Posting on TDWTF 101

  • In the interests of

    • having shorter things for people to read
    • introducing the ability to link to specific things, instead of within a gargantuan post (since that's not a thing in Discourse)

    the topics in this post have been copied and split into separate posts in Meta:FAQs.

    This post will no longer be actively updated.

    This post assumes you know how message boards in general work, and covers the stuff that those new to Discourse are likely to need to know: how it's different to phpBB, obscure things etc.

    I've tried to order this such that the most used/different stuff is near the top, with the more esoteric stuff near the bottom for those with short attention spans.

    Keyboard shortcuts

    A list of keyboard shortcuts may be displayed by pressing Shift-/ with the cursor in any area not expecting text input. This will definitely work on a US keyboard and will likely work with regular, left, right and programmers' Dvorak and UK layouts. Other keyboards may differ.

    Pressing the key combination when in a text area will reproduce a previously reported bug, which is unlikely to get fixed any time soon.

    Markup in general

    BBCode works:
    [b]bold[/b] -> [b]bold[/b]

    HTML works:
    <i>italic</i> -> italic

    Markdown works. Here I'd use underline as an example, but you can't do that in Markdown, so:
    _italic_ -> italic,
    *italic* -> italic

    And, as you may have figured already with the examples staring you in the face, you can mix and match within the same post. Sort of:
    <u>Underlined [b]bold _italic_[/b]</u> -> Underlined [b]bold italic[/b].

    At the time of writing, the underline stopped before the bold instead of carrying on until the end of italic.

    Feel free to experiment. Don't expect everything from your favorite markup language to work however.

    Escaping and posting code

    The various escaping methods in the markup schemes mentioned above generally tend to work, and may be required for day-to-day posting, and there are others that are available

    • using &lt; to produce <

    • backslash to escape the next character: \. \\ -> . \

    • single backticks to produce inline escaping (excuse the linefeed here):

      `&lt;` -> &lt;

    • triple backticks to produce block escaping:

    void foo(int bar){
       return bar*2;


    void foo(int bar){
           return bar*2;

    Add a language name on the same line and after the first triple backticks to hint the language instead of letting the software assume. Discourse appears to be using highlight.js, so any of the languages on their test page will probably be supported.

    • <pre> (used to create the previous example):

    void foo(int bar){
       return bar*2;


    void foo(int bar){
       return bar*2;

    Those who want to view the escaping needed to create the 'before' there can view the source of this post.

    □□□□ □□□□void foo(int bar){
    □□□□ □□□□ □□□□return bar*2;
    □□□□ □□□□}


        void foo(int bar){
            return bar*2;

    'Viewing' source

    If you're interested in how to do something some else has done in their post, it's possible to view what they typed into a post by changing the URL of the post (which may be obtained by either clicking the timestamp of the post at the top right or the link icon in the footer). A post URI typically has the format:

    h​ttp://<topic title>/<topic id>/<post number>

    Remove the t/<topic title> part of the URI and replace with raw:

    h​ttp://<topic id>/<post number>


    Yes - the topic is in the post URI twice. It is assumed this is largely an SEO measure.

    If valid and present, the id is used alone and the name totally ignored.

    If the id is omitted, and the name is currently valid, the name is used.

    Otherwise you're 404'd.


    Fancy word for inlining content from another site. The syntax to use it is simply to paste the raw URL, and only the URL, on a line by itself. The sites which will be so 'onebox'ed are contained within a whitelist. Don't complain if your link to

    won't get oneboxed like a link to, say twitter

    What the contents of the onebox will actually be appears to be dependent on the source - Wikipedia will have a snippet, Twitter seems to omit pictures as shown, YouTube will have the whole video window visible and will play in-situ.

    Editing your posts

    Some sites place a restriction on when you may edit your posts, and when it's indicated that you have done so. There are, currently, fairly lax restrictions on editing your own posts.

    Ninja edits

    A ninja-edit is when you 'slip in and out' to make an edit shortly after initially hitting the Reply or Create Topic button, and there is no indication that you've done so. Unless someone notices the change in the short window you have available to do this. At the time of writing, this is 5 minutes after initially posting.

    Regular edits

    Regular edits are ones that people can see that you've made, and this is indicated by a diagonal pen near the timestamp of your post at the top right. A recent edit is indicated by a red pen, a last edit some time ago is grey. Clicking that pen will bring up a dialog where a history of what edits were made, by who, when and optionally why. At the time of writing, you may edit your posts up to a year after initially posting. This is the default, and may change.


    Usual Emoji/emoticons are available. Escape some of the characters if you detest graphic smilies. A list of the emoji Discourse supports may be found here.


    In order to create a poll, two things are needed in your post:

    • The subject must start with the text Poll: (you must include the colon)
    • The body of the message must contain an unordered list with at least one item.

    Any OL items appearing before the first UL item will appear as an OL. Any OL and UL items after that first UL will become options in the poll.


    <mark>A reference rendering of this section may be found here.</mark>

    🐥 not showing a front facing chicken?

    ꖴᨋꖴ ఠ⁔ఠ not freaking you out?

    Having problems reading some of the more challenging code being posted?

    public 😟 💩IsValid( 📥📦 ) {
        if(sizeof( 📥📦  ) > ⬊📦⬍ && sizeof ( 📥📦 ) < ⬉📦⬍ ) {
            return 😸;
        else {
            return 😿;

    Then you're likely missing some (ttf) fonts on your system. If you're on Linux, install all available fonts in your package manager. Restart your browser if you're still not seeing anything but boxes. (At the time of writing, Firefox tends to be better at picking up runtime changes to system fonts than Chrome).

    If you're after Emoji, then you're probably missing Symbola.
    The left set of eyes above rely on Vai.

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