A tool to generate glyphs for 8x8 LED matrix displays

Latest Release: 1.2.1


Download And Install ASCII

You can install ASCII using Brew. In Terminal, just run:

brew tap smittytone/homebrew-smittytone

brew cask install ascii

Alternatively, click the file link below to download ASCII.
Please verify the integrity of the download with the SHA-256 checksum.

File Name  ascii_1_2_1.dmg
File Size  1.1MB
SHA 256  89be94a18c507f2cf7f8e6e627d8f2ed16dff6b236437585aa2af04ef4cc2698



ASCII is a simple tool you can use to generate 8x8 character glyphs for maker projects using 8x8 LED matrix displays.

Create a glyph pattern (black squares are equivalent to lit matrix segments) and then click Grid to Values to convert the pattern into column values that can be pasted into your microcontroller code. Existing values can be pasted into the Grid Pixel Values field — click Values to Grid to display the pattern they form.

In each case, select String or Array to choose the bytes values format:

  • String — "\xAA\xBB\xCC\xDD\xEE\xFF\x00\x11"
  • Array — [0xAA,0xBB,0xCC,0xDD,0xEE,0xFF,0x00,0x11]

Ascii is a tool to generate glyphs for LED matrix displays

Hit Fill Grid to set all the pixels in the grid.

Hit Clear Grid to clear all the pixels in the grid.

Hit Invert Pixels to reverse the pattern on the grid: set pixels become unset (black to white) and vice versa.

Hit Rotate Clockwise to rotate the grid patten by 90° clockwise.

Hit Flip Horizontal to flip the grid pattern about the vertical axis.

Hit Flip Vertical to flip the grid pattern about the horizontal axis.

The round row and column buttons can be clicked to set the whole row or column, or shift-clicked to clear the whole row or column.

You can click on a pixel to set it — keep the mouse button held down to ‘paint’ pixels continuously.

Click on the grid to set and unset pixels

Release Notes

  • 1.2.1 4 February 2020
    • Fix cut’n’paste in hex code entry/readout field.
    • App now quits when the window is closed.
    • New app icon.
  • 1.2.0
    • Re-orient grid co-ordinates.
    • Support click-and-hold to ‘paint’ pixels.
    • Add horizontal and vertical flipping.
    • Add a choice to output or input byte values in string or array forms.
    • Add Actions menu as an alternative to the buttons.
    • Support macOS Dark Mode.
  • 1.1.3
    • Bug fix: restore cut, paste and select all for the values field.
  • 1.1.2
    • Initial public release (2018).
    • Add glyph rotation.
    • Modernise the code.
  • 1.0.1
    • Private release circa 2014.

Source Code

You can view ASCII’s source code at GitHub.

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Site and software copyright © 2020, Tony Smith
Site Last Updated: 23 October 2020