Thanks to Julio Marchi for this space in MSX All

MSX Sketch Tools

 Convert PC cliparts to shapes to use on your MSX.

  1. Introduction

  The project MSX Sketch Tools aims at developing some tools to convert PC GIF format to shapes compatible with MSX black & white image editors such as Graphos III, Aquarela, Page-Maker and Dynamic Publisher.
  Some MSX graphic editors make use of B&W images that looks like those hand-made sketches. But what is a B&W image?
  Generally speaking, there is a certain confusion about the concepts of gray-level and B&W images. In digital images, a gray-level image is the one that each pixel is represented by a gray color between the black and white colors, where each gray level has the RGB components with the same value. According to that, we represent a RGB value using only one value instead of three.
  The B&W image format has only two colors for represent each pixel: the black and the white. On the MSX, the black color is represented by the color 1 and the white color is represented by the color 15.
  In order to fulfill the B&W format requisites, PC images must be converted to B&W before converting to MSX B&W editors.

  2. MSX graphic editors and their formats

  In this section you can find a link to the MSX main graphic editors shapes and file description.

  • Graphos III
  • Page-Maker
  • Aquarela
  • Dynamic Publisher
  3. The project
  The MSX Sketch Tools project is composed by three tools:
  • MSX Sketch Tools
  • MSX Sketch Tools - Publisher
  • MSX Sketch Tools - Aquarela

Graphic tool Newspaper import1

  1. Adapted from:

  The main MSX Sketch Tools is a graphic tool that it is possible to convert images using both MSX images and PC GIFs. The supported files are: screen (.GRP), layout (.LAY), shapes (.SHP), PC shapes (.SHP) and Dynamic Publisher shapes (.STP).

  MSX Sketch Tools - Publisher was designed for working with desktop publishing programs such Page-Maker and Dynamic Publisher. There are 5 Java programs that runs from O.S. command line. The supported files are: Page-Maker (.PM?), Dynamic Publisher (.PCT) and Dynamic Publisher fonts (.FNT).

  MSX Sketch Tools - Aquarela converts Aquarela files. There are 2 Java programs that runs from O.S. command line. The supported files are: Aquarela fonts (.FNT), sprites (.SPR) and pattern (.PRD).

  All the packages include a "readme.txt" file with some instructions on how to use the programs included in that package.

  All the modules of this project were developed in Java. So, the binary file ".jar" is able to run under any PC computer and O.S. that supports Java.

  MSX Sketch Tools - Version 1.3 - 04/2020 [PC Java] - Binaries in Java. [Source PC Java] - Source code.

  Obs: since version 1.3, it is possible to read multiple shapes.
  MSX Sketch Tools - Publisher - Version 1.0 - 08/2018 [PC Java] - Binaries in Java. [Source PC Java] - Source code.
  MSX Sketch Tools - Aquarela - Version 1.1 - 06/2020 [PC Java] - Binaries in Java. [Source PC Java] - Source code.
  Examples - Graphos III shapes, Page-Maker and Dynamic Publisher pages. - B&W GIF images ready to be converted to MSX. - A lot of shapes examples.

  Author: Marcelo Silveira
  License: GNU-GPL v. 3.x -

Marcelo Silveira
Systems and Computing Engineer
Expert in Image Processing and Artificial Intelligence
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