WhatsApp 101: How to Format Your Messages with Italic, Bold, or Strikethrough Text

How to Format Your Messages with Italic, Bold, or Strikethrough Text

Millions of iPhone and Android users turn to WhatsApp as their go-to messaging app, and it's easy to see why. The app comes standard with tons of great features for messaging, calling, and browsing, and that's not even mentioning the fact that it has a larger user base than any other messenger service out there.

One of WhatsApp's many awesome features is the fact that you can format text while you're messaging. This helps you emphasize certain words or phrases by making them italic or bold, and it'll even let you cross out words. It's another one of those nice touches that isn't available in most other messaging apps.

The feature is available for both iOS and Android devices, but there are some differences between the two, so we detailed the process of formatting text in WhatsApp on both operating systems. So if you'd like to learn more on how to add more oomph to your texts to grab your recipient's attention, we've got you covered.

Using Bold, Italics & Strikethrough (Android or iOS)

For both Android and iOS devices, WhatsApp lets you format your messages with italics, bold, and strikethrough text just by typing special characters before and after the text in your message. Here's how it's done:

  • Type an underscore ( _ ) on either side of a word or phrase to italicize it. Example: _word_.
  • Type an asterisk ( * ) on either side of a word or phrase to make it bold. Example: *word*.
  • Type a tilde ( ~ ) on either side of a word or phrase to cross out the text. Example: ~word~.

WhatsApp for iOS doesn't display text formatting as you type, but messages show up in their formatted state when they're sent. Android users will get a live preview of the formatted text as they type, which makes it a little easier to see which format is most appropriate.

Using the Context Menu & Monospacing (Android Only)

If you're using an Android device, you have an extra option for formatting text in WhatsApp. If you type three grave accents ( ` ) on both sides of a word or phrase, the text will turn into a monospaced font that uses a fixed width for all of the characters.

In addition to this extra manual formatting option, Android users can also format text with a simple context menu. Just long-press on your target word, then tap the three-dot button on the right side of the menu that pops up, and you'll be able to choose any format for the text from a list.

As you can see, formatting text messages is extremely easy in WhatsApp. But before you start typing all your messages in bold, we'd like to hear your thoughts. What other tips and tricks concerning WhatsApp would you like to read more about? As always, let us know in the comment section below.

Cover image and screenshots by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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