How to add text formatting in Google+ & WhatsApp

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Google+ and WhatsApp supports basic text formatting. All you need is to add respective special characters before and after the text.

Plain text is boring particularly when there is a huge chunk of text to read. Text formatting makes the text stand out, making it more readable.

At present, Google+ supports only three formatting options—bold, italics, and strikethrough, but WhatsApp supports all the three including the preformatted text. Both requires you to enclose the text with special characters. You can also add multiple formatting styles to your text by combining them. So, let us see how to do this.

Text Formatting in Google+

Google+ text formatting has been for quite a long time. This is supported in mobile apps also. Here are the special characters used—asterisk (*) for bold, underscore (_) for italics and hyphen (-) for strikethrough.

Basic Formatting

You must add the respective special character before and after the text like this:

  • *bold* to make the text bold.
  • _italics_ to make the text italics.
  • -strikethrough- to strikethrough text.

Advanced Formatting

You can also combine the above styles in various combinations like these:

  • *_bold and italics_* to make the text bold and italics.
  • *-bold and strikethrough-* to make the text bold and strikethrough.
  • _-italics and strikethrough-_ to make the text italics and strikethrough.
  • *_-bold, italics, and strikethrough-_* to make the text bold, italics, and strikethrough.
Google+ text formatting
Google+ text formatting – bold, italics & strikethrough.

Above combinations are only a few examples to show the formatting options. You can use them in any order and maintaining sequence is not necessary.

Text formatting in WhatsApp

After the Google Drive integration, WhatsApp introduced text formatting in the latest version of mobile apps. So, make sure you are using the latest one or else you need to update to try this. WhatsApp Web and desktop clients also support text formatting.

Basic Formatting

WhatsApp makes use of the same special characters as Google+ for bold and italics, but strikethrough uses the tilde (~) instead of the hyphen (-) and preformatted text uses backtick (`). Let us see how to do:

  • *bold* to make the text bold.
  • _italics_ to make the text italics.
  • ~strikethrough~ to strikethrough text.
  • ` ` `preformatted text` ` ` for adding preformatted text.

Note that, preformatted text requires adding three backticks (“`), unlike the other ones.

Advanced Formatting

Like Google+, you can also combine these formatting like this:

  • *_bold and italics_* to make the text bold and italics.
  • *~bold and strikethrough~* to make the text bold and strikethrough.
  • _~italics and strikethrough~_ to make the text italics and strikethrough.
  • *_~bold, italics and strikethrough~_* to make the text bold, italics and strikethrough.
WhatsApp text formatting
WhatsApp text formatting – Bold, italics, strikethrough & preformatted text.

Unlike Google+, when combing multiple formatting, you must pay attention to beginning and end characters, as misplacing them will not work here (i.e. first beginning character should be added last, second beginning character should be added second last and so on). However, you can change the order of beginning characters as long as you pay attention to the sequence.


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