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What is BBcode, and how do I use it?


Staff member
Here's the BBcode post:

These BBCodes are the spice in our posts. Just like when cooking, spices should be used somewhat sparingly (with the exception of "bacon spice" of course).

The BBCode shortcuts at the top of the post editing window can be very useful, and when you hover your mouse over them it provides a helpful tooltip, but some of them are still unclear in how to use them. There's also some functions that aren't represented by the buttons at the top. I'll try to cover the main ones here.

With BBCode, you have an opening command and a closing command, each surrounded by the square brackets like this:
The forward slash before the command shows that it's closing off the BBCode.

So the first three buttons on the left are bold, italics, and underline. Another option that isn't shown is Strikethrough. These are all represented by the BBCodes "b", "i", "u", and "s" respectively. So if you want to bold "Why is my computer sparking?!" you would type
[b]Why is my computer sparking?![/b]
This produces: Why is my computer sparking?!

NOTE: When combining BBCodes, make sure you close off the commands in the reverse order they were written (example:)
[b][i][u]This is excessive formatting[/u][/i][/b]

When you use the Quote button, it'll give you
If you just want it generically quoted, you can put someone else's text between those commands. If you want to recognize whoever originally posted what you're quoting, you can type it like this
[quote="MacGyver"]If I had some duct tape, I could fix that[/quote]
That will show up like this:
MacGyver said:
If I had some duct tape, I could fix that
The Code button is handy for when you want to display what BBCode is used. I've had to use it any time I showed you the actual commands and it displays the actual code in these handy boxes. For instance, the quote above was typed like this:
[code][quote="MacGyver"]If I had some duct tape, I could fix that[/quote]

The List buttons and the asterisk are used together. For instance:
Things to do today
[*][s]Brush my teeth[/s]
[*]Wake up
[*]Eat breakfast
[*]Brush my teeth
Produces this:
Things to do today
  • Brush my teeth
  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush my teeth

If you want a numbered list you could use "list=1" and if you want an alphabetical list you can use "list=a". Make sure these are closed off with "/list" as normal.

Images can be posted if they're hosted somewhere online. You'll want the image specific address and you can post it between
For instance, in the below picture from "Imgur.com" hosting, you would want the Direct link.

The phpBB forums like our CFSY Community will automatically recognize when you post a web address to turn it into a URL that people can click on. Sometimes though, you don't want a huge, nasty looking address hanging in your post. You can use the
and add a description like this:
[url=http://www.homestarrunner.com]Something Awesome[/url]
It will show up like this in your post: Something Awesome instead of just http://www.homestarrunner.com

I believe the same concept works for the
If you type
[email=ean@cfsy.ca]E-mail Ean[/email]
it should show up as just E-mail Ean

I'm personally not sure how to use the Flash commands... Probably not very useful nowadays anyway since Flash is going the way of the dinosaur.

Then you have a text size control and Font Colour which function in a straight forward way.

Google Video isn't really happening nowadays either, but a
gives you the video below, where you copy the specific Youtube video ID instead of the full url.

So there you have it! All sorts of tools to make your posts look spiffy. Just remember to use these tools sparingly so it doesn't end up like makeup on a clown :)