Tools written by Roy/SAC

ANSI/ASCII Converter 1.04

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If you don't know what ANSI or ASCII is then you are probably at the wrong place. However, if you'd like to learn more about this subject in general, I'd like to warm your heart for the ASCII Art Academy section on my web site, where you can learn a great deal about all this stuff.

On the other hand, if you are an oldskool scener who knows, remembers and used pre-Internet Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) like PCBoard by Clark Development or other platforms and the thoughts about art group legends like ACiD, iCE, Mirage (and of course SAC) brings tears to your eyes, you probably want to spend a little bit extended time here, especially if you also happen to have a web site and like to put up some of the old text art on your web site, as TEXT ART and not just as "lame-ass" image screen-shot.

Project and Source Code is also available at

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Please Note! ... that all of my tools posted on my web site are using the Free Art License (FAL) 1.3 (Copy left Attitude), which means its free to use, share and even modify and redistribute, as long as your modified version is still free and not commercially distributed. If you want to exploit the software commercially, you would have to contact me and negotiate terms.

Needless to say, but better safe than sorry.... using my tools does not make me liable for any direct or indirect caused damages or losses, because of the use of them. You use them at your own risk. If you are paranoid, don't use them, if you are not understanding what I am saying here, don't use them either.



Main Window Settings Screen CodePage Maps
Unicode Sets Unicode Sets / Char Detail Unicode Search
Code Pages Compare    


What the Hell is This?

Convert DOS ASCII, ANSI, PCBoard, Wildcat V2.X, Wildcat V3.X, Avatar or BIN Files to HTML Encoded Unicode Text Format. The results are real text files, not Image snapshots of the original text art.

Special HTML and CSS encoding is used to produce results as closely matching the original as possible. You can also convert files to real Unicode Text files for the use in other Windows applications where fonts like "Terminal" to render the orginal ASCII characters is not available. You also can convert stuff any other way around, like BIN files to PCB or ANSI or Unicode Text Files back to DOS ASCII etc.

One of the more interesting features is the option to convert ANSI Animations to HTML using CSS and Javascript to bring the Animations to Life. Here is an example of the original ANSI animation (BCACID7-ANIM.ANS) converted to HTML/JS (BCACID7-ANIM.ANS.HTM).

You have the option to select the Font used in the CSS Style Sheet definitions for the conversion to HTML. Sometime the use of a different font than the default font used by the web browser for the <pre> HTML tag yielts better result. Keep in mind the possible issues with platform compatibilty or simply the fact that the user does not have the specified font installed on his device or computer.

A feature rarely used for most "elite" ANSI art is the "blinking" of characters. I used it for some of my earlierst ANSI pictures though. The converter supports this now, but you have to set the output to ANIMATION mode instead of static. See for example this old ANSI of mine (original: M1.ANS) as blinking HTML version (M1.ANS.HTM).


Supported Import/Export Formats

  • MS DOS ANSI Text File (.ANS)
  • MS DOS ASCII Text File (.ASC, .NFO, .DIZ etc.)
  • HTML Encoded Unicode Text (.HTML, WEB) *
  • Unicode Text Files (UTF-8 or UTF-16 encoded) (.TXT etc.)
  • PCBoard @ ANSI Text Files
  • Wildcat BBS V2.X Text Files
  • Wildcat BBS V3.X Text Files
  • Avatar Text Files
  • MS DOS Binary Text Files (.BIN) for 160 charcters wide ANSI/ASCII Content
  • Bitmap Images in various formats (see below) **
  • Video Output for ANSI Animations**

* only HTML content created by this tool will work. Other HTML might or might not work here.
** Bitmap/Image and Video are the only formats, which is only available for output and NOT as input (sorry)


Example Files for Download and/or Viewing

Here are some samples of ANSIs and ASCIIs converted to various target formats. There are a lot more examples availble on my web site. Basically every art gallery of my own art work or Superior Art Creations uses the converter results to render ASCIIs and ANSIs for the display on the site.

ANSI Animation
"Blinking" ANSI
"Binary" ASCII
Static HTML
Static "Block" ASCII
Static HTML BIN ASCII UTF-8 Text UTF-16 Text
Static ANSI
Static HTML DOS Binary PCBoard @ PNG 80x25 PNG 80x50 Thumbnail


SAUCE (Not, not the Food!)

SAUCE-META TAGS are supported and can simply transfered to the new output format or in the case of the HTML Web output also rendered visibly. See for example this ANSI (ROY-SKY.ANS), which was converted to HTML, rendering the SAUCE-META tags content with the ANSI image (ROY-SKY.ANS.HTM).



Extra features are the CodePages maps, which show the character sets and their unicode equivalents for the various MS DOS and MS Windows CodePages. There is also a Unicode character blocks viewer, which pulls the latest updates from also feeds the content for the Unicode character search, where you can search the character codes, descriptions, aliases and more.

All three extras use the same font for displaying, which can be changed to any font that you have installed on your system. Some fonts know more Unicode characters than others, so I gave the user the liberty to take care of this problem himself.


Image Output Options

You can save ANSIs in original colors or as plain ASCII without Colors. Another option for the Image Outout is the usage of the smaller DOS Font to simulate 80x50 mode.

Supported Output Image Formats

  • Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
  • Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
  • Windows Bitmap (BMP)
  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG/JPG)
  • Windows Icon (ICO)
  • Tagged Image File Format (TIFF/TIF)
  • Windows Meta File Format (WMF)
  • Enhanced Metafile Format (EMF)

You can also create the images as thumbnails. There you have multiple scaling options. Proportional Scaling:

  1. percentage of size of original image,
  2. fixed width, height is determined automatically,
  3. fixed height, width is determined automatically or
  4. Custom Scaling to a specified width and height

Video Output Options

You can save an ANSI Animation (or Very Long ANSI) in video format. The converter is currently not very fast, because its the first time that I did something like this. I create first each video frame as a physical image file in a temporary folder on your hard disk and then compile the video file itself using the tool ffmpeg (which is included already and responsible for the over 5 MB increase in size from the previous version of the tool).

Supported Output Video Formats:

  • .AVI (Audio Video Interleave)
    Supported AVI Video Codecs:
    • ZMBV (Zip Motion Block Video)
    • H264 (H.264 / AVC / MPEG-4 AVC / MPEG-4 part 10)
    • FFVI (FFmpeg video codec #1)
    • MPEG4 (MPEG-4 part 2)
    • MJPEG (MJPEG (Motion JPEG))
    • LIBX264 (libx264 H.264 / AVC / MPEG-4 AVC / MPEG-4 part 10)
    • LIBXVID (libxvidcore MPEG-4 part 2)
  • .WMV (Windows Media Video)
  • .MKV (Matroshka)
  • .FLV (Flash Video)
  • .GIF (Animated Graphics Interchange Format)
  • .MP4 (Mpeg-4)
  • .MPG (Motion Picture Group)
    Supported Codecs:
    • MPEG1 (Mpeg Layer 1)
    • MPEG2 (Mpeg Layer 2)
  • .VOB (Video Object Binary (DVD))

You can specify the Video Frame Rate (FPS) and also the Modem Transfer Speed Simulation in Bits Per Second (BPS) to see how fast an ANSI animation played back, if you connected to a Bulletin Board System (BBS) with a 14.4K Baud Modem for example.

I added also the option to extend the last frame of the animation for a specified number of seconds, because many ANSI Animations end abruptly, because in a BBS they would still be visible after playback.


Command-Line (CLI) Version

There is a separate command line version of the tool installed into the program directory with all the other stuff.

You should be able to everything that you can do via the interface version via command line to automate stuff, with exception of the extras, like the CodePage maps, Unicode blocks browser and Unicode characters search.

The full command line syntax can be found further down below.


Command-Line Syntax

ANSIASCIIConverterCLI "[drive:][path][filename]" /OUT:<FORMAT> [/FTYP:<EXT>,..] [/SAVE:<PATH>] [/EXT:<EXT>]|[/NEWEXT:<EXT>] [/OVER:<OPTION>] [/CP<CP>] [/FONT:<FONTNAME>] [/SANITIZE] [/SAUCE] [OBJECT] [/ANIM] [/THUMB] [/THUMBSCALE: <OPT>] [/SCALE: <NUM>] [/WIDTH:<NUM>] [/HEIGHT:<NUM>] [/CODEC: <ID>] [/FPS: <NUM>] [/BPS: <NUM>] [/EXTEND: <NUM>]
-or- ANSIASCIIConverterCLI [/H]|[/?]|[/HELP]

Required Parameters

Parameter Options/Description
[drive:][path][filename] Specifies a folder or file to process
/OUT: <ASC|ANS|HTML|UTF8|UTF16|PCB|WC2|WC3|AVT|BIN|IMG|VID> - (Required) Output-format.
Valid Values:
For Image outputs does the Extension determine the Image format. Supported are:
For Video outputs does the Extension determine the Video format. Supported are:
AVI, WMV, MP4, MKV, FLI, GIF (Animated), MPG, VOB

Optional Parameters

Parameter Options/Description
/FTYP: <EXT>,... (Optional) List of file extensions to include (Folder processing). Separated by comma, without the "."
/SAVE: <PATH> (Optional) New Output Path (default uses Input Folder for outputs)
/EXT: <EXT> (Optional) Output, replaces extension of source with <EXT>
- or -
/NEWEXT: <EXT> (Optional) Output, add <EXT> to source for output file name. (Default)
/OVER: <OVER|SKIP|REN> Default: OVER (Optional) Output, handleing of existing output files.
Values: "OVER"=Overwrite, "SKIP"=Skip File or "REN"=Auto-Rename
/CP: <CP> Default: CP437 (US) (Optional) CodePage. Only if conversion involves any ASCII Format (ASC, ANS, PCB, BIN) and any Unicode Format (UTF, HTML)
in any direction. For list of available CodePage values, use /CPLIST paramter.
/FONT: <FontName> Default: Default (Optional) For HTML Output, Font Name for CSS
/SANITIZE (Optional) For HTML Output, Convert TABs to SPACES etc.
/SAUCE (Optional) Convert SAUCE Meta Tag to new Format (if supported)
/OBJECT (Optional) For HTML Output. Instead of FULL HTML Document, Export Main HTML Object ONLY (no CSS, no JS Func).
/ANIM (Optional) For HTML Output. Generate Dynamic Animation (CSS/JS) instead of Static Picture.
Only use for ANSIAnimations and ANSIS that use the Blinking Formatting.
/NOCOL (Optional) For Image Output. Render output without colors (ASCII)
/SMALL (Optional) For Image Output. Use Small 8x8 font (instead of 8x16)
/THUMB (Optional) For Image Output. Create Thumbnail Image
/THUMBSCALE: <PROP>|<WIDTH>|<HEIGHT>|<CUSTOM> (Optional) For Thumbnail Output. Scaling Option
/SCALE: <PERCENT> (Optional) For Thumbnail Scaleing <PROP>. Percent of Full Image Size
/WIDTH: <NUM> (Optional) For Thumbnail Scaleing <WIDTH>/<CUSTOM>. Thumbnail Width
/HEIGHT: <NUM> (Optional) For Thumbnail Scaleing <HEIGHT>/<CUSTOM>. Thumbnail Height
/CODEC: <ID> (Optional) For Video outputs in .AVI or .MPG Format. Following values are supported:
For .MPG: MPEG1 (Default) or MPEG2
For .AVI: ZMBV (Default), FFVI, H264, MPEG4, MJPEG, LIBX264 or LIBXVID
/FPS: <NUM> (Optional) For Video Outputs. The Video Frame Rate. Default = 30.00
/BPS: <NUM> (Optional) For Video Outputs. The Simulated Modem Speed in BPS (Bits per Second). Default = 28800
/EXTEND: <NUM> (Optional) For Video Outputs. Number of Seconds to extend the last Frame of the Animation. Default = 3 (Seconds)

Extra Parameters

Parameter Options/Description
/H , /? , /HELP Returns this help text
/CPLIST All other parameters will be ignored. Returns list of available CodePages to be used for the /CP Param.


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