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Creating/Replying/Editing Forum Posts in iOS (and Android)

Discussion in 'Forum Issues' started by Top Cat, May 13, 2013.

  1. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Forum Volunteer

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Englishman in Wales!
    If, like me, you use iPad/iPhone/iPodTouch to access the forum, you will find yourself at a disadvantage when creating or editing forum posts (I have tried Safari and Chrome, both do the same thing and it is iOS that seems to be the common element). The same also seems to apply to Andriod devices, but I have less experience with them (and what experience I did have sent me straight back to iOS!).

    To illustrate, as you don't know what you are missing, users of other devices and/or operating systems get this as their edit window:


    ...which is a WYSIWYG editor, complete with smilie insertion tool, hot link tool (when you have enough posts), etc. There are explanatory tool tips when you hover the mouse over any particular icon.

    For reasons I do not understand (with my limited knowledge of how these things work), users of an iOS browser get a plain edit box, and all the embedded codes used to format the post are revealed (and editable) in full. Users of the WYSIWYG box can see what this is like by switching to the plain editor using the "A" symbol at top right (and switch back again using the "Use Rich Text Editor" link at bottom left).

    It works for me because I know the forum formatting codes off by heart and type them in directly, but it is a pain and even I do not remember all the smilie codes (hence relatively few smilies in my posts! :().

    Help is at hand. Open two more browser tabs to access references to the formatting codes ("BB Codes", BB = "bulletin board") and the smilie list as follows (instructions for Safari):
    1. Near the top left of every forum page, click "Help";
    2. Click and hold "Smilies" until the pop-up appears, select "Open in New Tab";
    3. Click and hold "BB Codes" until the pop-up appears, select "Open in New Tab";
    4. Click the back button to return to what you were doing.
    Tapatalk users don't even seem to have access to the help pages, so for them (and everyone else) I summarise the main BB codes below (the code acts on the content between the opening and matching closing tags, and can be nested). Of course, if the same character strings turn up as part of normal text, they will affect how the post is displayed (and the forum software will add closing tags at the end of the post if the opening tags are unmatched). The same goes for smilies. To use the reserved strings without them being interpreted, enclose the relevant passage in plain tags (and to quote a string that is equivalent to a plain tag requires ingenuity!). Tags are not case-sensitive.

    [U]...[/U] - Underline
    [I]...[/I] - Italic
    [B]...[/B] - Bold
    [S]...[/S] - Strikeout

    [CODE]...[/CODE] - Encloses the text in a box with code formatting (fixed-pitch font)
    [QUOTE]...[/QUOTE] - Encloses the text in a box as a quotation from elsewhere

    [LIST]...[/LIST] - Creates a bulleted list, prefix each list entry with "[*]"
    [LIST=1]...[/LIST] - Creates a numbered list, prefix each list entry with "[*]"

    [INDENT]...[/INDENT] - Indents the section from the left, can be nested

    [IMG]...[/IMG] - Insert the URL to an image available on-line to display the image in the post
    [URL]...[/URL] - Insert the URL to display the URL as a hot link
    [URL="http://www..."]...[/URL] - Insert the URL and text to display the text with a hot link to the URL
    [EMAIL]...[/EMAIL] - Insert an email address to display the email as a hot link
    [EMAIL="me@somewhere"]...[/EMAIL] - Insert the email and text to display the text with a hot link to the email

    [PLAIN]...[/PLAIN] - Displays the text as-is (no BB code interpretation)

    There are more codes to specify paragraph justification; typeface, font size, and text colour; embedded media and file attachments; etc. The forum software will also interfere by automatically adding tags to text that appears to be a URL or email address, for example.

    Please note that the use of alternative fonts, text colours, and character sizes should be used sparingly and only when necessary for the purpose of clear documentation. Just because you can doesn't mean you should, and posts with unnecessary formatting will be edited to remove it. More about this here:

  2. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Forum Volunteer

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Englishman in Wales!
    I have opened this topic for discussion to capture other users experiences. Any useful input will be incorporated into the first post (and I reserve the right to tidy up the topic as seems appropriate).

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