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ansi (format)

ansi art

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Visuals made using DOS palette and cp437 character set.
  1. Things to Know
  2. Tools
  3. See Also
ANSI art is a text art form based on MS-DOS's code page 437 and ANSI.SYS. Similar to ASCII art, it's origins can be tracked to the history of computing: in ANSI's case, its development and relevance among computer users primarily coincided with the BBS scene's rise and fall.

It is comprised of a character sheet with a total 256 character count. It also uses 16 text colors and between 8 and 16 background colors, depending on which coloring standard is being used. The de facto file format used for ANSI Art is .ans.

Things to Know

  • The amount of background colors available to you is dependent on whether or not you are using a semi-unofficial standard "iCE Colors", created by art group iCE. iCE Colors allow you to use every color as background to text.
  • ANSI files have a feature to allow characters to flash (strobing of certain characters with a length of ~1 second) indefinitely. In order to utilize this feature, most programs require you to use the second row of background colors (the brighter colors) whilst iCE Colors is off.


GUI-based PC's (windows, mac, linux)
- PabloDraw
- what appears to be the most used ANSI editor today. Less resource intensive.
- Moebius
- similar to PabloDraw, more focused on aesthetics.

- ACiDDraw
- created and used by the ANSI group ACiD.
- The Draw
- THE original DOS user's ANSI editor.

- ansiart2utf8
- a Linux tool that does exactly what its name says.

See Also


- an ANSI art archive
- wiki article about higher order ascii characters used in ANSI art