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Bulletin Board Codes or BBCodes are a way to format posts in SMF and in many other places online. For an explanation of the buttons on the Post page, see Basic Bulletin Board Codes (en). This article explains the important concept of nesting.

Nesting BBCodes

The general format of a BBCode tag has three parts: an opening tag, the inside content and a closing tag, as shown below:

[open]      text inside      [/close]
[b]         bold text        [/b]

When Order Matters, Part 1

You can place one BBCode tag inside another as long as the child tag is closed before the parent tag. For example, the correct way to make bold and italic text is:

[b][i]bold & italic text[/i][/b]

You can also do it in the following way, which is also valid, with the same tags in reverse order:

[i][b]bold & italic text[/b][/i]

The correct method can be visualized more clearly when the tags are indented:

[b]
    [i]
        bold & italic text
    [/i]
[/b]

The next example is incorrectly nested. The last two lines show that the parent tag [b] was closed before the child tag [i].

[b][i]bold & italic text[/b][/i]
[b]
    [i]
        bold & italic text
[/b]
    [/i]

When Order Matters, Part 2

The order in which tags are nested is important when text-formatting tags such as size, bold, or italic are paired with the text-alignment tags center, left, right, and pre. Formatting tags must be placed inside alignment tags. For example, for the size tag to change the font, it must be placed as follows:

[center][size=36pt][b][u]text[/u][/b][/size][/center]

Nesting the size tags as per the example below will result in this tag not working:

[size=36pt][center][b][u]text[/u][/b][/center][/size]

See Also