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Community Forums › BBCode Guide
BBCode Guide



Index
Graphical Keyboard Index

Introduction
What is BBCode?

Text Formatting
How to create bold, italic and underlined text
How to change the text colour or size
Can I combine formatting tags?
How else can I format text?

Paragraph Formatting
Paragraph Alignment
Paragraph Indenting
Marquee

Quoting and outputting fixed-width text
Quoting text in replies
Outputting code or fixed width data

Generating lists
Creating an Un-ordered list
Creating an Ordered list

Creating Links
Linking to another site
Linking within the current site
Linking to a PDF document

Email Addresses
Inserting Email Addresses

Showing images in posts
Adding an image to a post
Positioning an image in a post

Showing videos in posts
Embedding a video in a post

Making Tables
Creating a table
What do the [table] and [/table] tags do?
What does the [tr] tag do?
What does the [th] tag do?
What does the [td] tag do?
What are the different attributes?

Local or Google or other Search
Add a Google, DuckDuckGo, Ebay or Local Search Box

Horizontal Lines
How to add a horizontal line

Special Characters
How to add a Copyright, Registered or Trademark Symbol

International Flags
How to add a National Flag

Other matters
Username Linking
What's all this PHP nonsense?
Right to Left Languages

 




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Index
Graphical Keyboard Index

Click on the buttons below for button specific help

Bold   Italic   Underline   Strikeout   Spoiler   Title     Left -> Right   Right -> Left     Email   Web Link   Linked Image   PDF Link     Justify   Flush Left   Center   Flush Right    Default

Image   Image Aligned left   Image Aligned Right     YouTube Video   Vimeo Video   Flash Video   Video     Indent Paragraph   Quoted text   Computer Code   PHP Code     Horizontal Line     Marquee Down   Marquee Up   Marquee Left   Marquee Right    Normal

Search     Unordered List   Numbered List   Alphabetic List   Roman Numeral List   List Bullet     Table   Table Row   Table Column Heading   Table Cell     Copyright Symbol   Registered trademark Symbol   Trademark Symbol      Flag




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Introduction
What is BBCode?

BBCode is a special implementation of HTML. Whether you can actually use BBCode in your posts on the forum is determined by the administrator. In addition, you can disable BBCode on a per post basis via the posting form. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML: tags are enclosed in square braces [ and ] rather than < and > and it offers greater control over what and how something is displayed. Depending on the template you are using you may find adding BBCode to your posts is made much easier through a clickable interface above the message area on the posting form. Even with this you may find the following guide useful.

BBCodes come in 2 basic types: single instance codes and start and end pairs. Both types can be entered through the keyboard or entered via clicking on the icon butons above the message area. Closing BBCode tags are differentiated from starting tags by the / character, eg: [b]text-to-be-in-bold[/b]

When you click on a BBCode icon button which is part of a pair tag, the icon will be highlighted to remind you to close the BBCode.

Eg:         becomes    

Clicking a highlighted icon button will always enter the closing version.


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Text Formatting
How to create bold, italic and underlined text





BBCode includes tags to allow you to quickly change the basic style of your text. This is achieved in the following ways:

  • To make a piece of text bold enclose it in [b][/b], eg:

    [b]Hello[/b]

    will become Hello

  • For underlining use [u][/u], eg:

    [u]Good Morning[/u]

    becomes Good Morning

  • To italicise text use [i][/i], eg:

    This is [i]Great![/i]

    would give This is Great!


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How to change the text colour or size

To alter the color or size of your text the following tags can be used. Keep in mind that how the output appears will depend on the viewers browser and system:

  • Changing the colour of text is achieved by wrapping it in [color=][/color]. You can specify either a recognised colour name (eg. red, blue, yellow, etc.) or the hexadecimal triplet alternative, eg. #FFFFFF, #000000. To create red text you could use:

    [color=red]Hello![/color]

    or

    [color=#FF0000]Hello![/color]

    Both will output Hello!

  • Changing the text size is achieved in a similar way using [size=][/size]. This tag is dependent on the template you are using but the recommended format is a numerical value representing the text size in pixels, starting at 1 (so tiny you will not see it) through to 29 (very large). Eg:

    [size=9]SMALL[/size]

    will generally be SMALL

    whereas:

    [size=24]HUGE![/size]

    will be HUGE!

You can select from a predefine set colors and text sizes by choosing from the Default and Normal pulldown menus repectively. Once selected you can edit the color or size to meet your specific requirements.


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Can I combine formatting tags?

Yes, of course you can - but only by embedding one inside another; eg. to get someone's attention you may write:

[size=18][color=red][b]LOOK AT ME![/b][/color][/size]

This would output LOOK AT ME!

We don't recommend you output lots of text that looks like this, though!

Remember that it is up to you, the poster, to ensure that tags are closed correctly and in the correct order. Eg, the following is incorrect:

[b][u]This is wrong[/b][/u]

Normally you cannot embed one formatting tag inside another copy of the same tag, eg. this is incorrect:

[b]LOOK [b]AT[/b] ME![/b]

as it really doesn't make any sense.

There are 3 exceptions, ie. 3 formatting tags which can be embedded within themselves; they are:

  • Quote:   [quote][/quote]
  • Indent:   [indent][/indent]
  • and List (all versions):   [list][*][/list]


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How else can I format text?





You can mark text as deleted with Strikethrough [s][/s] which displays the [s]text[/s] as text.

To create a heading or title which is more than just bold, eg. bold and a specific color, use Title [t][/t] which marks the surrounded text to be formatted as a title. Note: The exact format used is implementation dependent and is set in CSS for .title_text when the website is built.

And finally there is Spoiler: say you want to post about a recent sports result, but some readers may not want to see the results just yet. In that case use the Spoiler tags to mark out the text that gives away the result. When the post is displayed the text marked as Spoiler will be hidden, and the reader will have to move their mouse over the highlighted area to see it. Type [spoiler]and this text is [i]initially[/i] hidden[/spoiler] like this: and this text is initially hidden.



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Paragraph Formatting
Paragraph Alignment







By default a pargraph will display Flush Left with a ragged edge on the right, meaning a line of text will break where it needs to.

To force this if you need to use [align=left][/align].

To align to the right with a ragged left edge use [align=right][/align].

To justify the paragraph with no ragged edge on either side use [align=justify][/align].

To center a block of text or a paragraph use [align=center][/align] both sides of the text will be ragged.



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Paragraph Indenting

To indent a line,block or paragraph of text surround the text to be indented with:

[indent][/indent].

Indent is one of the few formatting tags which may be embedded within itself. So you may use [indent][/indent] within another paragraph of indented text in order to indent further.



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Marquee







Marquee formatting, ie. scrolling text or scrolling images, can be achieved by using one of the following four tags to surround the text, images - or both - to be scrolled

  • [marg=left][/marq]
  • [marg=right][/marq]
  • [marg=up][/marq]
  • [marg=down][/marq]

The text/images will scroll indefinitely, restarting when necessary. The scrolling will cease when the cursor moves into its line of travel, and will restart when the cursor moves out again.

Marquee left and right will span the entire width of the current text area, but Marquee up/down will only move over a prescribed short distance (aproximately 10 lines of text).



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Quoting and outputting fixed-width text
Quoting text in replies

There are two ways you can quote text: with a reference or without.

  • When you utilise the Quote function to reply to a post on the board you should notice that the post text is added to the message window enclosed in a [quote=""][/quote] block. This method allows you to quote with a reference to a person or whatever else you choose to put. Eg, to quote a piece of text Mr. Blobby wrote, you would enter:

    [quote="Mr. Blobby"]The text Mr. Blobby wrote would go here[/quote]

    The resulting output will automatically add: Mr. Blobby wrote: before the actual text. Remember that you must include the quotation marks "" around the name you are quoting -- they are not optional.

  • The second method allows you to blindly quote something. To utilise this enclose the text in [quote][/quote] tags. When you view the message it will simply show Quote: before the text itself.


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Outputting code or fixed width data

If you want to output a piece of code or in fact anything that requires a fixed width with a Courier-type font, you should enclose the text in [code][/code] tags, eg.

[code]echo "This is some code";[/code]

All formatting used within [code][/code] tags is retained when you later view it.



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Generating lists
Creating an Un-ordered list



BBCode supports two types of lists, unordered and ordered. They are essentially the same as their HTML equivalents. An unordered list outputs each item in your list sequentially one after the other indenting each with a bullet character. To create an unordered list you use [list][/list] and define each item within the list using [*]. Eg, to list your favourite colours you could use:

[list]
[*]Red
[*]Blue
[*]Yellow
[/list]

This would generate the following list:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Yellow

If you use a 2nd list structure, embedded within the first, then it will be indented further and use a different symbol as a bullet.



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Creating an Ordered list





The second type of list, an ordered list gives you control over what is output before each item. To create an ordered list you use [list=1][/list] to create a numbered list or alternatively [list=a][/list] for an alphabetical list. As with the unordered list items are specified using [*]. Eg:

[list=1]
[*]Go to the shops
[*]Buy a new computer
[*]Swear at computer when it crashes
[/list]

will generate the following:
  1. Go to the shops
  2. Buy a new computer
  3. Swear at computer when it crashes

Whereas for an alphabetical list you would use:

[list=a]
[*]The first possible answer
[*]The second possible answer
[*]The third possible answer
[/list]

giving
  1. The first possible answer
  2. The second possible answer
  3. The third possible answer

You can also use [list=A] for uppercase letters. Similarly for a Roman numeral list you would use: [list=i] or [list=I].



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Creating Links
Linking to another site

BBCode supports a number of ways of creating URIs, Uniform Resource Indicators better known as URLs.

  • The first of these uses the [url=][/url] tag; whatever you type after the = sign will cause the contents of that tag to act as a URL. Eg, to link to DragonflyCMS.com you could use:

    [url=http://www.dragonflycms.com/]Visit DragonflyCMS![/url]

    This would generate the following link, Visit DragonflyCMS! You will notice the link opens in a new window so the user can continue browsing the forums if they wish.

  • If you want the URL itself displayed as the link you can do this by simply using:

    [url]http://www.phpbb.com/[/url]

    This would generate the following link: http://www.phpbb.com/

  • Additionally BBCode features something called Magic Links which will turn any syntatically correct URL into a link without you needing to specify any tags or even the leading http://. Eg typing www.phpbb.com into your message will automatically lead to www.phpbb.com being output when you view the message. But long URLs may get abbreviated in the process; if it is important to display the whole URL then you need to use the [url][/url]] codes.

In all cases the linked URL will open in a new browser page or tab (depending on browser set up).

As with all the BBCode tags you can wrap URLs around any of the other tags such as [img][/img], [b][/b], etc. As with the formatting tags it is up to you to ensure the correct open and close order is followed. Eg:

[url=http://www.phpbb.com/][img]http://www.phpbb.com/images/phplogo.gif[/url][/img]

is not correct which may lead to your post being deleted so take care.



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Linking within the current site

Linking within the same site can be accomplished in the same exact way as linking to a remote site (see previous entry) and the linked URL will open in a new browser window or tab.

Provided the link is within the current site/domain it is possible to force the new URL to open in the current window/tab of the browser by simplying dropping the domain name from the link URL.

So [url=index.php?name=Forums&file=faq]Forum FAQ[/url] will open the Forum FAQ from this site, but will replace this page with the Forum FAQ. [Press Back on your browser to return here.]

Forums FAQ


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Linking to a PDF document

A special BBCode exists to support linking to a PDF document. It links in exactly the same way, but additionally adds a PDF-like icon after the link so that the user may see ahead of time that they will be downloading a PDF document.

The command is very similar, so [pdfurl=http://domain.com/doc.pdf]PDF Document - inactive link[/pdfurl] would display this:

PDF Document - inactive link

It is also permissible to use the slightly longer format:

[pdfurl url=http://domain.com/doc.pdf]PDF Document - inactive link[/pdfurl] to achieve the same result.


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Email Addresses
Inserting Email Addresses

There are 2 ways to display an email address with a link to an email creation:

  • You can either specify an address explicitly, like:

    [email]no.one@domain.adr[/email]

    which will output no.one@domain.adr

  • Or you can specifiy both a link text and an email address that it is to link to:

    [email=no.one@domain.adr]Click to email[/email]

    which will output as Click to email

  • Additionally BBCode features something called Magic Links which will turn any syntatically correct Email Address into a link without you needing to specify any tags. Eg type no.one@domain.adr into your message and it will be automatically converted into no.one@domain.adr



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Showing images in posts
Adding an image to a post



BBCode incorporates a tag for including images in your posts. Two very important things to remember when using this tag are: many users do not appreciate lots of images being shown in posts and second, the image you display must already be available on the Internet (it cannot exist only on your computer, for example, unless you run a webserver!). There is currently no way of storing images locally within BBCode. To display an image, you must surround the URL pointing to the image with [img][/img] tags. Eg:

[img]http://www.dragonflycms.org/images/logo.png[/img]

To resize an image add the width and height in pixels, respectively, as:

[img w=100 h=53]http://www.dragonflycms.org/images/logo.png[/img]

Note: [img width=100 height=53] is also supported.

Either the width or the height may be specified as 'auto', eg. [img width=auto height=106], in which case the missing value will be set for you so as to maintain the correct aspect ratio of the image.

A special form of the width (but not the height) command is width=100% or w=50% which causes the image to display at 100% of the width of the page or 50% of the width of the page, or any other percentage that you care to use. Note: the % is a percentage of the page width and is used regardless of the width of the original image.

An additional parameter is t or title (or a or alt may be used instead) which will set both the title and alt HTML values to the supplied text. The title may contain only letters, number and spaces - no other characters are permitted.

Note: If the options are used they must appear in the order [img w=100 h=53 t=A title].

As noted in the URL section above you can wrap an image in a [url][/url] tag if you wish, eg.

[url=http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/][img]http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/images/logo.png[/img][/url]

would generate:



Note that rather than creating an image and then wrapping it in a link, you can achieve the same by using the [imgurl][/imgurl] command:

[imgurl url=http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/]http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/images/logo.png[/imgurl]

Or the slightly shorter imgurl= form:

[imgurl=http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/]http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/images/logo.png[/imgurl]

Similar to unlinked images you can resize the initial image using the same width and height commands, eg.

[imgurl w=300 url=http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/]http://www.dragonflyCMS.org/images/logo.png[/imgurl]



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Positioning an image in a post



The [img][/img] tag decribed above will display an image at the point where you place it, and in the current line of text. Depending on the size and shape of the image, this may move or dislocate the text surrounding it. Two variants of the [img][/img] tag are provided to overcome this: [imgl][/imgl] and [imgr][/imgr].

[imgl][/imgl] operates like [img][/img] but will place the image to the left of any text following it such that the text flows around the image - assuming that there is enough space.

[imgr][/imgr] will similarly place the image to the right of any following text. Note that if you want the text to flow around - the left of - an [imgr][/imgr] you must place the [imgr][/imgr] before the text.

Again these image commands can include the width and height commands.



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Showing videos in posts
Embedding a video in a post







BBCode includes tags for generic videos or flash. But you are most likely wanting to embed videos from YouTube or vimeo. To do so, first extract the 7-10 digit number (vimeo) or 11 character (YouTube) Video ID from the video link, or sample Embed code, at vimeo or YouTube. Then paste just that number between the appropriate YouTube or vimeo start and end tags.

[youtube]DqWdeaHASCA[/youtube]

That's it - no copying of embed codes, nothing. Job done!

If you want to change the default display size of the video player (usually 640 pixels wide) add the width in pixels to either the YouTube or vimeo tags, as:

[vimeo w=320]1536121[/vimeo]

Note: [vimeo width=320]1536121[/vimeo] is also supported.

To hide the lower controls display strip on YouTube only (vimeo always hides them) add the noc parameter after the width, as in:

[youtube w=640 noc]DqWdeaHASCA[/youtube]

Note: noC, noControl and noControls are also supported.



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Making Tables
Creating a table

The [table], [tr], [th] and [td] tags are used in combination to construct the table, field by field. They are essentially the same as their HTML equivalents.


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What do the [table] and [/table] tags do?

You use [table] and [/table] to start and end the table
Use [table] at the very beginning of the table,
and [/table] at the very end.



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What does the [tr] tag do?

You use [tr] for a new row. [tr] is inside of [table]...[/table] and in conjunction with [th] or [td].
Note: [/tr] is required

Eg: [table][tr][th]Main Row[/th][/tr][/table]

Will show up as:

Main Row


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What does the [th] tag do?

You use [th] for each column header field (Centered, Bold text). [th] is inside of [table][tr]...[tr][/table].
Note: [/th] is required

Eg: [table][tr][th]Column 1[/th][th]Column 2[/th][/tr][/table]

Will show up as:

Column 1Column 2


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What does the [td] tag do?

You use [td] for each column field (plain, uncentered)
Note: [/td] is required

Eg: [table][tr][th]Column 1[/th][th]Column 2[/th][/tr][tr][td]Field 1[/td][td]Field 2[/td][/tr][/table]

Will show up as:

Column 1Column 2
Field 1Field 2


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What are the different attributes?

There are no table specifc attributes, but you can use the usual text attributes on any of the text within each table field [td]..[/td].


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Local or Google or other Search
Add a Google, DuckDuckGo, Ebay or Local Search Box

You can add a Search box (form) to your post which the reader can use to perform a search when they read your post. You can prefill the search box with some or all of the search query for the reader to use or to amend. The search can be a local search of this website using its internal search capabilities, or can be a search of the Web via Google.com, or via DuckDuckGo, or a search on Ebay.

To create a local search enter [search][/search].

To create a Google search enter [search=google][/search].

To create a DuckDuckGo search enter [search=duckduckgo][/search].

To create an Ebay search enter [search=ebay][/search].

Any text between the two search tags [search][/search] or [search=google][/search] will be entered into the search box.
The text will scroll if it is too long for the search box. For Ebay the search term can also be an Ebay Item Number.

In order to ensure a valid search request it is recommended that you test your search query in your browser before copying to this Search box.



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Horizontal Lines
How to add a horizontal line

To add a horizontal line across the current width of the page simply enter [hr].



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Special Characters
How to add a Copyright, Registered or Trademark Symbol





To display any of these 3 special characters simply enter [copyright], [register] or [trademark].








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International Flags
How to add a National Flag

To add a small ( 20px wide ) image of a national flag enter the following where US can be replaced by any International 2-letter abbreviation for any of the available flags:

[flag=us]

To see a full list of available flags or to insert the flag code into your post you can use the Flag pulldown menu.

The start and end tag version of this BBCode [flag]us[/flag] is also supported for compatibility.

Please note that the International 2-letter code for Andorra has been changed from AD to AC for the purposes of the flag icon because "ad.gif" is often dropped from the display by a reader's ad blocking software. But the commands [flag=ad] and [flag]ad[/flag], as well as [flag=ac] and [flag]ac[/flag], will still correctly display the flag of Andorra.


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Other matters
Username Linking

Additionally BBCode features something called Magic Links which will turn any member's username into a link if you precede the username with the @ symbol (no space). Eg typing @username into your message will automatically lead to @username being output when you view the message provided username is a current member.


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What's all this PHP nonsense?

The PHP BBCode is similar to the Code BBCode, except that it should only be used for PHP code. Why? Because it highlights certain sections of the PHP code, making it easier to read. (PHP code is used to develop the DragonflyCMS used on this website.)



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Right to Left Languages



These special formatting buttons are not part of the output text formatting, but instead adjust this input textarea for the input of languages which read left to right and right to left respectively.

Normally your webmaster will have set up this BBCode input to suit your language, but if not, or if you wish to mix languages requiring different directions then you may use these 2 buttons as necessary to flip the direction of input.


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