For those that are both , as well as fans of the protocol...

I thought I could use `aview` or `cacaview` to easily generate an ASCII art version of a cover for my (eventual) . They were not just unscriptable, they were pretty hard to use.

What worked for me?

I took my 2000x2000 cover image and loaded it in the . I rescaled the image to 80x40, then had the GIMP export to a 'txt' file. Boom. Perfect. (It uses 2x2 px per char, half-width font. Makes 40x20.)

Ingenious! Being a big fan of ascii art, I shall investigate.


I manually tweaked the results so the title/artist was legible, but you can see it was easy to get the correct location for the letters.

Note: You can also watch videos using the same rendering library.

Not all releases of the GIMP include support for "exporting" to a text file. The version I have on my Mac doesn't have it.

It's also possible it's just a new feature and it was added sometime between 2.8.22 and 2.10.8.


I'm using GIMP 2.10 (Arch Linux) and I'm not able to export as txt. Which rendering library / extension am I missing? A quick duck duck go search doesn't come up with anything.


The library is "libaa". With Ubuntu libaa is a dependency of the GIMP. There is probably a "--with-libaa" build flag that wasn't used for Arch.


I didn't know it was a thing, but I was looking at the applications that depended upon libaa to try to find something that would work for me and noticed the GIMP was listed.


A web search on "gimp libaa arch" showed me that it is sometimes called: gimp-plugin-aa

Not sure what it's called in Arch, as my web search sort of failed, but hopefully that helps direct you to the right spot.


Unfortunately, a package search of Arch Linux packages didn't find "libaa" as a provided package. Without the required library, it makes sense that they wouldn't build the GIMP with support for it.


yeah - I've been looking for it. Nothing in AUR, which is the place it'd be were it to exist.

I was able to export an image as a pbm using gimp, in ASCII, but I was led astray by the 'export to ASCII' option, as Portable BitMaps are not ASCII art. Hah!

I'm exploring other options. I'll let you know if I find a solution.

By the way, aview didn't work for me, either.


Yeah, aview also depends upon libaa, so without one you can't have the other.

You have libcaca, though, which is the colorful ascii art library. I don't know if you have "cacaview" or not. In Ubuntu it's in "caca-utils", but it is possible they're just libcaca examples and ship with libcaca in Arch.


I installed libcaca and cacaview does the TRICK. Excellent! Thank you! When I have time to tweak, I'll post something.

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