Designing ASCII graphics with JavE

Figlets and Import

Two of the most interesting of the many features in JavE are figlet fonts and the import function. Figlet, an acronym for "Frank, Ian, and Glen's letters," is named for its inventors. These very artistic letters are made up of various ASCII characters.

JavE 6.0 includes more than 260 fonts of this kind and has a figlet editor that you can launch by pressing the corresponding button in the JavE menubar. The figlet editor has special capabilities, such as kerning and text alignment. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can use the Tools | Export as FIGlet Font menu item to export your calligraphic masterpieces for posterity.

The Image2Ascii import function is just as simple and impressive. It imports images in common formats such as PNG or JPG and converts them to ASCII graphics (Figure 2). Start by selecting the image file you want to convert in the JavE file browser. The top part of the screen shows the selected image, and the lower part gives the interim conversion results.

Figure 2: The Image2Ascii conversion function is another example of JavE's impressive user friendliness.

Three tabs – Image processing, Conversion, and Output – let you retouch the results if needed. Just as in any popular image editing software, you can define the brightness and focus or rotate the image.

Pressing the OK button sends the converted image for further processing to the editor's workspace, where you can modify to your heart's content or just save the results as is.


Whether you are looking for practical, work-related imaging or just enjoy the artistic aspect, JavE's developer, Markus Gebhard, has created a tool that lets you implement even the most complex of tasks and ideas simply and creatively. The intuitive controls and the clear-cut design of the program are accompanied by comprehensive documentation. This makes JavE an indispensable tool for friends of ASCII art.

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