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Development status Active
Operating system Cross-platform
Type message board

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 first introduced in 1998 by the messageboard software Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB).


BBCode Example HTML Rendering
[b]bolded text[/b] <b>bolded text</b>, <strong>bolded text</strong> or <span style="font-weight: bold;">bolded text</span> bolded text
[i]italicized text[/i] <i>italicized text</i>, <em>italicized text</em> or <span style="font-style: italic;">italicized text</span> italicized text
[u]underlined text[/u] <u>underlined text</u>, <ins>underlined text</ins> or <span style="text-decoration: underline;">underlined text</span> underlined text
[s]strikethrough text[/s] <s>strikethrough text</s>, <del>strikethrough text</del> or <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">strikethrough text</span> strikethrough text
[url][/url] <a href=""></a>
[url=]Example[/url] <a href="">Example</a> Example
[img][/img] <img src="" alt="" /> Go-home.svg
[quote="author"]quoted text[/quote]
(including optional author)
<blockquote><p>quoted text</p></blockquote>
(usually implemented in more advanced ways)
To quote:

quoted text

[code]monospaced text[/code] <pre>monospaced text</pre> monospaced text
[style size="15px"]Large Text[/style]
(The unit of measurement varies with each BBCode variant and could represent pixels, points, or relative HTML sizes.)
<span style="font-size:15px">Large Text</span> or <font size="(+,-)x">Different text-size</font> (you can set + or - and x is a number representing pixels Large Text
[style color="red"]Red Text[/style]

[style color=#FF0000]Red Text[/style]
[color=#FF0000]Red Text[/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.)

<span style="color:#FF0000;">Red Text</span>, <font color="red">Red Text</font>, <span style="color:#FF0000;">Red Text</span>, <span style="color:red;">Red Text</span> Red Text

this would be another way to use the [img]url_img[/img] and must be pre-configured for the forum administrator

(And other emoticons, depending on the variant. Most BBCodes do not enclose emoticons in square brackets, leading to frequent accidental usage)

<img src="Face-smile.svg" alt=":-)"> :-)

(Specific image and size vary)

[list] [*]Entry 1 [*]Entry 2 [/list]

Some message boards do not need the square brackets around the markers, e.g.:

[list] *Entry 1 *Entry 2 [/list] [2]

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

<ul><li>Entry 1</li><li>Entry 2</li></ul>
  • Entry 1
  • Entry 2
[table] [tr] [td]table data[/td] [/tr] [/table]

(some variants for thead, rules, etc.)

<table><tr><td>table data</td></tr></table>
table data


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]".


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


  • - Rich-text (and HTML) to BbCode online converter