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FAQ: What's BBCode?
Overview
BBCode is a markup language. That's really just a fancy way to say that it lets you apply style (think italic, or bold, or color, or font size) to plain text. BBCode is a cousin of another well-known markup language, HTML. BBCode and HTML both serve, at the most basic level, the same purpose: to turn plain text into something fancier.

BBCode is widely used, in slightly varying forms, on a wide variety of forums on the internet, including Modern Vespa. Whenever you post a message with a quotation of someone else's post, or a piece of text in bold or italic, or a link to another site, you're using BBCode.
Simple BBCode Examples
All BBCode consists of tags that are inserted into plain text to perform some special function. All tags are denoted by square brackets with some piece of text in between. Most tags are used in pairs, but there are a few that are used singly.
Italic Text
One of the simplest examples of a BBCode tag looks like this:
I type [i]some[/i] things in italics for emphasis.
When displayed in a post, the above text looks like this:
I type some things in italics for emphasis.
The above text indicates that the word "some" should appear in italics, which is denoted by the letter "i" (for italic) between square brackets. The first tag starts the italics, and the second tag (known as the closing tag) ends it. Take special note of how the closing tag has a slash "/" before the letter "i" -- that's important.
Bold, Strike-Through, and Color
Some other simple examples:
I get [b]very[/b] agitated by classical music.
I think there [s]should[/s] must be more emphasis placed on math & science.
Soft serve ice cream is [red]very[/red] overrated.
Which corresponds to:
I get very agitated by classical music.
I think there should must be more emphasis placed on math & science.
Soft serve ice cream is very overrated.
Advanced BBCode Examples
There are a few BBCode tags that are a bit harder to use. The most useful of these are tags that link to other topics or other websites.
Link with title
One of the most common types of links using BBCode involves providing a link to an external website using your own text for the name of the link. For instance, you might want to embed a piece of text in the middle of a sentence using only a word or two, instead of the whole web address.

The above link (using the word "text") is created like this:
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gutenberg]text[/url]
This looks complex at first, but let's break it down into pieces. The opening and closing tags are "url" tags, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator. This was the original name for what has become known simply as "web address". The opening url tag has some extra stuff appended to it, namely an equal sign and then the actual web address. Note that all of that, the url tag and the equal sign and the web address, are within the square brackets.

Between the opening and closing url tags is the title, or the text that you want to appear in place of the web address.
Complete List of BBCode Tags at Modern Vespa
A BBCode Guide can be found here.
Last Updated Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:04 pm
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