those services takes out all the fun. So why not use ASCIIFlow? However, if something is too difficult to design then you can import it into ASCIIFlow for sure. Here is a site where you can find various ASCII art objects that you can incorporate in your designs. You might also like to try out these 5 ASCII art Android apps that convert an image into its ASCII counterpart.

asciiflow ilfs

let’s have fun creating amazing designs on ASCIIFlow!

How to use ASCIIFlow to create Designs

asciiflow buildings

On ASCIIFlow you’ll notice the grid which can be zoomed in and zoomed out to get a better perspective on what you are drawing. The first tool in the toolbar above creates boxes. Using this tool, users can create simple rectangular buildings and fill them with rectangle windows. You can see I used box tool to do the same above.

ascii eye of horus

The line tool along with the arrow tool can be used to make borders, rail roads, tree stumps, castles, etc. Most importantly, both these tools and the Box tool can help to make informal flow charts. The only problem you might experience is that of drawing a circle. The sixth tool in the toolbar can be used to resize the boxes, arrows and lines. If you don’t approve of what you have drawn, use the eraser to drag and select the cells you want to clear. If you want to clear the whole board, press the cross button at the top-right.

My favorite tool is the freeform drawing tool which helped me to make this awesome eye:

asciiflow eye

Since I really liked it, I decided to keep a backup of it in my Google Drive. Click on the Google Drive icon at the top right and provide the necessary access permission to save the design in your Google Drive.

asciiflow google

You can also use the export button to save the design on a text file.

Final Words

ASCII based art was famous in the early 80’s as printers lacked the ability to print graphics. ASCIIFlow is definitely something every digital designer should check out. This will bring nostalgia to those who have been using computers for a long time. There is only one little thing that could have made ASCIIFlow better. I wish the freeform drawing tool could use other characters other than ‘x’. This would help to create different shades. I award ASCIIFlow 5 stars.

Try ASCIIFlow here.

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