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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Got ASCII? Create ASCII Text Or Convert Graphics With Email Effects!
February 26th, 2001

Email Effects 1.6.7 ($15 Shareware)
Sig Software

Some Observers may remember back to the days before the Web, when text was the primary way of communicating information via the Internet. Although text info itself was useful, people found ways to create pictures, charts and the like by only using text characters. This was often time consuming. Times have changed, and you can still create text art, but with much less effort, thanks to Email Effects.

Our New Reviews Icon in ASCII
(Click for the full sized version)

Email effects has two main functions. The first, and we think most interesting, is the ability to convert a graphic to a text representation. You can either drag the graphic onto the Email Effects icon, or open it within the application. Either way, the graphic is then imported, being converted to a text equivalent. You can scale the resulting text depending on your particular application. For e-mail, you may want to keep things small.

The other feature of Email Effects is that it contains several graphic tools one would expect in a graphics programs. There are line, oval and square tools. The difference is that if you use a tool to create a shape, it will be drawn with different text characters, rather than graphics. For those who don't fancy creating a signature or other ASCII shapes character by character, this is the way to go.

Lastly, you can create large text characters out of any existing font. This is somewhat hard to explain, but fortunately, a picture is worth a thousand words. You can see that we spelled the word Mac out of lots of individual characters. Of course they each correspond to the character they are representing.

Spelling Mac with Text
(Click for the full sized version)

So start doing some interesting things with text and check out Email Effects soon.

Have any other tools that help you communicate? Let John know via e-mail, so he can check it out.

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.

John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

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