Guide to BBCode Commands

Using BBCode to format your text and layout

This guide explains how you can use BBCode to format the articles within your world to make them look amazing. BBCode (Bulletin Board Code) is a type of formatting code that uses square brackets to apply visual styles to text.   These square brackets won't show up in your article. For example, this page uses BBCode to make things bold, italic and small but you will never see any of these [ ] [/ ] lying around!   The basics of BBCode involve choosing the desired text you want to change the appearance of and putting code at the beginning and end (so the code knows where to start the change and when to stop).   You can access BBCode by referring to the BBCode Reference Panel to the right-hand side of your edit screen, or by highlighting text and clicking buttons in the buttons above the text box:

BBCode buttons

Why has my article gone weird - the layout is completely broken!
— Frequently Asked Question

Check your article for unclosed tags! Make sure they start with [ ] and end with [/ ]

  Did you know that you can use BBCode pretty much anywhere in World Anvil? Try it in new places and see what fantastic layouts you can achieve!  

Example :

Hello! [b]This text is bold[/b] but this text is not.   Will display on your article as:

Hello! This text is bold but this text is not.

As you can see, the text that needs to be bold starts with the [b], and when the bold style needs to stop it ends with [/b].

In the next section we will look at examples of the different types of BBCode, what they do and how you can use them in WorldAnvil to spice up your world and keep your reader's interest.

Check out some examples of how the BBCode shows up in the sidebar to the right of this article! Below I will show some examples of how you can create layouts.

This is a header using [h1] [/h1]

Start a story or journal in your world with a [dc] [/dc] dropcap to make it look like it's been written in a book! This is a really good way to grab your reader's attention and tells them exactly where to start reading.

You could also use an [in] [/in] indent to make long articles of text easier to read. Indents aren't necessarily required on short sentences or paragraphs, but feel free to play around with it as you might find a way of using it for other things! (This applies to all of the BBCode tags, just because they're designed to be used a certain way, doesn't mean that they should be!)

See this line below?
That's a horizontal rule [hr]. You can use it to break up long blocks of text or to show where one section ends and another begins.

This is an h2 header using [h2][/h2]

Let's have a go with columns [row][col][/col][/row]! In order to create columns you must first create a row and put the columns within the row tags (see example in sidebar to the right). You can create some amazing layouts with this and it's really useful when it comes to images. I'll show you an example with some placeholder text:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque viverra hendrerit massa a elementum. Sed pellentesque finibus aliquet. Curabitur sagittis tristique volutpat. Donec eget sodales mi. Donec id tincidunt sem, non imperdiet ex. Ut fringilla rutrum nisi, condimentum porttitor eros vulputate quis. In aliquam consectetur rhoncus. Suspendisse id lacus lobortis, gravida felis non, tincidunt lorem. Sed dictum nisi efficitur, luctus neque ac, congue risus. Donec sit amet commodo magna. Maecenas efficitur, purus ac viverra vulputate, tortor augue finibus massa, sed imperdiet nisl ex ac nisi. Morbi non ullamcorper velit. Donec sit amet efficitur nunc, a lobortis mi. In vehicula quam eu eros facilisis dapibus.

Vestibulum magna nunc, efficitur in libero at, consequat pretium est. Phasellus felis arcu, suscipit euismod egestas et, egestas et est. Proin ullamcorper nunc justo, vitae vehicula orci semper a. In tempor metus vitae viverra molestie. Suspendisse imperdiet vestibulum dui sit amet commodo. Phasellus in mi a massa consectetur pharetra sit amet in arcu.

BBCode Examples

Here are some useful examples of BBCode that you can use in your articles! Don't forget to check the BBCode reference at the side of your article when writing if you forget how to do something.

Article Anchors and Custom Table of Contents

Creating Anchors

[h2|fonteffects]Font Effects[/h2]  
[h2|fontwrappers]Font Wrappers[/h2]  
[h2|alignment]Alignment and Formatting[/h2]  
[h2|guild]Guild Features[/h2]  
These anchors are set into all of the headers which follow this.  

Linking to Anchors

[u]Table of Contents[/u]

    [li][url:#fonteffects]Font Effects[/url][/li]
    [li][url:#fontwrappers]Font Wrappers[/url][/li]
    [li][url:#alignment]Alignment and Formatting[/url][/li]
    [li][url:#guild]Guild Features[/url][/li]
Table of Contents

Anchors on non-headers

You can embed anchors into your article without using headers, and link to those anchors at any time.   Code:
To create the anchor: [anchor|tableofcontents]
To link to the anchor: [url:#tableofcontents]Back to top[/url]
Example: Back to top   When you click on the url it will jump to the anchor.


Code: [h]H1 header example[/h]

H1 header example

Code:[h2]H2 header example[/h2]

H2 header example

Code: [h3]H3 header example[/h3]

H3 header example

Code:[h4]H4 header example[/h4]
H4 header example

Font Effects

  Code:[b]Text using bold[/b]
Example: Text using bold   Code:[i]Text using italics[/i]
Example: Text using italic   Code:[u]Text using underline[/u]
Example: Text using underline   Code:[s]Text using strikethrough[/s]
Example: Text using strikethrough   Code:Text using [redacted:5] redaction.
Example: Text using ████ redaction.
Code:[small]Text using small[/small]
Example: Text using small   Code:Text using [sup]superscript[/sup]
Example: Text using superscript   Code:Text using [sub]subscript[/sub]
Example: Text using subscript   Code: Text using [noparse]noparse [/noparse]
Example: Text using noparse.

Noparse is used to prevent tags from being read and turned into page styling.

Font Wrappers

Code: [quote] example of a quote|author[/quote]
example of a quote
— author
Code: [spoiler]omg a spoiler |Label[/spoiler]
omg a spoiler
  Code: [aloud]example[/aloud]
      Code: [tooltip:tooltip text]example hover over this text for tooltip[/tooltip]
example hover over this text for tooltip

Note: For spoilers and quotes you don't need to add the |Label or |Author. Spoiler's default label is "spoiler" and if you don't add an author credit one won't appear.

Alignment and Formatting


[justify]Here is an example of justified text. This visually works best with paragraphs of text and can look fantastic when formatted into columns as demonstrated further on in this guide. Putting justify BBCode around a body of text will automatically stretch the spacing out to fill a space rather than have the edges of a paragraph at different lengths.[/justify]
Here is an example of justified text. This visually works best with paragraphs of text and can look fantastic when formatted into columns as demonstrated further on in this guide. Putting justify BBCode around a body of text will automatically stretch the spacing out to fill a space rather than have the edges of a paragraph at different lengths.


[col] COLUMN-1-CONTENT [/col]
[col] COLUMN-2-CONTENT [/col]
[col3] COLUMN-1-CONTENT [/col3]
[col3] COLUMN-2-CONTENT [/col3]
[col3] COLUMN-3-CONTENT [/col3]


[/ul]     Note that you can replace "ul" for "ol" if you want a numbered list.   Example:
  • ITEM1
  • ITEM2
Alternatively, you can use hyphens as bullet points:
-ITEM2   Example:
  • ITEM1
  • ITEM2
  • Note that this system does not allow ordered nor nested lists (you'll need to use the tags for that).
    Code for nested lists:
    • ITEM
      • SUBITEM
    Note that you can also use the [ol] [/ol] to create nested lists.


    [td:40]Big Pointy Stick[/td]
    Name Description Damage Notes
    Longsword Big Pointy Stick 1d8 Sharp
      The number in the [th] and [td] is a percentage that represents that cell's width. You can use the tags without numbers to let the system calculate the cell's size automatically.   Tip: we recommend using a BBCode table generator, such as this one, to simplify the process of creating a table. Keep in mind that BBCode table generators will not specify cell width.   BBCode tables are useful if you want more control over their design; for example, if you replace any tags with [th] [/th], they will be formatted as header cells, with a different background color and font style. However, World Anvil has another system to create simpler tables with the Sheets feature. More information in the Guide to Sheets.

    Table of Contents

    World Table of Contents


    Article Table of Contents

    The code [articletoc] will scan the article for its headers and automatically generate a table of contents for that article.

    More information on tables of contents: Guide to the Table of Contents

    List of Articles with a Tag

    [tagged]allows you to display a list of articles with a specific tag.   Usage: [tagged:TAG|TYPE|TITLE]
    tag Your tag name with a # in front. Example: #love
    type "block" or "list"
    title If left empty will equal the tag, if filled with a sentence that will become the header. Set to "none" for no title.
      Code: [tagged:#BBCode|block|Articles Tagged with #BBCode] - for a list of article blocks
    Example:   Code: [tagged:#BBCode|list|Articles Tagged with #BBCode] - for a text list of the articles
    Example:   Code: [tagged:#BBCode|list|none] - for a text list with no header
    Example:   Code: [tagged:#BBCode|list] - for a list with the tag name as the title









    More information in the Guide to embedding 360º images.
    Note: you can get the number ID from the widget settings section of your server's settings.

    Current date embeds

    You can embed the current world date anywhere on your world using the following tags. The current date is set from the Create interface, where you can also copy the base tag:

    copy current daye.png

    Code: [currentdate:7c0fec4d-9436-4325-90f5-cdbfdd3932b6]
    Code: [currentdate:7c0fec4d-9436-4325-90f5-cdbfdd3932b6|full]
    Example: 2020-4-1
    Code: [currentdate:7c0fec4d-9436-4325-90f5-cdbfdd3932b6|year]
    Example: 2020

    Creative Commons licences

    There is a set of BBCode tags that generate the different Creative Commons licence icons:
    Code: [licence:cc-by]
    Code: [licence:cc-by-sa]
    Code: [licence:cc-by-nd]
    Code: [licence:cc-by-nc]
    Code: [licence:cc-by-nc-sa]
    Code: [licence:cc-by-nc-nd]
    More information on what these license mean can be found in the Creative Commons Foundation web site.
      Tip: If you are a guild member and want to license your world with a CC licence, you can put it in the copyright footer (in the World Configuration). Whatever licence you put in this field, it will be displayed at the bottom of all pages in your world.


    Going forward it will now be a mandatory requirement that you credit the artists whose images you use- even if you yourself are the artist who created the image; don't credit your artists? Your article can no longer be featured- and will no longer be eligible to win competitions!



    To add an image, go to your world's image gallery and upload an image.   The BBCode and image number will show up for you to copy & paste after it has been uploaded!   For more help with images, and to see what other BBCode wizardry you can get up to with them, check out the Guide to Images.

    User tags

    Use these tags to link or display information about a World Anvil user.

    Sage Ondo

    Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.


    Guild Features

    These are Guild Member Features!
    If you want to use them, please consider supporting World Anvil!


    To create a comment/note in the article hidden from presentation.
    BBCode - comment.png

    (Note: nothing shows on the presentation. It only shows on the editing side.)

    These are Grandmaster Guild Features!
    If you want to use them, please consider supporting World Anvil!

    Containers and sections

    Containers and sections are custom CSS Blocks which you can define.

    Container Box

    Code: [container:box-green] Containers block out text. [/container]
    Containers block out text.


    Code: A [section:box-green]section[/section] can go within text.
    Example: A section can go within text.

    It's up to you to write the CSS for your world, but there are resources for you with the CSS guide and on the discord. Here is the code I used for the above.
    .box-green {
     background: #7cfc0047;
     border: 1px solid #7cfc00;

    Coloured text

    Example   [color:red]This is red[/color]   [color:#0000FF]This is blue[/color]   [color:#0000FF90]This is blue with transparency![/color]
      This is red
    This is blue
    This is blue with 90% opacity!
    You can specify both HTML color names and hex codes (including transparency).


    You can use the sections bbcode to make use of the icons that World Anvil uses on the site! These can be found via FontAwesome and RPGAwesome.   Use them along with the color BBCode for some amazing customisation in your articles!   For RPGAwesome, find an icon from the list and use the code format below:

    [color:#f1f1f1][section:ra ra-3x ra-key] [/section][/color]
    [color:#387a46][section:ra ra-3x ra-dinosaur] [/section][/color]
    [color:#bd4d1b][section:ra ra-3x ra-wyvern] [/section][/color]
      For FontAwesome, find an icon from the list and use the code format below:

    [color:#7d4cae][section:far fa-2x fa-compass] [/section][/color]
    [color:#233d94][section:far fa-2x fa-book-dead] [/section][/color]
    [color:#5b5c4a][section:far fa-2x fa-bone] [/section][/color]
    These are great for use in tables, quotes, the sidebar, or even in spoilers and secrets!
      To change the size of the icon, replace 3x with 5x and experiment with the numbers to alter the size.

    User states

    As a Grandmaster, you can make certain content available to some readers only. As an extension of the subscribers feature, you can choose the kind of relationship with your world a reader needs to view some of its contents:  
    [userstate:loggedin] Content [/userstate]
    The content you place between the opening and closing tags will only be visible to readers who have logged in to their World Anvil account
    [userstate:loggedout] Content [/userstate]
    This is the opposite to the above tag —only people who are not logged in (or who don't have an account) will see the content.
    [userstate:follower] Content [/userstate]
    Only followers of your world will see this content (and only if the follower is logged in to their account, of course).
    [userstate:notfollower] Content [/userstate]
    This is the opposite to the tag above —the content inside will be displayed to readers who are not following your world.

    BBCode Reference Button


    Table of Contents  


    • The BBCode Reference panel is available to the side of all articles for easy access and has a list of useful examples.
    • You can use BBCode in the sidebar panel content, footnotes and even in your own notes in worldanvil!
    • It's important to consider visual hierarchy in your articles, so try and make the things you want people to look at first bigger and bolder.
    • If you need further help with formatting, hop on the WorldAnvil discord and ask an in the help channel for assistance!


      Don't use url for linking your articles, use the mention system! Start by typing @ followed by the article name or grab the article bbcode from the clipboard icon on your articles list to insert a link.   If you use [url=][/url] to link your articles and you update the article name or change your world name, the link will break. Furthermore if changes to urls occur on future updates to the website, this could break them, too.   Finally, don't use the URL tags to link to another world's main page either —you can instead use the [world:ID] tag. To get it, go to the Create interface of the world you want to link to and click the clip-board icon next to its name:  


      Paste this code in any BBCode-enable text field of any world and a link to the world's main page will be created.  

    Other Guides

    Articles under Guide to BBCode Commands


    Please Login in order to comment!
    28 Mar, 2018 18:26

    could you possibly explain, how to add images into an article? as in directly within the area, where text is normally contained. I would be very appreciative, as I am a visual artist before a writer, and feel that diagrams explain the natural laws in my universe, in a much more concise, and easily understandable manner, than a wall of text. thank you, for listening to my request.

    28 Mar, 2018 18:50

    Sure thing! I'll add this to the guide (it's in need of some TLC), but a quick answer for you - go to your world's image library and upload an image. In the top corner it should provide you with a BBCode link such as

    by xanthussmarduk
    - you can place it just like that anywhere in your article and it will show up.   Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message if you have any other questions! :D

    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    28 Mar, 2018 19:53

    Thanks so much TJ! I've got it to work. :)   Now I just need to play with it enough to get the hang of using it alongside formatting. trial and error time!

    20 May, 2018 03:07

    Is there currently a way for me to add links to my other articles? For example I write about a certain race within the article about their empire, is it possible to have it so the reader can click the race name and be redirected to the article about that race?

    21 May, 2018 17:40

    Yep! Just go to your articles list and click the clipboard icon to add the BBCode to your clipboard, then just paste it into your article to add a link :D alternatively you can find this code for any article when you go to edit that article - it will be listed in the side near the bbcode reference button

    Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
    15 Oct, 2018 12:17

    Is there a way to format content as a table? For example, I want a look up table from a distance to a number (e.g. 8000 is 40, 7000 is 45, 6000 is 50)

    Kanga LaRue
    24 Oct, 2018 22:10

    You can use rpg blocks! 1. Make a new rpg block, use the generic, table type. 2. Give the table a name 3. Put in the content > format like this: Heading1 | Heading2 | Heading1 | etc... Data 1 | Data 2 | Data 3 | ... Data 4 | Data 5 | Data 6 | ... 4. Save it. 5. Use it in articles with bbcode given on the block's page

    26 Jan, 2019 06:15

    This page is extremely valuable and useful, thank you for composing it! *re-adds the page to her World Building Bookmarks*

    Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
    19 Aug, 2019 15:03

    I attempted to use the "Coloured Text" (e.g. [color:red]) BBCode tag and the page seems to ignore it, continuing to display the text in the base format. Am I neglecting to do something? The other BBCode tags I've tried work great!

    25 Sep, 2019 14:41

    Sections, Color, and Icons are all listed under guild(grandmaster) features. That means anyone with a rank underneath that will be unable to use them.

    Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
    10 Nov, 2019 20:47

    I think this BBCode table generator is very good, :)

    19 Dec, 2019 22:58

    I wonder if an update messed up some of this page? Several, more than half I think, of the code/example pairs don't show code, but instead show the example twice. I also found a few sections where it was obvious you were trying to show code but it's missing. I also see some headers that end in "Using" like "blah blah Using" where obviously that shouldn't be the end of the header. Perhaps this should be a candidate for a decent edit?

    30 Dec, 2019 09:27

    Oops. My examples were {center}Center{/center} and {center}Your text.{/center}

    25 Mar, 2020 23:47

    There is bb code listed here to make text small, but after exploring my options and trying various options, I can't find anything that works to make text large. Will I need to use custom css? I'm rusty, but capable. If there's simple bb code that works, I'd prefer that. I tried using header types as substitutes but I don't like them for the main text block.

    6 Apr, 2020 08:57

    Hi, is it possible to anchor to a header on another article?

    28 Jul, 2020 06:28

    I want to second this; I would love to be able to link to specific sections of my more lengthy articles, but I don't think the current anchor system allows for it.

    20 Apr, 2020 18:30

    Does anyone know of an online BBCode editor that will generate a table of contents with nested anchor links to all the headers in the article?   Please add this feature.

    25 Apr, 2020 15:19

    18 May, 2020 04:54

    There is a Note in the Contents sidebar that contains a reference to the BBCode for a URL, it's listed as url= when I believe it should be url:.

    18 May, 2020 09:06

    Both = and : work with the url tag!

    Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
    19 May, 2020 05:59

    Good to know, thanks!

    5 Aug, 2020 06:41

    Minor correction to the [color:#0000FF90]This is blue with 90% opacity![/color] explanation: It's not 90% opacity since the color is in hexadecimal format. 0x90 is equivalent to 144, so 0x90/0xff = 144/255 ~= 0.56. So rather than 90% opacity, it's actually about 56% opacity. If the color were expressed as rgba(0,0,255,.9), then it'd be 90% opacity.

    6 Aug, 2020 11:01

    Thanks for the correction!

    Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
    6 Aug, 2020 14:49

    Hopefully I wasn't being too pedantic; it really is just a minor thing.

    6 Aug, 2020 23:38

    Of course not, keep them coming! I haven't added the full explanation because I think it's not the space for it, but it was an error, so it had to be corrected. Feel free to give any more feedback!

    Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
    8 Sep, 2020 20:33

    Whenever I attempt to call a tag with BBcode it doesn't seem to recognize the tag and I can't figure out why. I'm using the exact same BBcode as shown in this article.

    9 Sep, 2020 17:48

    Hi! Do you mean that the tag is displayed in the article when you view it? This might be because you are using the WYSIWYG editor. To switch to a code editor, click the ">_" button in the toolbar. If you want to switch to code permanently, I recommend to choose Euclid as the editor in your interface settings.

    Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
    20 Sep, 2020 18:49

    Are email links allowed? I can't seem to get them to work. Example: [[email protected]]send email[/email]

    20 Sep, 2020 19:00

    Hi! This tag does not exist, so it won't work unfortunately. It might work if you use [noparse]send email instead, but I'm not sure. Either way, you can always just paste the email address.

    Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
    20 Sep, 2020 22:31

    I couldn't get that to work. Thank you anyway!!

    21 Sep, 2020 10:47

    Sorry, I missed a tag in my reply. I meant: [url=mailto:[email protected]]send email[/url].

    Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.