Reddit Background Red with Logo

If you’re a frequent Reddit user, you may have noticed others using formatting options on their posts. Here’s how to apply text formatting to level up your Reddit experience.

Reddit Text Formatting

Reddit is the largest discussion board on the internet, with millions of active users and thousands of subreddits. Reddit only allows you to use text in the body of posts and comments. However, they have various options that will enable you to add formatting to your content thanks to Markdown, a markup language that applies text formatting to the content on a web page.

Compared to other text formatting languages, Markdown is well known for being straightforward, easy-to-use, and intuitive, even for new users. If you’re interested in learning more about the language, you can check out our Guide to Markdown. However, this piece will be focused on formatting options that frequent Reddit users will find most useful.

If you’re using Reddit’s new interface on desktop, you likely won’t need to use Markdown as the interface has a visual editor. However, if you’re using old Reddit, the official Reddit app on mobile, or third-party Reddit clients, you will likely still have to use Markdown.

RELATED: What Is Markdown, and How Do You Use It?

Basic Formatting Options

Here are a few basic formatting options that everyone can use when they post on Reddit.


***bold italics*** – bold italics

The above formatting options are ways to emphasize parts of the text. You can wrap single asterisks (*) to italicize a block of text, two (**) to bold a text, and three (***) to put both bold and italics on text. You can also add a line through text with a strikethrough, using two tildes (~~) before and after.

Sections and Headers

# Header 1
## Header 2
### Header 3

The actual font size of these header sections varies from browser to browser. These are intended to separate different sections of a Reddit text post. This is especially true if the text post is fairly long and comprehensive, like a guide or a timeline. Like other documents, the largest size is header 1, followed by 2 and 3.

In-Line Links and Automatic Links

[Reddit Link]( Link

To create a link on Reddit, wrap the link text in brackets ([ ]), then place the link immediately after in parentheses. These links must have “http,” “https,” or similar link schemes in them.

You can also have Reddit automatically create certain links for you. Typing “u/” followed by the name of a Reddit user will link to the user with that name. On the other hand, “r/” followed by the name of a subreddit will link to that community. These two are case-sensitive, so make sure to always type them in the lowercase.

Quotes and Code

> Quoted Text
>> Nested Quote Text 

`Code Text`

To quote text from a different user or another source, place a greater-than sign or angled bracket (>) before the text. To add a nested quote within that quote, use two angled brackets (>>) before the text. To turn text into code, place a backtick (`) at the beginning and end of the text.

Line Breaks and Lines

Line Break

Paragraph -enter-
Line Break

Single line breaks are made up of four spaces (    ), while double line breaks, or paragraph breaks, are two spaces, which you get by hitting the enter button twice.


If you use three asterisks, you will also get a horizontal line, also called a line divider, which looks like this:

Advanced Formatting


* Item 1
* Item 2

  • Item 1
  • Item 2

1. Numbered Item 1
2. Numbered Item 2

  1. Numbered Item 1
  2. Numbered Item 2

To create an unordered list, place asterisks (*), plus signs (+), or minus signs (-) before each item. Then add a line break between each item. For numbered lists, place a number and a period (1., 2., etc.) before each item. It will number these items starting from one. You cannot create a non-ascending list, so all lists will automatically be formatted to start from one going upwards.


>!spoiler text!<

If you want to hide a particular block of text so you don’t spoil the ending of a movie or book, use spoiler tags. Wrap the text in “>!” and “!<” tags, and it will prevent someone from seeing a block of text unless the user clicks on it.

Formatting Previews

Reddit Preview Reddit Post
Reddit Preview

If you want to make sure that your text is good to go before you post it, you can try using a Markdown preview editor. A few examples of these are Markdown Live Preview , Reddit Preview, and StackEdit. If you’re using the old version of Reddit on desktop, you can try using Reddit Enhancement Suite, a browser extension that comes with a built-in Markdown preview box, among other features.

RELATED: How to Disable Reddit's "Open in App" Pop-Up

Profile Photo for Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
Read Full Bio »