How to Make an ASCII Owl

Written by david robinson
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How to Make an ASCII Owl
A colon and a closing bracket: it's a happy face in ASCII art. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

ASCII art uses text characters to create images like emoticons, which people use to describe feelings when texting. While emoticons concentrate on the emulation of facial expressions -- such as a colon, dash and closing bracket portraying a smiling face like :-) -- ACSII art can express any image from a simple heart shape to a complex scene. A simple ASCII owl can be created in one line -- (o^o) -- but producing a more impressive owl requires several lines of text.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Word processor or other electronic text software.

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  1. 1

    Set your word processor to use a font such as Courier New, Lucida Console or Verdana. Enter three spaces, a ^ symbol, a space, an underline, a space and another ^. The line should look like this: ^ _ ^

  2. 2

    Start a new line. Enter two spaces followed by an opening parenthesis, a space, a lower case o, a space, another lower case o, a final space and a closing parenthesis. The line should look like this: ( o )

  3. 3

    Start a new line with a slash character, an apostrophe and a left quote, or a grave accent. Add a single space, an apostrophe, a space, another left quote, apostrophe and a backslash. The text should look like this: /'''\

  4. 4

    Start a new line and type a vertical line, seven apostrophes and a final vertical line.

    It looks like this: |'''''''|

  5. 5

    Start another line of text and type a vertical line, two backslashes, three apostrophes, two slashes and a vertical line. It looks like this: |\'''//|

  6. 6

    Create the final line by typing three spaces followed by three apostrophes. It looks like this: '''

  7. 7

    Check the characters shown on the screen and adjust the owl if necessary to make it symmetrical. The right side of the owl should be a mirror image of the left side. The first line depicts the ears and the top of the head, ^ _ ^ , the second line creates the face and eyes ( o ), and lines three through five create the body. The final line uses the three apostrophes to create two small feet.

    The owl is now complete and visible on the screen. No other software or processing is necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment and change the owl, or look online for other examples of ASCII art.
  • Save the owl as a text file and include it in e-mail signatures, or create your own ASCII art gallery.
  • If the characters will not align correctly, change to a different font. Not all fonts use the same spacing between characters.

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