Discussion boards formatting tips
The Motley Fool discussion boards, as of March 2010, were still running off code written more than a decade ago. In case that sounds like bragging, it's not. We are deeply aware of the need to improve the usability (and underlying code) of our discussion boards.
One of the arcane practices of using our discussion boards circa 2010 is typing in HTML tags in order to format text in your posting. Below are a few tips for doing so (these are pulled with thanks from a good explanation from TMFBreakerTAllan.
Note that all HTML tagging is enclosed in the caret keys: < and >
In the examples below, we include extra spaces because if we did not, the coding might work right here in this document just as it will in your posts!
Italics are done by entering an opening code < i > (without spaces). You place that before the text you want to italicize. You then place a closing code -- < /i > (without spaces) in order to conclude the italics. If you forget to place that closing code, you will mistakenly italicize everything in the document after your opening < i >.
To bold characters, simply replace the < i > with a < b >. Again, don't use spaces between the i or b within the caret symbols (a.k.a. the "less than" and "greater than" symbols). You then place a closing code -- < /b > (without spaces) in order to conclude the bolding. If you forget to place that closing code, you will mistakenly bold everything in the document after your opening < b >.
And yes, you can use both effects together, which looks like < b > < i > (again without spaces between the carets) -- and yes, you have to include closing codes for both right after the text you're formatting.
To enter a table, use < pre > (without spaces) and then close it out with < /pre > (without the spaces).
You may also use tabs to line up columns (no "pre" tags required"). Note that when using the "pre" tags, you need to include carriage returns to else your message may appear all as one very long line, which is bad for message viewing, and can affect the width of all other messages on the page.
PLEASE NOTE: Now that you're starting to learn these, we highly recommend using the Preview button, prior to posting, to ensure you're getting the formatting the way you want it.