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Using BB Code
BBCode is a special implementation of html - a way for users to mark up or embed conent into their posts. BBCode is similar in appearance and functionality to html, but it uses square brackets like [ and ] rather than the regular html brackets like < and >.
Using BBCode, you can make the text in your post bold or italic or even have it appear in different colours.
Don't Overdo It
Just because we can change font sizes, colours and add font formatting like bold and italic doesn't mean that we have to on a regular basis.
For the most part, the easiest text to read is simple, generic text in default colours with no other formatting. Adding unneeded formatting just makes this text harder to read.
There's no doubt that using BBCode to emphasize text makes it stand out, but it's important to use it sparingly, and only when necessary.
Why Can't We Just Use html?
It's a safety measure - to prevent people from abusing these forums by putting in html tags that might mess up the page format or cause other problems. For example, putting in extra table rows or cells could drastically alter the appearance of the forum pages and render them unreadable.
Making Text Bold
If you want text to be bold, enclose it within [b] and [/b] tags. For example:
[b]Sample Text[/b] will yield the following: Sample Text
Making Text Italic
If you want text to be italicized, enclose it within [i] and [/i] tags. For example:
[i]Sample Text[/i] will yield the following: Sample Text
If you want text to be underlined, enclose it within [u] and [/u] tags. For example:
[u]Sample Text[/u] will yield the following: Sample Text
Using the Quote Feature
The forums we use simply append each post to the end of a particular thread as the users add them. It's simple, and generally easy to follow, since most discussions are chronological in style - just like a regular conversation.
However, you may sometimes want to post a comment or answer a question about someone elses post that's a few posts (or pages) back in a particular thread, and it can be difficult to put that reply in context. It would be nice to have a way to indicated exactly what post in that thread you're referring to in your post to help it make sense. That's what the Quote feature is for.
If you want to refer to a previous post in your own, rather than simply posting a reply in the normal fashion, you can go to the person's post that you want to respond to. At the top right in their post, you'll see a tiny icon for "reply with quote." If you click that, the normal posting form opens up, but with one important difference.
You'll see in the art of the form where you type your message that the other person's text has been inserted into your message between [quote] and [/quote] tags. You type in your message below this quote section
When your post is added to the thread, you'll see the other person's message in a box neatly above your text, letting people know exactly what part of the thread you're responding to.
It'll look something like this:
You can see how clear it is for users of the forum to understand what you're referring to in your post, since it appears directly above your reply.
A second possibility is if another user makes a long post with a number of points. You want to respond to only one point in that person't post. As above, you can use the reply with quote feature, but you can edit the text that appears between the [quote and [/quote] tags, leaving only the part of the post that you're responding to.