Ultimate Guide to Formatting

New and veteran users alike may be confused at the strange ways people can make their text. For example,how do I do this? This?

The way it is done is through Markdown, which is a way to format words online. This guide is meant to assist you in using it here on the Duolingo forums.

Bold, Italics, and Highlights, Oh my!

Make text Italicized

To make text italic, simply place one asterisks (**) on either side of the text you wish to italicize. For example:

*Duolingo* will make Duolingo.

Make Text Bold

To make text bold, simply place two asterisks (**) on either side of the text you wish to bold. For example:

**Duolingo** will make Duolingo.

Make Text Bold and Italics

To make text bold and italics, simply place three asterisks (***) on either side of the text you wish to bold. For example:

***Duolingo*** will make Duolingo.

Make Text Highlighted

To make text highlighted simply place one accent sign (`)) on either side of the text you wish to highlight. For example:


Sometimes the you want your text to make bigger, to, for example, head a section of your post. The best way to do this is by using hashtags, or, as we used to call them, octothorpes. (#)

To make this work, you simply need to put between one and six “octothorpes”, in the front of the text you want to alter.

<h1>ONE HASHTAG</h1>





Cool, huh? Of course, you can also couple this with other formatting, say italicizing, to make it even cooler. Just plug in the correct symbols and sign, and voila!


To indent text, say to quote something or someone, add a single “.” directly in front of the text.

>Duolingo rocks!

Duolingo rocks!

To make it even more interesting, add two “>” to double indent.

>Duolingo >>Rocks!




To link to a website the code is as follows:

[Text to display](Website URL)

so: [Forums]( makes


You can link to any website this way. However, when linking to other users on Duolingo, there is a shorthand.

[Text to display](/username)

[Teenage_Polyglot profile](/Teenage_Polyglot)

Teenage_Polyglot profile

YOu can also show images or gifs here. The code is:

![](Image or Gif URL)

![]( will make

Line Separators

To separate long paragraphs with a line, you just need to go to a new line, and type three“-”



As m.tastic showed, you can make bullet points by adding an asterisk and a space on the lie you want. So: /* Option One/

/* Option 2/

will make

  • Option 1

  • Option 2

Cancelling Formatting

As m.tastic pointed out, adding a backslash to both sides of the text stops formatting.

Image Referencing

As lindakanga pointed out, Duolingo supports image references. This means if you need to post an image several times in a thread you can do so easily. You can do this by typing the following code into the discussion: /[Type name]: Image URL "Hover text"/. Then, when you want to call that image, you can do so by calling it with the following code: ![][type name]. You can choose the type name yourself, just make sure it stays the same through.


See how to make a chart here

I hope you found this helpful! If I missed anything, please let me know!

July 3, 2015


You can also make numbered lists this way :

  1. first line
  2. second line
  3. third line

And to do a line break, i.e., write text on the next line without making a paragraph, with an empty line between the two, leave two spaces at the end of your line (in this example represented by underscores) :

Line one__
Line two

Compare it to a paragraph :

Line one

Line two

Also, all this information can be found here.

July 6, 2015

What a helpful person you are!

July 6, 2015

Thanks! I honestly just love making things like this, and bettering this community.

July 6, 2015

Wow, this post is really cool! I could have used it when I was starting out.

Here's a cool trick:

*Hello!* = Hello!


\*Hello!\* = *Hello!*

Backslashes basically undo the formatting codes.

Lists are also made this way:

* One

* Two

* Three

shows up as

  • One

  • Two

  • Three

Also, you only need 3 dashes to make a horizontal line.
July 4, 2015

Cool! thanks! If you don't mind, can I add it in the post, and credit you? I'll move this out into the main forum Monday, but needed to make suremy formatting was correct.

July 4, 2015

Sure :) And thanks for this post!

July 4, 2015

/Line 1/ /Line2/

August 17, 2017
September 11, 2017
  • One
  • Two
  • Three
August 17, 2017
December 18, 2017

A slightly more comprehensive guide can be found here.

February 14, 2017

Wow, that's fantastic! I had discovered the italics feature by accident but I had no idea (haha) about all the rest. Thanks so much for taking the time to write all that up!

July 6, 2015

No problem ;) Glad you learned something!

July 7, 2015

I think you may have a typo here :) "To indent text, say to quote something or someone, add a single “.” directly in front of the text." Great guide!

July 8, 2015
  • 1915

It's important to note that there cannot be a line directly above a list, otherwise it won't format.

- Foo
- Bar



  • Foo
  • Bar

This took me far too long to figure out.

June 13, 2018

Linking this post

[Linking this post](/comment/9386889)

July 6, 2015

Testing reply.

Linking this comment

[Linking this comment](/comment/9386889/#comment-9429480)

DL has no way (or is impractical?) to directly link to comments of the post.

July 6, 2015

You can directly link to a comment but it's a bit tricky and involves looking at the raw HTML to work out exactly what to put in the link.

July 6, 2015

Yeah, it's exactly what I did, viewed the html to directly link to this particular comment.

I guess this isn't practical since the comment page is generated dynamically as one scrolls down through the comments.

July 7, 2015

Ah that's cool then but your worries are unfounded - it will automatically scroll down to the comment, you just need to fix the format of the link:$comment_id=9429480

July 7, 2015

Thanks, that's great

July 6, 2015

Thank you so much. I have been wanting to know that for so long. 10 Lingots. Thanks again.

July 7, 2015

I'm happy to see another site embrace the cult of Markdown. :) Seriously, I love Markdown.

February 15, 2016
December 6, 2016

just tried this for putting a picture on my post, didn't work at all -.-

December 11, 2016

Hmm...What was the code you used? Also, did you double-check to make sure the url was correct?

February 14, 2017


January 31, 2017

(image test)

May 6, 2017


December 31, 2018


December 31, 2018

Welp, I guess not

December 31, 2018

a >!Testing for spoiler feature on reddit!

February 4, 2019

Edit: Apparently the lesser-than sign is disappearing when I try to type that. Rae, I saw your reply in my email:

You would need it symmetrically so it knows where to end: >!On reddit, this text would be spoiled.!< >!On reddit, this text would be spoiled.!

Apparently you figured that out too.

February 7, 2019
  • 1915

Yeah, that's why I deleted my comment. There is no option to preview what it looks like on here, so when mine ended up looking like yours, I realized what was going on. It wasn't you, it was Duo.

February 7, 2019

So I'm just sitting here reading how to format and realize that I should test it








January 12, 2019

For single spacing after a sentence: [space + space + enter]

Here is a good example of what I am talking about: [enter] This should be on the line below but it is on the same line.

In this example, I added 2 spaces at the end of the line: [2 spaces / enter]
Now, this is on the line below.

January 18, 2019

March 28, 2019

Other than the tons of people who dislike posts just because, this community is really nice.

September 24, 2016

August 17, 2017

June 17, 2018

January 14, 2019


January 14, 2019

And for guillemet quotes, copy-and-paste : « and »

May 14, 2019

Better than angle brackets : << and >>

May 14, 2019

May 14, 2019


February 15, 2016

Merci pour cela!

August 6, 2017

<h2>ONE HASHTAG</h2>

August 16, 2017

Thanks TeenagePolyglot! I know I'm late and that you're offline but thanks!

October 8, 2017

Hi Hi Hi Hi

October 10, 2017


October 29, 2017


So cool

March 20, 2018

I cant put my own photo can anyone help

June 17, 2018

[deactivated user]


    June 30, 2018

    everytime i post something it highligts it i dont want it highlighted.... :(

    October 27, 2018

    Thank you so much!!! This helps so much!!

    December 10, 2018

    December 22, 2018

    test test test

    January 19, 2019

    ya yeet

    live love laugh

    April 11, 2019
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