Tag Archives: Drawing

Printing Extended Ascii Characters in Console Apps

I’ve written a fair few articles on using console apps, especially for the purpose of writing games. This post, for example, is the start of a series on creating a snake game using a C# console app.

Disclaimer: this post is largely just bringing together the information listed at the bottom of this article into a single place. I take no credit for the code herein (with the exception of the rectangle itself).

One thing that used to be common knowledge, back when I wrote games and apps in Turbo Pascal and C, was that you could use the extended character set in order to create a rudimentary set of graphics. In this post, I’m going to cover my re-discovery of those characters. We’ll draw a rectangle in a console app.

Back in the Borland days, the way to add these to your program was to hold Alt-Gr and then type the ASCII code. In .Net Framework, these were, broadly, included; however, in .Net Core+, you need to add a NuGet package:

<PackageReference Include="System.Text.Encoding.CodePages" Version="6.0.0" />

Once you’ve done this, you need the following magic line to allow you to actually use the code pages:


Before we get into using this, let’s see what’s available. Firstly, this is how you would list the code pages:

var encs = CodePagesEncodingProvider.Instance.GetEncodings();
foreach (var enc in encs.OrderBy(a => a.Name))
    Console.WriteLine($"{enc.Name} {enc.CodePage}");

The specific code page that we’re interested in is IBM437:

Encoding cp437 = Encoding.GetEncoding("IBM437");
byte[] source = new byte[1];
for (byte i = 0x20; i < 0xFE; i++)
    source[0] = i;
    Console.WriteLine($"{i}, {cp437.GetString(source)}");

We can display a single character like this:

Console.WriteLine($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 217 })}");

Okay, so we now have all the tools, it’s just assembling them in the right order:

Console.Write($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 218 })}");
for (int i = 1; i < 20; i++)
    Console.Write($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 196 })}");
Console.WriteLine($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 191 })}");

for (int i = 1; i < 5; i++)
    Console.Write($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 179 })}");
    Console.Write(new String(' ', 19));
    Console.WriteLine($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 179 })}");

Console.Write($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 192 })}");
for (int i = 1; i < 20; i++)
    Console.Write($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 196 })}");
Console.WriteLine($"{cp437.GetString(new byte[1] { 217 })}");







WPF Drawing Application

The following is a XAML page that allows the user to draw on it. This was written and tested under a Windows 10 desktop application, but should work for WPF. Here’s the XAML:

                <Canvas PointerPressed="Canvas_PointerPressed" PointerMoved="Canvas_PointerMoved"
                        Background="Orange" Name="Canvas" />

The background is a different colour to identify the canvas.

There’s the code to allow drawing:

        Path _currentPath;

        private void Canvas_PointerPressed(object sender, Windows.UI.Xaml.Input.PointerRoutedEventArgs e)
            _currentPath = new Path
                Data = new PathGeometry
                    Figures = { new PathFigure
                        StartPoint = e.GetCurrentPoint((UIElement)sender).Position,
                        Segments = { new PolyLineSegment() }
                Stroke = new SolidColorBrush(Colors.Black),
                StrokeThickness = 5


        private void Canvas_PointerMoved(object sender, PointerRoutedEventArgs e)
            if (_currentPath == null) return;

            var pls = (PolyLineSegment)((PathGeometry)_currentPath.Data).Figures.Last().Segments.Last();

        private void Canvas_PointerReleased(object sender, PointerRoutedEventArgs e)
            _currentPath = null;

As you can see, it doesn’t do anything for my drawing ability:


It’s all the code behind and, while I typically shy away from this, it seems to fit well for an application such as this (as the drawing relates more to the view than to anything else).