pbmtoascii - Man Page

convert a PBM image to ASCII graphics

Examples (TL;DR)






This program is part of Netpbm(1).

pbmtoascii reads a PBM image as input and produces a somewhat crude ASCII graphic image as output.

To convert back, use asciitopgm(1).

ppmtoterm does a similar thing for color images to be displayed on color text terminals.


In addition to the options common to all programs based on libnetpbm (most notably -quiet, see Common Options ), pbmtoascii recognizes the following command line options:

The -1x2 and -2x4 options give you two alternate ways for the pixels to get mapped to characters.  With 1x2, the default, each character represents a group of 1 pixel across by 2 pixels down.  With -2x4, each character represents 2 pixels across by 4 pixels down.  With the 1x2 mode you can see the individual pixels, so it's useful for previewing small images on a non-graphics terminal.  The 2x4 mode lets you display larger images on a small display, but it obscures pixel-level details.  2x4 mode is also good for displaying PGM images:

pamscale -width 158 | pnmnorm | pamditherbw -threshold | pbmtoascii -2x4

should give good results.

See Also

asciitopgm(1) ppmtoascii(1) ppmtoterm(1) pbm(1)


Copyright (C) 1988, 1992 by Jef Poskanzer.

Document Source

This manual page was generated by the Netpbm tool 'makeman' from HTML source.  The master documentation is at


Referenced By

asciitopgm(1), pbmto4425(1), ppmtoascii(1), ppmtoterm(1).

02 April 2010 netpbm documentation