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BBCode or Bulletin Board Code is a lightweight markup language used to format posts in many message boards. The available tags are usually indicated by square brackets ([ ]) surrounding a keyword, and they are parsed by the message board system before being translated into a markup language that web browsers understand—usually HTML or XHTML.[1]

BBCode was introduced in 1998 by the messageboard software Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB) implemented in Perl, which has evolved into the PHP package UBB.threads. In 2000 BBCode was used in phpBB—an internet forum system written in PHP and also XMB forum. vBulletin also uses BBCode, as does XMB Forum 2.


Example in HTML/CSS BBCode Output
<b>bolded text</b>,
<strong>bolded text</strong> or
<span style="font-weight: bold;">bolded text</span>
[b]bolded text[/b] bolded text
<i>italicized text</i>,
<em>italicized text</em> or
<span style="font-style: italic;">italicized text</span>
[i]italicized text[/i] italicized text
<ins>underlined text</ins> or
<span style="text-decoration: underline;">underlined text</span>
[u]underlined text[/u] underlined text
<del>strikethrough text</del> or
<span style="text-decoration: line-through;">strikethrough text</span>
[s]strikethrough text[/s] strikethrough text
<a href=""></a>
<a href="">English Wikipedia</a>
[url=]English Wikipedia[/url]
English Wikipedia
<img src="" alt="JustAnExample.JPG" /> [img][/img]  
(Link to file for license reasons: File:JustAnExample.JPG.)
<img src="Smileys/Face-smile.svg" alt=":-)"> :) or [:-)]
This would be another way to use the [img]url_img[/img] and must be pre-configured by the forum administrator.
(This and other emoticons, depending on the variant. Most BBCodes do not enclose emoticons in square brackets, leading to frequent accidental usage.)
(Specific image and size vary.)
<blockquote><p>quoted text</p></blockquote>
(Usually implemented in more advanced ways.)
[quote]quoted text[/quote]
[quote="author"]quoted text[/quote]
(including optional author)
Using a Wikipedia template:

quoted text

quoted text

— author
<pre>monospaced text</pre> [code]monospaced text[/code] monospaced text
<span style="font-size:30px">Large Text</span> or
<span style="font-size:85%">Smaller Text</span>
[style size="30px"]Large Text[/style]
[style size="85"]Smaller Text[/style]
(The unit of measurement varies with each BBCode variant and could represent pixels, points, or relative HTML sizes.)
Large Text
Smaller Text
<span style="color:fuchsia;">Text in fuchsia</span> or
<span style="color:#FF00FF;">Text in fuchsia</span>
[style color="fuchsia"]Text in fuchsia[/style] or
[style color=#FF00FF]Text in fuchsia[/style] or
[color=#FF00FF]Text in fuchsia[/color]
(Both HTML color names and hexadecimal color values are generally supported, although on some boards, you must omit the # from selecting a hexadecimal color.)
Text in fuchsia
  <li>Entry A</li>
  <li>Entry B</li>

  <li>Entry 1</li>
  <li>Entry 2</li>
  [*]Entry A
  [*]Entry B

  [*]Entry 1
  [*]Entry 2

Some message boards do not need the square brackets around the markers.[2]

(Many variants for li and /li, list types – unordered and ordered, with different bullets or counter formats – etc.)

  • Entry A
  • Entry B
  1. Entry 1
  2. Entry 2
  <td>table cell 1</td>
  <td>table cell 2</td>
  <td>table cell 3</td>
  <td>table cell 4</td>
  [td]table cell 1[/td]
  [td]table cell 2[/td]
  [td]table cell 3[/td]
  [td]table cell 4[/td]

(Some variants for thead, rules, etc.)

table cell 1 table cell 2
table cell 3 table cell 4


BBCode is typically implemented by applying a series of regular expression string-replace operations upon the input. Because regular expressions are limited in analyzing the structure of text input, this has the artifact that any non-hierarchical BBCode input will be transformed into invalid non-hierarchical HTML without error.

Applying traditional parsing techniques is made difficult by ambiguities in the markup, such as in [quote=[b]text[/b][/quote], where the input can either be interpreted as "text" quoted from someone called [b, or the bolded text "text" surrounded by [quote= and [/quote], i.e. [quote=text[/quote].

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Why modern forums are switching from HTML to BBCode". Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  2. ^ e.g. BOINC Project Forums et al.

External linksEdit