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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.

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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.


    will become Hello
  • For underlining use [u][/u], for example:

    [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. For example, to create red text you could use:




    will both 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). For example:


    will generally be SMALL



    will be HUGE!

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How to change the font face used

To alter the font face of your text, the following tag can be used. Keep in mind that how the output appears will depend on the viewers browser, system and that the font in question is installed:

  • Changing the font face of text is achieved by wrapping it in [font=][/font]. You need to specifiy a recognized font face. (Safe font face descriptions are the generic font face names provided with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). E.g. sans-serif, serif, monospace, cursive, fantasy). You can use comma seperated lists of font faces too. E.g. arial,geneva,helvetica,sans-serif. For example to create text with monospace font face you could use:

    [font=monospace]Monospaced Text[/font].

    This will output Monospaced text

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What does the Align BBCode do?

Using align=left on selected text will left justify, align=center will center justify, align=right will right justify align=justify will padd the text.

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What does the TAB BBCode do?

Using Tab will insert several spaces, for indentation purposes. For example using:

  • Wow! Look I'm [tab]all tabbed in!

    will display as:

    Wow! Look I'm &&&&all tabbed in!

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What does the Acronym BBCode do?

If you use an acronym or term in your post, then the Acronym BBCode enables you to provide a popup definition

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What does the Strike BBCode do?

Using strike on selected text will stirke it though. For example using:

  • Wow! Look I'm [strike]struck through[/strike]!

    will display as:

    Wow! Look I'm struck through!

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What does the Spolier BBCode do?

If you wish to make the text display in the same color as the background color of the post, use the [spoiler][/spoiler] tags, eg.

[spoiler]Hello there, How are you?[/spoiler]

this will output:
Hello there, How are you?
(Please highlight the above section with your mouse to see the result)

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Can I combine formatting tags?

Yes, of course you can; for example to get someones 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. For example, the following is incorrect:

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

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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. For example, 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 ouputs 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 [*]. For example, to list your favorite colours you could use:


This would generate the following list:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Yellow

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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 [*]. For example:

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

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:

[*]The first possible answer
[*]The second possible answer
[*]The third possible answer

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

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Creating Links

Linking to another site

Minerva 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. For example, to link to Flexion.Org you could use:

    [url=]Visit Flexion.Org[/url]

    This would generate the following link, Visit Flexion.Org 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:


    This would generate the following link:
  • Additionally Minerva features something called Magic Linkswhich will turn any syntatically correct URL into a link without you needing to specify any tags or even the leading http://. For example typing into your message will automatically lead to being output when you view the message.
  • The same thing applies equally to email addresses; you can either specify an address explicitly, like:


    which will output or you can just type into your message and it will be automatically converted when you view.
As with all the BBCode tags you can wrap URLs around any of the other tags such as [img][/img] (see next entry), [b][/b], etc. As with the formatting tags it is up to you to ensure the correct open and close order is following. For example:


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

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Showing images in posts

Adding an image to a post

Minerva 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 with Minerva. To display an image, you must surround the URL pointing to the image with [img][/img] tags. For example:


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


would generate:

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Other matters

Can I add my own tags?

As a site user you can't create you own tags, but the Administrator of this site can. Ask, they might be agreeable.

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