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BBCode (bulletin board code) is a collection of formatting tags that are used to format users' posts in the Scratch Forums and the Text Based Games Forums. BBCode is based on the same principle as, and is similar to, HTML.[1] It can be used for things such as colored text, underlined text, pictures, and links.

Because of how BBCode works, content surrounded with a right-facing and left-facing square bracket will become invisible.

Basic BBCode

The following are the basics of BBCode.

Text Style

  • [b]Bold[/b] — Shows as Bold
  • [i]Italics[/i] — Shows as Italics
  • [u]Underline[/u] — Shows as Underline
  • [color=#FF0000]Red text[/color] — Shows as Red text (Note: #FF0000 is the hexadecimal color code for red).
  • [color=blue]Blue text[/color] — Shows as Blue text (A list of colors that can be put in there can be found here)

Links and Images

Using BBCode, Scratchers can add links and images to their posts. New Scratchers cannot post links outside of Scratch, and cannot post images.


[url]https://en.scratch-wiki.info/wiki/Scratch_Wiki[/url] — Shows as https://en.scratch-wiki.info/wiki/Scratch_Wiki

[url=https://en.scratch-wiki.info/wiki/Scratch_Wiki]Scratch Wiki[/url] — Shows as Scratch Wiki


[img]http://en.scratch-wiki.info/images/Scratch_Cat.png[/img] — Shows as

Scratch Cat.png

Images need the http:// or https:// prefix.

Scratch accepts images only from supported hosts. A full list can be viewed here.

Wiki Links

[wiki]Scratch Wiki[/wiki] — Shows as Scratch Wiki

[wiki=Scratch Wiki]link text[/wiki] — Shows as link text

Quotes and Code

Scratchers can quote others or display code using these tags. If either one has a disconnected start or end tag, a syntax error is displayed, and the post will not post.


[quote]This is an anonymous quote[/quote]

Creates an anonymous quote, with no name:

This is an anonymous quote

[quote=A_Scratcher]I'm being quoted![/quote]

Creates a quote box that starts A_Scratcher wrote:

A_Scratcher wrote:

I'm being quoted!


[code]This is some code.[/code]
This is some code.

If it is long enough, it will have a scrollbar, like this:

This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code.

BBCode does not work in code boxes.

You can also show different coding languages in code tags such as Python like this: [code=python]print("Coding in Python")[/code] If you do not add the wanted language into the tag it will not work and instead just look like generic text. But if you add the language into the tag it will work and be colored according to the programming language chosen.


Not to be confused with Scratch Emojis.

Scratchers may want to add emoticons to their posts. Here is what can be created:

  • :) or =)Forum Smiley - Smile.png
  • :| or =|Forum Smiley - Straight Face.png
  • :( or =(Forum Smiley - Sad.png
  • :D or =DForum Smiley - Grin.png
  • :O or :oForum Smiley - Yikes.png
  • ;)Forum Smiley - Wink.png
  • :/Forum Smiley - Hmm.png
  • :PForum Smiley - Tongue.png
  • :lol:Forum Smiley - LOL.png
  • :mad:Forum Smiley - Mad.png
  • :rolleyes:Forum Smiley - Rolleyes.png
  • :cool:Forum Smiley - Cool.png

Those emojis can be prevented by putting the emoticon within [color] blocks; an example of how to do this is [color=auto]:)[/color]


Main article: Block Plugin/Syntax

Scratchers can show Scratch scripts on the forums using the scratchblocks tag. Before the forum update on January 7, 2012,[2] Scratchers could still show scripts by using an old system of forum blocks with the [blocks] and [/blocks] tags. There were many problems caused by a lack of updates, such as 34 blocks missing and 5 that needed to be removed.

Advanced BBCode

Some BBCode can be used to make certain effects:

  • [color=Gainsboro] — Makes text invisible in normal posts (although it is slightly possible to see it)
  • [color=LavenderBlush] — Makes text invisible in quotes (although it is slightly possible to see it)
  • [color=#ffffff] or [color=white] — Makes text completely invisible on normal posts
  • [color=#f7f7f7] — Makes text completely invisible in quotes
  • [color=transparent] — Makes all text completely invisible, no matter where it is, although it does not work on Internet Explorer 8 and below.
  • [b][color=black] — Even bolder
  • Putting BBCode inside other BBCode tags makes the BBCode show up instead of the output; for example, [i[b][/b]] would show as "[i]"
  • Putting brackets inside other brackets escapes the bracket; for example, [[]i[]] would show up as "[i]"
  • [url=page url][img]image url[/img][/url] — Linked image
  • Links do not need the http:// prefix, the forum adds it automatically (but images do need it)
  • Links beginning with ftp. get the ftp:// protocol added automatically
  • Links cannot contain the javascript:, about: or chrome: pseudo-protocols for the same reason.
  • [url=link][color=color] — Colored link, but the underline stays blue
  • [url=link][color=color][u] — Colored link, with colored underline


The following are some of the most popular suggestions for BBCode:

  • Text alignment
  • Fonts
  • Sizes — see below
  • Strike-through — see below
  • Highlight

It had also been suggested that the blocks only show up when the [blocks] tags are used.[3]

A Scratch Team Member has said the following about some BBCode suggestions:

Good ideas! I would certainly like to see some new functionality in BB code - I could really use that font setting code.

– Paddle2See, ar-post:622104

Added Features

In Scratch 2.0, several more BBCode tags that have been added:

  • [big] — Creates bigger text
  • [small] — Creates smaller text
  • [list(=...)] — Creates a list
  • [*] — List item
  • [s]strikethrough text
  • [center] — Center aligns text
  • [wiki] — Like [url], but links to the specified title on the Scratch Wiki
  • [wikipedia] or [wp] — Like [url], but links to the specified title on Wikipedia
  • [google] — Like [url], but links to the specified title on the Google search engine


Sometimes, BBCode has been used to spam the forums. This is most often done using blocks and is often referred to as block spam. Other spam includes posting irrelevant images, dangerous links, random smiles, and hard to read text.


BBCode is usually combined to make text unique. Here are some examples:

Welcome To Earth Games


[color=tan][b]Welcome To Earth Games[/b][/color]




Most Wanted Position:

2nd Most Wanted Position:

SWC/SDS/MIF/SST curator?:

Past FPC?:

Time on Scratch:




Activity per Day: /10

Experience: /10

How Would You Help?:


  1. "BBCode is based on the same principle as, and is very similar to, HTML." http://web.archive.org/web/20121028042421/http://scratch.mit.edu:80/forums/help.php
  2. JSO. (27/1/2012). "We have just replaced the ancient forum blocks with a new 'plugin'." ar-topic:88009
  3. meowmeow55. (3/8/2010). "I think that block images should only show up when [blocks] and [/blocks] are used." ar-topic:42412

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