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PETSCII typer: type your favorite C64 characters

poke 53280,   poke 53281,   reverse video:   Change case:
Keyboard:   Font:   Transform/filter:
Load PETSCII text file or BASIC .prg program:  

PETSCII, huh?

Commodore 8-bits computers of the 1970s and 1980s have their own take on the ASCII character set that includes a large number of graphical characters. This character set is known as "PETSCII".

PETSCII font and keyboard

Over at Style64.org, they created a modern font that replicates the Commodore 64 font with all of its PETSCII goodness.

And the people at Drop have created a a set of keycaps for modern keyboards that have the PETSCII graphical characters printed on the front, just like the C64 keyboard.

How does it work?

So all the pieces are in place, except for one... how do you type these PETSCII characters? That's what this web page will let you do.

By default, the keyboard tries to match a Commodore 64 keyboard, but you can change this to the Drop MT3 keyboard layout. You should then be able to type the graphical PETSCII characters printed on the left side of the front of the keys with alt (option or on the Mac, AltGr on Windows) or control, and the one on the right with alt or control plus shift.

(control probably works better on the Mac, AltGr on Windows.)

Just for fun, you can change text colors with control + 1 - 8 or control + shift + 1 - 8, and the border and background colors by entering a number between 0 and 15 in the "poke" boxes. You can also use control + 9 to turn on reverse video and control + 0 to turn it off. Or use the checkbox.

Esc acts (a bit) like RESTORE. With the C64 keyboard selected, F9 is the £ key and F10 the is the = key.

There's a number of additional actions and settings, but be careful, those will probably mess up the PETSCII you've typed. Hover the mouse over them to see what they do.

You can also load PETSCII text files and Commodore 64 BASIC programs. You may have to click the "case up" button to make them look as expected. Note that all of this runs inside your browser, the text you type or the files you "upload" are not sent to the server. But you should probably not enter or load any sensitive data, anyway. What about cookies? Back in the 1980s we didn't get cookies 50 times a day, so no cookies.

If you have feedback, send me an email or hit me up on Twitter, see the links at the top of the page.