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Discord text formatting: bold, color, italic, strikethrough

How to pretty-up your text in the popular chat app

Updated: Jan 11, 2024 11:28 am
Discord text formatting: bold, color, italic, strikethrough

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If you’re wondering about Discord text formatting and need a little bit of help understanding how it works, you’re in the right place. We’re going to discuss how to apply different formats to your text in order to spruce it up a little. Examples of different Discord text formatting include: bold, italic, strikethrough, underline, and different colors. It doesn’t just stop there though – as you can show off your skills with spoiler text, code, or even HTML.

Discord is one of the greatest VOIP apps to grace our PCs over the last decade, and it doesn’t look like it will be replaced any time soon. The basics alone are fantastic, but have you ever wondered how your buddies are chatting with colors or bolded text? Well, to put it simply, Discord uses Markdown for the text formatting, which is a system that can help you make what you are saying stand out.

Discord text formatting – our ultimate guide to Discord text types & more

In this article, we are going to show you how Discord text formatting works and bring some zest into your Discord servers, with colors, bold, italic, strikethrough, underlined text, and more.

Prefer to watch our Discord text formatting step-by-step guide?

Discord text formatting: styles

Let’s start with the basic styles in Discord text formatting first. Using a few symbols, you can transform your plain text into something more prominent. So, whether you are looking to make your sentence stand out or simply highlight a specific word, we’ll show you how.

There are four different styles that can all be used individually or together; these are Bold, Bold Italics, Italics, Strikethrough text, and Underline.

Text styleMethodExample
BoldFor bold Discord text, you just need to add two asterisks (**) to either side of the text.**Your chosen text**
ItalicFor italic Discord text, you just need to add a single asterisk (*) or underscore (_) to either side of the text.*Your chosen text*   or _Your chosen text_
Bold ItalicFor bold italic Discord text, you just need to add three asterisks (***) to either side of the text.***Your chosen text***
UnderlineTo underline your Discord text, you just need to add two underscores (__) to either side of the text.__Your chosen text__
StrikethroughTo strikethrough your Discord text, you just need to add two tildes (~~) to either side of the text.~~Your chosen text~~

Discord text formatting: code blocks

Before we move on to the different syntax and how that changes the color with Discords text, let’s first understand code blocks. This is technically classed as ‘advanced discord text formatting,’ but it’s quite simple.

Code block typeMethodExample
Single line code blockDiscord supports code blocks with the use of the backtick key ( ` ).

For a single line code block, which will just highlight the text and leave the surrounding space empty, use one backtick before and after the text, as shown.
single line code block
Multiple-line code blocksFor multiple-line code blocks, you just need to add three backticks ( “` ) before and after the text.multiple line block

Discord text formatting: writing in color

When it comes to colored Discord text formatting, we are actually using a workaround with syntax highlighting. Basically, by typing the name of a syntax language after three of those backticks, you can color your text. Discord doesn’t have a built-in text highlight function, but Highlight.js runs in the background of Discord, which enables us to add some color to our messages.

As we are exploiting the syntax highlighting, the colors you can use are limited. The steps for each color follow a similar format with you needing to enter three backticks at the start ( “` ), then return, then enter your text, return again, and finally three more backticks ( “` ).



How to color text in Discord – red & light green

To make Discord text red, we are going to use “Diff syntax highlighting.” It is worth noting that you will need to include a hyphen (-) before your text for this color.

The same method can also be used to create light green.



How to color text in Discord – orange

To make Discord text orange, we will use “CSS syntax,” which requires square brackets either side [ ].



How to color text in Discord – yellow

To make Discord text yellow, we will use the “Fix syntax.”



How to color text in Discord – cyan

To make Discord text cyan, we will use “JSON syntax.” With this syntax, you will need to use quotation marks(“) either side of the text.



How to color text in Discord – blue

To make Discord text blue, we will use “Ini syntax.” With ini syntax, you will need to place square brackets [ ] around the text.



How to highlight text with color in Discord

To highlight text differently to the block codes, we will use “Tex syntax.” With this syntax, you will need to format the text like the steps above but add a dollar sign ($) at the start.

How to make text small in Discord

Discord right now doesn’t have a way to lower the font size of your text. However, many of the methods we show you in this guide make text visually smaller, albeit not by much. The best way to make text noticeably smaller is to use an online small text generator for Discord. If you instead want to make other text bigger, then use Discord’s headers formatting. That’s one way of making over text smaller in comparison.

Discord headers

Headers can be used to change the size of text in Discord, with three different sizes to use. We can call these heading 1, 2, and 3 to determine size. Note: Discord support say that this feature is experimental and not available on all servers.

Header sizeMethodExample
Biggest / H1To create ‘heading 1’-sized text, it’s as simple as putting a hash/pound character ( # ) before the text.# Heading 1
Average / H2For a smaller heading, you can use two hash/pound characters to indicate this.## Heading 2
Smallest / H3Finally, if you want the smallest heading type, put three hash/pound signs before the text.### Heading 3

What is Markdown in Discord?

Markdown is a lightweight markup language first released back in 2004. This language comes with plain text formatting syntax and was designed to be simple to read and write. The original only supports HTML, but Markdown is used in a plain text editor, creating rich text for writing messages in an online forum, for example.

Markdown works in the background, formatting all of our text. So now we know what is responsible, let’s move on to the how.

Can you format text in discord?

Yes, you can format text in discord! While you contribute to discussions and chat with friends on Discord, there’s actually a powerful system working in the background that is able to format all text, and it goes by the name of ‘Markdown’.

Markdown was originally created back in 2004 by Aaron Swartz and John Gruber and was initially designed to be a simple software that consisted of a markup language that would be able to read and write simple sentences. To this day, Markdown is a completely text-based engine that is able to strategically utilize specifically placed symbols in order to format words on Discord into italics, underlined, bold and more.

Can you circumvent Discord text formatting?

Some Discord users may use asterisks and underscores with various messages in their day to day chat, so finding a workaround to counteract the different syntax can be quite useful.

If this applies to you, then simply use a backslash (\) to negate the effects of the different syntax languages.

What font is Discord text in?

The standard font used across the entirety of the Discord app is Uni Sans and it varies from thin to heavy throughout the app. Uni Sans is also the font that was used to help create the Discord logo back in 2009, in which Svet Simov slightly modified Uni Sans Heavy to create the iconic logo we have all come to know.

However, that’s not the only default font that Discord uses. if you often use Discord on your computer and not exclusively through the app, you may have noticed that the font is somewhat different on the desktop version. This is because the Discord developers selected 4 different default fonts for the desktop version, which are known as Whitney, Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, and Arial 2.

How do I change the font in Discord chat?

Though it is not actually possible to change the font directly within the Discord app (as the developers have not yet created a feature to do this) there are some ways that you can get around it. The most common way that people find that they are able to change the font in their Discord chat is by finding a Discord font generator on the internet and then copy and paste your text back into your Discord chat.

How do you make fancy text in Discord?

Whether you want to place emphasis on a point, outline a title or simply add a little bit of character to your Discord text, you may be wondering how to create different types of text from the standard font. The good news is that Discord developers have developed Markdown to be able to format text in ways such as italics, bold, and even more! Here’s how to do it:

How to bold text

If you want to create bolded text in your Discord chat, all you will need to do is simply place two asterisks at the start of the text, and place two at the end of the text (here is an example: **bolded text**). On a standard English keyboard, the asterisk can be typed by pressing the ‘SHIFT’ key and the ‘8’ key one after the other. Result: bolded text.

How to italicize text

When you think of ‘fancy font’ italicized certainly fits the bill! You can use italics for a number of reasons, such as to help make your text read in a more conversational way, or to help reinforce a point that you are making.

Just like with bold text, you’ll need to incorporate the help of asterisks to indicate to Markdown that you’d like a particular section of text to be italicized. However, instead of placing two asterisks on either side of the selected text, all you will need to do is place one asterisk on either side, so that it would look a little something like this: *italicized text*. Result: italicized text.

How to underline text

You can also choose to underline certain words or headlines in Discord! To do this, all you will need to do is place two underscores at the start of the text, and two underscores at the end of the text which will tell Markdown that it needs to underline the selected text. If you’ve done it correctly, it should look a little something like this: __underlined text__. Result: underlined text.

How to strikethrough text

If you want to cross out, in other words strikethrough, some text, then you can do this too! This is useful if you need to check some things off a list, especially when editing text at a later date. There’s plenty of other good uses to. To strikethrough your text, you need to add two tildes either side of your next. That’ll look like this: ~~strikethrough text~~. The result of this should be strikethrough text.

How do you color text in Discord?

It’s important to be aware that Discord does not offer full-text highlighting, as in, you won’t be able to simply select a color from a dropdown list – but there are ways to work around it. The main way that you can achieve syntax highlighting is by creating a code block, and then directing it towards a highlighting code entered into Highlight.js (which is a syntax highlighter). This will cause the text to become ‘wrapped’ in the syntax language, which will turn them into a different color. You can find the syntax highlighting languages for different colors online, but to get you started, here is an example of how to change your discord text to the color red:

Syntax highlighting language for red is ‘Diff’, so to color your text red, you will need to add three backticks, one dash, the text, and then end it with three backticks again. When done correctly it will look like this: “`diff-the text you would like to turn red’’’ after that, all you’ll need to do is hit send.

How do I hide text in Discord?

If you want to provide your readers with the courtesy of a spoiler alert tag, then all you will need to do is simply type ‘/spoiler’ at the start and end of the text, and it will be displayed as a spoiler. Alternatively, you can also simply highlight the text that contains the spoiler, right-click it and select ‘Mark a spoiler’ from the pop-up menu that appears on your screen, which will alter its format so that the reader will have to press on the text in order to reveal it.

What is code block Discord?

In Discord, you can use code blocks to separate sections of text in order to help certain parts stand out and look more appealing to the reader. Code blocks will be able to change the background color of the chosen text, all while leaving the rest of the text within the post unaffected.

How do you paste code in Discord?

Pasting code in Discord is easy as can be. Here are the two most common ways to do it:

Block display code

This method is best for when your code is very long and will run over more than one line.

  1. First, type in three backticks, and then paste your code into Discord, pressing shift while doing it in order to indicate to Markdown that you want to begin a new line.
    • Side note: Discord may instantly recognize the code you have entered, meaning that it will automatically begin the new line, so pressing shift will only be necessary if Discord does not do this, and you need to manually create the new line.
  2. Then, close the pasted code with three backticks.
  3. Hit send, and your text will now display as the chosen code block you pasted.

Line display code

This method is best for shorter code, or if you want to use code in conversation, such as to share an example of single-line code.

  1. Type into the textbox one backtick, and then paste your code.
  2. End the code using just one backtick.
  3. Hit send, and the message will show the pasted code.

Can you use HTML in discord?

Yes, if you want to send HTML code to someone through Discord, you will need to carry out the following steps:

  1. Copy the HTML page that you would like to share.
  2. Head over to Discord and paste the HTML page into the text box.
  3. Before you do anything else, type three backticks (‘’’) at the start and end of the HTML link, and then press enter to send.

How do you do syntax highlighting in Discord?

If you want to give your code blocks an eye-catching look, you can try out syntax highlighting. To do this, you’ll need to access Highlight.js, which is a syntax highlighter developed by Discord. You can access it via the web, and it will allow you to highlight syntax quickly and easily.


Do I need to know HTML for Discord formatting?

No, having a knowledge of HTML is not required to play around with formatting on Discord. There are a number of different ways of formatting text – we go through them in our easy to read guide.

How many different Discord writing styles are there?

Discord allows you to format your text in many ways. Some of the key styles include: bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, code blocks, and even spoiler text. On top of that, you can also change colors or add headings for better organization.

Final word

Well that just about wraps it up for Discord text formatting. As you can see, there are a lot of ways to utilize and customize your text within Discord. Whether you just wanted to figure out a single text formatting feature, or just happy to learn about everything on offer, hopefully you found exactly what you need.

Now you can go off and make a strong point with some bold red text, or talk about your favorite shows with the safety of the spoiler tag to avoid putting a damper on someone’s day. The code block feature in particular makes programming chat much easier as you can correctly format your code in order to discuss it in detail. So, go ahead and make use of these Discord text formatting features!

Shaun, with a computer science degree and 15 years of computer experience, has been passionate about competitive FPS gaming since the mid-2000s.

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