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Confusing ASCII editor

Don't waste time trying to figure out this unintuitive program.

ASCII Art Marker lets users convert existing images into ASCII and create freehand ASCII images. We wish we could tell you more about it, but the sparse interface makes it hard to get a handle on exactly what else the program does.

The program's interface is basic--too basic. Our first instinct was to open the Help file, because we weren't sure how the program worked. Unfortunately, although there is a Help menu, when we tried to open it nothing happened. So we had to try to figure things out on our own. We started with the ASCII Editor, which is essentially a piece of graph paper into which users insert ASCII characters to create images. That was simple enough. The ASCII Image function was not as clear. This allows users to turn an existing image into an ASCII image, and it sort of worked. It was fine with the sample images that the program includes, and even has controls for brightness, contrast, and saturation. But when we tried using images of our own, which were larger, there was no way to resize them or view the entire ASCII result. Instead, the program would display a portion of the image, but there was no way to scroll or otherwise view the rest of it. We thought maybe if we saved the images we'd be able to view them more easily, but in the trial version of the program the save feature is disabled.

ASCII Art Maker has a 15-use trial. It installs desktop icons without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We do not recommend this program; there are other, more user-friendly options out there.

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