# How to format text in the forum

This is a page in the #faqs section.

This forum uses a formatting system called Markdown for writing posts. If you don’t know Markdown, you can use the editor buttons to insert the correct formatting. They work like the editor buttons in a word processor or email client.

# Quoting Other Users

You can quote a user by using the buttons or by highlighting text in someone’s post and then clicking the “Quote” button that appears. You can use the feature multiple times for multiple quotes.

# Images

See the page, How do I add images to posts?

Basically, you can paste an image directly from your clipboard into the editor and it will add the image for you. You can also use the upload icon in the editor.

To manually format images, use this syntax:

![image description](https://placekitten.com/300/200)


which produces this output:

# Bold and Italic Text

You can use the editor buttons to make text bold or italic, or manually format it.

This markup:

_italic_
*italic*
**bold**


produces this output:

italic
italic
bold

# Emojis

There are many emojis that you can use. Click the editor icon to see them all, or type a colon (:) to have the editor auto-complete.

Here’s an example of the search form that appears when you use the emoji editior button:

# Marking Inserted and Deleted Text

To indicate deleted or inserted text during edits you can use these tags:

<del>strikethough</del>


which produce this output:

strikethough

# Lists

You can use the editor buttons to add lists.

If adding them manually, you can use dashes or asterisks for bullet points:

- list item
- list item


example output:

• list item
• list item

For numbered lists, you can use any number, and the site will increment the items for you:

1. list item
1. list item
1. list item


produces:

1. list item
2. list item
3. list item

Lists can be nested with indentation, and the list types can be mixed:

- top level item
- nested list
1. another nested list
1. numbers work here too
- top level item


produces this:

• top level item
• nested list
1. another nested list
2. numbers work here too
• top level item

Headers can be indicated by hash signs:

# Header 1


example output:

# Block

As mentioned above, to quote a user, highlight some text in their post and click the “Quote” button that appears. This can be done multiple times if you want to quote multiple bits of text.

If you want to indicate that something is a quote from another source, you can also mark something as a quote by prefixing the lines with a greater-than sign like this:

> This is a blockquote


producing this output:

This is a blockquote

To create a link, use the link icon in the editor or format it manually like this:

[link text](http://example.com/)


which produces this output:

# Tables

Use the “pipe” symbol to designate columns. There should be the same number of pipes on each line. The second row should contain two dashes in each “cell” to separate the table header from the table body.

This markup:

| Column 1 | Column 2 |
|--|--|
| row 1 column 1 | row 1 column 2 |
| row 2 column 1 | row 2 column 2 |


produces this table:

Column 1 Column 2
row 1 column 1 row 1 column 2
row 2 column 1 row 2 column 2

# Spoilers

If you want to hide some information to avoid revealing spoilers, there is a button on the editor named “Hide details”.

The part of the post is hidden until clicked.

# Dates

You can insert dates with the editor toolbar that will allow people to convert the dates to multiple timezones when hovered over. The output looks like this: 2019-07-26T07:00:00Z

# Math

The forum also supports mathjax if you wrap dollar signs around the math. (cheatsheet)

Examples:

Single dollar signs like this will render the equation on one line:

Inline output: $write your LaTeX here$


Inline output: \sum_{i=0}^n i^2 = \frac{(n^2+n)(2n+1)}{6}

For “block” output (on a new line), wrap the equation in double dollar signs like this:

Block output:
$$write your LaTeX here$$


Block output:

\sum_{i=0}^n i^2 = \frac{(n^2+n)(2n+1)}{6}

You can also change the font to monospace by enclosing text with triple backticks (optionally specifying a programming language, or text for plain text).

This formatting:

produces this output:

this text is monospaced


(The word text there mainly just turns off syntax highlighting – otherwise it might try to detect a programming language and add colors to the text.)

# Code

For programming languages, you can specify the language after the first triple-backticks.

Example – this markup:

produces this syntax-highlighted output:

function f(x) {
return x * x;
}
const result = f(8);
console.log('result', result);


To format computer code inline, use backticks:

This will be formatted as code: (function (x) { console.log(x) }(7)).


will produce:

This will be formatted as code: (function (x) { console.log(x) }(7)).

You can also indent lines with four spaces to indicate that the lines should be formatted as code. This won’t provide any syntax highlighting though.

5 Likes

Is it possible to give a link to this post in the “Reply” text box?

My suggestion - which might not be practicable - is to embed the link in the “ghost” text that disappears as soon as the responder starts to type.

Example:

Thanks.

Browsers won’t allow that placeholder text to become interactive, but I could look into adding a “help” button to the editor. Would something like a question mark icon that opens this page be useful?

Maybe something like this:

.
Good idea.

The ? sign is now universally accepted as a general proxy for some kind of help - with no strict rules as to what kind of help lies behind.

Thanks.

2 Likes