Facebook uses text codes to change the appearance of text in some sections, to make symbols and to make emoticons in chat. The codes used to format text are similar to HTML tags and can be used to make bold, italic, underline and strikethrough text, except in Facebook's chat. The text strings used to make chat emoticons are simple combinations of letters, numbers or punctuations marks.
Text Formatting Codes in Chat
In chat, you can create bold text by placing an asterisk character on either side of the text you want in bold, thus: bold. Create underlined text by placing an underscore character on either side of the text you want underscored, thus: underscore. You cannot create italic text in chat. Use underline or capitals for emphasis instead.
Emoticons in Chat
Facebook's built-in chat replaces certain text strings with small graphics, such as smiley faces. Type :-) or :) for a smile, :-( or :( for a sad face, ;-) or ;) for a wink, :p for a poking-tongue smiley, :D for a big grin, :O for shock or surprise, >:( for a scowl, :\ for uncertainty, O.o for confusion; >:o for a tantrum, :-* for a kiss, ^^ for a beaming Asian-style smiley, -- for a contented Asian-style smiley, :v for Pac-Man, :3 for a contented smiley, O:) for innocence or an angel; 3:) for a devil, (^^^) for a shark, <(") for a penguin, :|] for a robot. Unusual emoticons include :putnam:, which produces a small image of Facebook engineer Chris Putnam; and :42:, a reference to Douglas Adams' "Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
Formatting Text in Notes And Profiles
The formatting characters used in chat will not work for profiles and notes. To create strikethrough text, type an opening strikethrough tag <s> at the front of the text you want to formant and a closing tag </s> at the end. The opening and closing tags for bold text are <b> and </b>; for underscore text, <u> and </u>; and for italic text, <i> and </i>. Always remember to use a closing tag.
Other Text Code Tricks
You can make a heart symbol on Facebook using the same code as in chat: <3. This heart with be black, not pink. Status and comments don't allow you to format your text like other parts of Facebook; however, Facebook is Unicode enabled, meaning that you can use text-like characters to create imitation "fonts" or embellish your text with Unicode symbols. You can type in the number codes manually but it is much easier to cut and paste from a symbol library such as Facebook Emoticons Symbols or use a text converter that includes fUnicode.
- Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images