How to Draw a Birthday Cake Using the Keyboard Symbols

Written by tommy charles
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Long before emoticons and clip art became standard in instant messenger clients and word processing programs, users made their own simple graphics using nothing more than the keyboard's characters and the "Enter" key. You can make intricate designs out of your keyboard's characters line by line and character by character. The birthday cake design can be typed in quickly and will be immediately recognisable to the recipient. Keyboard art such as this can make a fresh alternative to flashy emoticons.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Click within the document or form in which you are placing the birthday cake figure.

  2. 2

    Type "-------- , , , , -------- " exactly as shown and then press "Enter."

  3. 3

    Type "------- |-|-|-| -------" and then press "Enter."

  4. 4

    Press the following keys one by one and then make a new line: "-------| happy |-------- ".

  5. 5

    Type "------| birthday |------ " and then press "Enter" once more.

  6. 6

    Type "---- |***|----- " and press "Enter."

  7. 7

    Type "--- |****|-----" to complete the figure.

Tips and warnings

  • It is imperative you use the same alignment for each level of the cake. For instance, if you start the figure in centre alignment, you must finish it in centre alignment.
  • You can experiment with characters of your own to customise the cake to your liking, but if you increase the number of characters in a particular line, the figure will lose its symmetry.
  • Most instant messenger applications allow you to make a new line without printing the current one. For instance, pressing "Shift" and "Enter" at the same time in Google's chat application will have this effect.

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