Posting FAQs

Post here comments, questions about the board or the site. Found bugs? What you like, what you don't like.
1, 2
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:24 pm
Last edited by Anonymous on April 8th, 2012, 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]This thread is a collection of answers to questions I've often seen asked about posting on the FO forum.[/align]

[align=center]You are at: Contents[/align]

Go to:
[list type=decimal]
[*]Introduction and the basics of BBCode
[*]Formatting text and smilies
[*]Linking - the url tag
[*]Attaching files to your post
[*]Posting images - the img tag
[*]Quoting - the quote tag
[*]Creating lists - the list tag
[*]Creating tables - the table tag
[*]Nesting tags
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:25 pm
Last edited by Anonymous on April 8th, 2012, 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]You are at: 1: Introduction and the basics of BBCode
Back to Contents[/align]

[align=center]Some introductory facts[/align]

You can use many of the methods presented in this guide in your signature, and to write Personal Messages. Signatures follow additional rules as mentioned in the rules

Each forum will be set up differently by its owner, so the methods here will only be partially accurate for other websites.

There is a character limit of 20000 characters for each post or personal message, this limit is rarely challenged as it's quite big.

At the top right of any of your posts is the "Modify" link, clicking this will take you to a page to edit your post. You can also click the blue pencil button (bottom right of each of your posts) to edit your post without refreshing the page.

On a board's page, next to the link for creating a new thread, there is also a link to create a new poll. Polls are the same as normal threads with the addition of a vote at the top. Poll options cannot be changed once posted.

Enabling quick reply (in your Look and Layout Preferences) will add a box at the bottom of the page for typing replies, this has most of the features of the reply page, but lacks the additional options area. If you turn it on you can still click the reply link to go to the fully reply page.

[align=center]What is BBCode[/align]

BBCode is a markup language, similar to HTML, but a bit simpler and designed to be easier to use. The basic idea is that you type some text as normal, then you put tags around the text to modify it, for example making it underlined.

In BBCode tags are defined by using square brackets e.g.:
[nobbc][/nobbc] is the tag for making text bold.

Another tag must go after the text you want to be modified, so that the text is sandwiched between the tags. Closing tags are the same as opening tags, except that they feature a slash (/) after the opening square bracket, e.g.:
[nobbc][b]text to be made bold
[/nobbc] is some text correctly surrounded by bold tags.

If you miss out closing tags then the forum software will get confused and results will be unpredictable.

The tags can be capitalised or not, it doesn't matter.

Sometimes the opening tag can have extra information within the tag, see the img tag for example of this.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:26 pm
Last edited by Anonymous on April 8th, 2012, 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]You are at: 2: Formatting text and smilies
Back to Contents[/align]

[align=center]Basic Formatting[/align]

Basic text formatting is as simple as typing the text you want formatted, and then encasing it in one of the following tags:

[align=center]Formatting desired   
How to do it

Bold text
[nobbc]Bold text[/nobbc]

Italic text
[nobbc]Italic text[/nobbc]

Underlined text
[nobbc]Underlined text[/nobbc]


If you are typing your post on the Fleetops site, then you can also highlight the text you want formatted and click on one of the buttons (shown above) for formatting, and the forum will insert the tags for you. If you click one of the buttons without highlighting text then you will just get tags inserted at the typing cursor.

These tags can be used at the same time, e.g. bold and underline at the same time. See Nesting for a description of this.

[align=center]Formatting Paragraphs[/align]

[align=center]Formatting desired                               
How to do it

Left alligned text

[align=right]Right alligned text[/align]

[center]Centre alligned text[/align]

Code: Select all
Preformatted text



Text typed without tags will be left alligned by default, so the left tag is of debatable value.

The preformatted text tag isn't seen very often, it will force the text into a fixed width font (usually Courier) and keeps any spaces/line breaks unchanged. The forum doesn't strip spaces or line breaks anyway (other sites may do so), so this tag isn't particularly useful. And as you can see above, it looks pretty bad, and I don't quite know why it's made the table look out of allignment.

As before, there are buttons on the Fleetops site which make this easy, the buttons work just like they did for basic text formatting.

[align=center]Superscript and Subscript[/align]

Superscript text can be done in the following way:
[nobbc][sup]text goes here[/sup][/nobbc]

Subscript text can be done in the following way:
[nobbc][sub]text goes here[/sub][/nobbc]

There are buttons on the Fleetops site for these as well: Image

Not frequently needed, but nice to know for things like exponents in maths.


Changing the size of text can be done in the following way:
[nobbc][size=xpt]some text[/size][/nobbc]

Replace x with a positive whole number up to 99, these pt sizes are the same as in word processors like Microsoft Word. x defaults to 10.

The following button insers the tags with default of 10: Image


Changing the font can be done in the following way:
[nobbc][font=name of font]text[/font][/nobbc]

Replace name of font with the name of a font. Spaces can be used for fonts with spaces in the name, such as Comic Sans MS. Default font is Verdana.

The font tag isn't that useful, [font=Comic Sans MS]I guess you could write in Comic Sans MS to annoy somebody who openly whines about Comic Sans MS.[/font]

The following button inserts the tags with default of Verdana: Image


Changing the colour of text can be done in the following way:
[nobbc]text goes here[/nobbc]

By far the easiest way to select colours is to use the "Change Color" drop down list on the forum page. Highlight the text you want to change to a different colour, then select the drop down menu, then select one of the colours, the forum will insert the tags for you.

x will be replaced with the name of a colour from the list: black, red, yellow, pink, green, orange, purple, blue, beige, brown, teal, navy, maroon, limegreen.

The forum background is black, so black text won't be visible unless the user highlights it, this could find use as a ghetto spoiler system.

If the ample provided list of colours is still not enough, then you can also replace x with the hexadecimal HTML colour codes, which you can see a long list of here. The 'major colour' names can also be used, so darkblue instead of navy will produce the same colour.

5 colours have their own tags: white, black, red, green and blue, and can be used as follows:
[nobbc][white]text to be made white[/white]
[black]text to be made black[/black]
[red]text to be made red[/red]
[green]text to be made green[/green]
[blue]text to be made blue[/blue][/nobbc]

Text is already white by default, and black doesn't show up, so white and black tags are useless.


Just click one of the smilies to insert it into your post, click [more] to see some more smilies to add. Smilies aren't defined using tags they are just typed (if you remember the code), clicking a smiley will type the code for you.

When typing a list with numbers and brackets, e.g. 1) 2) 3)... the 8th one will get turned into a smiley. You can disable smilies for the whole post when posting by clicking additional options (not available when using quick reply) and ticking the 'don't use smileys' box.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:28 pm
Last edited by Anonymous on April 8th, 2012, 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]You are at: 3: Linking - the url tag
Back to Contents[/align]

If you just type your URL in plain text, the forum will automatically make the text a blue link that can be clicked. The forum will try its best to give the link a meaningful appearance, using the page's title (the title that gets put in the browser's window title). The only problem here is that the forum is based in Germany, and many sites (eg Facebook) will automatically switch to German when returning the page title to the forum, resulting in the forum giving a link in German.

The simplest way to post a URL is to encase it in url tags, e.g.:

Which will produce:

The blue text will just be the actual address you typed.

url tags can be inserted by pushing this button: Image

To tidy up long links you can use the following method:
[nobbc][url=actual url]text to display[/url][/nobbc]

so: [nobbc]google[/nobbc]
becomes: google

The text inside the tags (text to display) can be any text you like, it can even be formatted by more BBCode, it can even be an image done via img tags (see 5: Posting images - the img tag for more).

URLs are blue, when you preview a post the background will also be blue, hence you won't be able to see links when previewing a post. You can't change the colour of links using color tags.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:29 pm
[align=center]You are at: 4: Attaching files to your post
Back to Contents[/align]


This only applies to replying via the reply page, quick reply doesn't have this feature, to get to the reply page, just click the reply link at the top or bottom of a thread.

Under the post button is the additional options link, push it to expose some more posting controls. One of these will let you attach files to your post.

File extensions that are allowed: gif, jpg, pdf, png, txt, zip, 7z, rar, bzn, odf, tt, xml, rtf

jpeg is not allowed, rename jpeg files to jpg, they will work the same. doc files are not allowed, convert them to pdf if they are final, or compress them to 7z/rar/zip if necessary.

By clicking (more attachments) you can have up to 10 files attached to each post.

All file sizes added together must not exceed 2048 kilobytes.

If you attach images (jpg/gif/png), the forum will automatically provide thumbnail previews of them at the bottom of your post. This is how most game screenshots are posted.

Only registered forum accounts can see attachments, all registered users can download attachments.

[align=center]Removing attachments[/align]

When editing a post that you have attached files to, the additional options area will contain a list of the files currently attached, and checked boxes next to each of them, uncheck the boxes for files you don't want attached, and save the post, the files will be deleted.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:30 pm
[align=center]You are at: 5: Posting images - the img tag
Back to Contents[/align]


The img tag is used to insert images into the text of your posts. These images will be visible to all users, even those without accounts. They will be inline with your text and won't be attached to your post.

To use the img tag, the image you wish to put in your post must already be hosted on the web somewhere, e.g. Photobucket, Imageshack or your own website.

You will need the direct link to your image, this will end with the file extension of an image (jpg/jpeg/gif/png etc.)

This is the direct link to an image:

This is not:

The direct link for most images can be found be right clicking the image and pushing "Copy Image Location" if you are using Firefox, or "Copy Image Address" in Opera. I'm not going to install Chrome or Safari to find out what they require. I can't uninstall Internet Explorer, so I can say that you have to perform the following song and dance: right click an image and open its properties box to find the direct link to the image.

The format is:

These tags can be inserted using this button: Image

If too many people view a Photobucket image at the same time then it will be disabled, which is unlikely for the Fleetops forum, as the number of users is relatively small. Similar restrictions may be imposed on other hosts.

Some sites don't allow this sort of image linking either, Ex Astris Scientia are an example, linking to any of their images in this way will fail.


By default images will be posted at full size, the forum only gives 600 pixels of width to display your posts. If an image is wider than 600 pixels then your entire post will get a scroll bar at the bottom. This bar will scroll your entire post, so multiple images will all share one useless scroll bar. This is pretty untidy, so the img tag can have extra info added to it to deal with big images in the following format:
[nobbc][img width=x]direct link to image[/img][/nobbc]

Replace x with the number of pixels wide you want the image to be. e.g.:
[nobbc][img width=600]direct link to image[/img][/nobbc]

which will limit the image to 600 pixels of width. The forum will automatically calculate the height to preserve the aspect ratio of the image and stop it squashing.

If you want to specify height and have width adjusted by the forum then use this format:
[nobbc][img height=y]direct link to image[/img][/nobbc]

And finally use both if you are too much of a boss to care about automatically handling the aspect ratio:
[nobbc][img width=x height=y]direct link to image[/img][/nobbc]

[align=center]Making a thumbnail[/align]

If an image is too big, and having 600 pixels just isn't enough width to make it look good, then you can combine img and url tags to make a clickable thumbnail in the following way:
[nobbc][url=direct link to image][img width=x]direct link to image[/img][/url][/nobbc]

Set x to something that makes it obvious that it's a thumbnail, then write a note under the image that clicking it will show them the full image.

The url tags always need to be first opened and last closed, in fact there's no other sensible way to order things.

[align=center]Hosting on[/align]

If you first attach an image to your post, then click the thumbnail to expand the image to full size, then take the direct link of this image, you can use that direct link with img tags (add it to your post by editing your post). This is slightly messy as you have the image both in your post and attached to the bottom of your post, but it avoids having to host your images on another site.

[align=center]One last thing...[/align]

You can also give your image associated text by using the following format:
[nobbc][img alt=some text here]direct link to image[/img][/nobbc]

I hear that this helps the visually impaired understand images.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:30 pm
[align=center]You are at: 6: Quoting - the quote tag
Back to Contents[/align]

[align=center]Quoting another post[/align]

By a country mile the easiest way to quote someone's post is to click the quote button at the top right of their post. This will insert the quote automatically in the quick reply box (if you have that turned on).

The quote will replicate all BBCode in the original post, including images.

You can alter the content of the quote just by changing the text inside the tags, for instance to remove large images or isolate a specifiy part of the text you want to refer to. You can include multiple quotes in the same post by copying and pasting the quote tags and contents.

You can quote from any post on the forum, it doesn't have to be in the same thread you are posting in. Click quote in the first thread, then copy and paste the resulting BBCode into the reply box of the second thread.

[align=center]Quoting something else[/align]

You can use the quote tags to quote any text in the following way:

quoted text here

You can insert quote tags by pushing this button: Image

You can also specify the author:

[nobbc][quote author=name of author]quoted text here[/quote][/nobbc]

Sadly, quotes made using this method are broken at the moment, as the line of text above the quote box (the line that indicates the author) is the same colour as the forum background, and hence is invisible unless highlighted.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:31 pm
    [align=center]You are at: 7: Creating lists - the list tag
    Back to Contents[/align]

    [align=center]The basics[/align]

    Begin a list with [nobbc]
      [/nobbc], end it with
    . Whether these are on the same line or not doesn't matter, but for best practice the opening and closing tags should get their own line to make it easier to see where a list begins and ends (indeed the button for inserting a list will do this for you). Everything that is in your list should be inside these tags.

    Each item of the list is defined by the following tags: [nobbc][li][/li][/nobbc]

    This is the list button: Image

    Pushing it will give you a list with 2 empty items:


    Put text inside the li tags and add as many li tags as needed:

    • item 1
    • item 2
    • item 3
    • item 4

    BBCode can be used inside the li tags.

    Spaces and line breaks that are inside the list tags but not inside li tags will be ignored. Line breaks within li tags won't denote a new list item, the only way to denote a new list item is to begin a new li tag. The list will use standard bullet points by default.

    Lists can be placed inside list items of a list, i.e. list tags can go inside li tags, to create a sublist. Not commonly needed, but it's there just in case.

    [align=center]Different bullets 1[/align]

    To use different bullets or something other than bullets you can modify the starting tag in the following way:
    [nobbc][list type=x]

replace x with one of the following: none, disc, circle, square, decimal, decimal-leading-zero, lower-roman, upper-roman, lower-alpha, upper-alpha, lower-greek, lower-latin, upper-latin, hebrew, armenian, georgian, cjk-ideographic, hiragana, katakana, hiragana-iroha, katakana-iroha.

Obviously the most useful of that list is decimal, which just uses our standard decimal numbering system. lower and upper alpha are the same as lower and upper latin as far as I know, they are both the Latin alphabet (used by English).

[align=center]Different bullets 2[/align]

You can also replace the li tags with special tags to quickly generate the different bullet types.
[nobbc][x] is for squares, [o] is for hollow bullets/discs and [*] is for standard bullets.[/nobbc]

    [x] list item 1
    [o] list item 2
  • list item 3

These tags do NOT have closing tags, hence you cannot use line breaks within each list item, a new line break will require a new bullet tag. The tags can be mixed in the same list.

The type attribute in the list tag is not needed.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:31 pm
[align=center]You are at: 8: Creating tables - the table tag
Back to Contents[/align]

Welcome to hell, my advice: don't bother learning about tables, they are a pain to deal with, easy to get wrong and don't really give you a huge amount of reward.

The easiest alternative is to make tables with something better, like Excel, screenshot them, and post the image.

But if you must, let's get started.

All tables begin with [nobbc][table][/nobbc] and end with [nobbc][/table][/nobbc]. Feel free to put these on their own lines to make them easy to spot. Everything in your table goes inside the one pair of table tags.

The next step is to open a row using [nobbc][tr][/nobbc], you then deal with the row's contents before eventually closing the row with [nobbc][/tr][/nobbc].

Inside each row you work horizontally from left to right opening each column with [nobbc][td][/nobbc], dealing with that cell, then closing the column with [nobbc][/td][/nobbc].

i.e. for a table with 2 rows and 3 columns you work on each cell in the following order:
1, 2, 3
4, 5, 6

Also tables don't need to be rectangles, you can define a table like this if you want to:
1, 2, 3
4, 5

i.e. have no 6th cell, to do that just don't open a 3rd column in the second row.

If you want to leave out cell 5, and have a gap in the 2nd row, you'll need to define a dummy column, open the 2nd column in the 2nd row and don't type stuff inside the td tags.

Line breaks and spaces inside the table tags but not inside td tags will be ignored, meaning you can make tables easier to create/edit by leaving lots of spaces.

Let's get on with an example:

Row 1, column 1

Row 1, column 2

Row 1, column 3

Row 2, column 1

Row 2, column 2       

Row 2, column 3

Row 3, column 1

Row 3, column 2

Row 3, column 3
text on a new line



Row 1, column 1
Row 1, column 2
Row 1, column 3

Row 2, column 1
Row 2, column 2       
Row 2, column 3

Row 3, column 1
Row 3, column 2
Row 3, column 3
text on a new line

Tables don't have gridlines by default, and there's no way to force them on.

Column size will be determined automatically by how much stuff you put in any of the cells in that column. Spaces and line breaks are counted when inside td tags. In row 2 column 2 above I added 8 spaces after the cell's contents and in row 3 column 3 I added a line break to force some text onto a new line.

If you just want to add a blank line across the whole table then it's easier to use a dummy row, use tr tags with nothing in them, similarly if you want a blank column from top to bottom of your table then you can use td tags with nothing in them. You will need to place empty td tags in every row, in the same place.

BBCode can be used inside td tags to format text, i.e. to create column headers with bold and underline.

The forum has some buttons for tables: Image

From left to right the buttons are for adding table tags, adding tr tags and adding td tags.

It would probably be much easier to write the BBCode for tables in Notepad++ though.

Alternatively, you can generate HTML code for a table and replace all left angle brackets with left square brackets and right angle brackets with right square brackets. HTML tables and BBCode tables only differ in that markup is denoted by angle brackets in HTML and square brackets in BBCode.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:32 pm
Last edited by Anonymous on April 8th, 2012, 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]You are at: 9: Misc
Back to Contents[/align]

Tag: youtube

Button: Image

What do: Embeds a youtube video into your post. Uses an older youtube player, which doesn't have a full screen button.

Usage: [nobbc][youtube]url of youtube video[/youtube][/nobbc]

Example: [nobbc][/nobbc]

Notes: Try to clean up the youtube url, i.e. get it close to the format above, I'm not sure how well the forum software handles the more complicated links that are sometimes given by youtube.

Tag: nobbc

Button: Forever alone tag has no button

What do: Any text inside nobbc tags will be treated normally, all BBCode will be ignored. This is how I'm writing BBCode in this guide.

Usage: [nobbc][nobbc]text or BBCode goes here[/nobbc][/nobbc]

Notes: Text inside nobbc tags cannot be marked up by BBCode. However you can still put other tags outside the nobbc tags e.g.:
Code: Select all

nobbc tags also prevent auotmatic creation of links and email addresses.

[red]EDIT: changed example by putting it in a box, the box was necessary as the forum didn't like the example[/red]

Tag: code

Button: Image

What do: Any text inside code tags is put in a code box, word wrapping won't be enforced, so the box will scroll to keep text on the line it was originally on. If php code is placed inside, with the initial [nobbc]<?php[/nobbc] tag, then it will be colour formated according to php syntax.

Usage: [nobbc]
Code: Select all
code goes here

Notes: If you want to post BBCode then it's often better to use nobbc tags.

Tag: hr

Button: Image

What do: Creates a horizontal line across your post, useful for separating sections of your post.

Usage: [nobbc][hr][/nobbc]

Notes: This tag is special in that it has no closing tag.

Tag: abbr

Button: No button

What do: Used to create text that has a dotted underline, when the user hovers the cursor over this text, more text appears in a tooltip.

Usage: [nobbc][abbr="text in tooltip"]text to display[/abbr][/nobbc]

Example: [nobbc][abbr="The passive Single Stage Energy Conduits"]SSEC[/abbr][/nobbc]

Notes: acronym tags do the exact same job, so you only need abbr.

Tag: time

Button: No button

What do: Turns a Unix timestamp into a normal (Gregorian calendar) date and time.

Usage: [nobbc][time]unix timestamp[/time][/nobbc]

Notes: Why do you have a Unix timestamp?

[align=center]Useless tags[/align]

Tag: email

Button: Image

What do: Put a single email address inside these tags to have it converted into a mailto link.

Usage: [nobbc][email]email address[/email][/nobbc]

Notes: The forum automatically does this if you post a valid email address anyway.

Tag: br

Button: No button

What do: Inserts a line break.

Usage: [nobbc][br][/nobbc]

Notes: Has no closing tag. Instead of using the br tag, just push enter to go to a new line.

Tag: iurl

Button: No button

What do: Works the same as the url tag, but instead of opening the link in a new tab, it specifies to open it in the current tab.

Usage: [nobbc][iurl=link]text to display[/url][/nobbc]

There are 3 rather silly formatting tags, glow, shadow and move.

They even have buttons: Image

glow only works in Internet Explorer because it doesn't comply with web standards.

shadow adds a shadow to your text.

move makes your text scroll horizontally from right to left.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:33 pm
Last edited by Anonymous on April 8th, 2012, 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]You are at: 10: Nesting tags
Back to Contents[/align]

[align=center]Order of closing[/align]

When nesting tags (that are capable of being nested, see the next subsection) the first rule is that if you are typing a closing tag, it must be closing the most recently opened tag.

i.e. if you open bold, then open italic, you must first close italic before closing bold.

Tags are closed in the reverse order from which they are opened. It is a last in first out stack. Imagine a stack of plates, the only plate you can take (close a tag) is the plate that was most recently put on top of the stack (opened a tag).



Tags were opened in the order b, u then i, so had to be closed in the order i, u then b.


[nobbc]text more texteven more text[/nobbc]

Follow this table from top to bottom, each tag opening/closing will affect nesting.



Only tag that can be closed 

Stack of tags left to close, left is top

b tag opened




u tag opened



u, b

i tag opened



i, u, b

i tag closed


u, b

s tag opened


s, u, b

s tag closed


u, b

u tag closed



b tag closed

no tags open


In words: b, u then i tags were opened, i tags were then closed, but then s tags were opened, putting s on top of the stack, meaning s tags had to be closed first, before u and b could be closed.

[align=center]Permitted nesting[/align]

There are 2 types of BBCode tags, block level and inline level. Block tags can usually contain all other tags, inline tags can usually only contain other inline tags. Block tags can NEVER be put inside inline tags.

Tags that are block level: center, left, right, pre, quote, table, tr, td, list, li, br, hr

All other tags are inline.

There are other rules about nesting:

Certain tags should never have more BBCode inside them. img tags should only contain an image url, never text or BBCode.

url tags should not contain more url/iurl/email tags, but can contain other inline tags such as b, u, i or img tags.

br and hr tags are block level, and while they can't contain any other tags (as they are each used without a closing tag) they cannot be placed inside inline level tags.

td tags must be placed inside tr tags, and tr tags must be placed inside table tags.

li tags must be placed inside list tags.

[align=center]Back to Contents[/align]
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:46 pm
Very nice work, stickied :)
posted on April 8th, 2012, 5:50 pm
Dominus_Noctis wrote:Very nice work, stickied :)


also shameless plug for notepad++ which i found made things easier.
posted on April 8th, 2012, 11:19 pm
I didn't know that there were other list types.  I just thought they existed in the standard bullet form.  Thanks for the FAQ thread Myles!
posted on June 21st, 2012, 3:00 pm
is it just me, or has the new forum messed up most bbcode?
1, 2

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest