A couple of years ago or so I ran into a shareware program that converted image files into text characters. Being the software junkie that I am I gave it a try and was really pleased with the resulting effect.

I remember thinking about using these text pictures as a design element in my personal website that I was building at the time (which I eventually did, although ironically I converted the text back into a jpeg as it was easier to handle that way, which is also what I did below).

Anyway, I recently came upon this service offered for free at http://www.text-image.com/.

Check out the effect in this picture of our little family. Note: the preview pic is a bit scrunshed up as I had to make it small to fit most monitor screens. Click on the picture to open it actual size.

ASCII picture of my family

Converting images to text  is very simple and easy; upload your picture, select a handful of options, and you’re done.

The reason I am giving this 4 stars and not 5 is that it really should give you an option to export the html, rather than having to tweak it, as I did, to get a black background and smaller line spacing. Come to think of it, they should probably give you the option to convert the resulting image back into an image format instead of having to do it yourself. They should also allow you to define your desired line spacing, as the spaces between the lines, to my eye, tended to be larger that they ought to be.

The other reason is, well, this service is interesting but at the end of the day I dont see it to be that useful in practical terms. Still, great effect for those of us who are visually inclined.

If you really enjoy text/ASCII art check out http://www.network-science.de/ascii/ (interesting ASCII art effects applied to text entries).

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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com