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 [h][/h]

Start a story or journal in your world with a dropcap [dc][/dc] 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 indent [in][/in] 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 a 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]
[/ul] Example:
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:[noparse][b][/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]

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





[ul][br] [li]ITEM1[/li][br] [li]ITEM2[/li][br] [/ul]
  • ITEM1
  • ITEM2








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.

Guild Features

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

These are a Guild Feature!
If you want to use these, please consider supporting World Anvil!

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;

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 Enchanter 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.

Other Guides


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

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

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)

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*