WhatsApp is the world’s most popular chat platform in part due to its constant innovation. The Facebook-owned mobile app offers nice touches unavailable in most of its competitors. For example, markdown characters help users emphasise certain words via italics or bold, and WhatsApp even allows users to cross out words and alter fonts.

WhatsApp’s formatting feature is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices, with little differences between the two.

Previous iterations of WhatsApp offered more options to Android than iPhone.

But now it is almost identical across the board.

It is consequently important to ensure users have updated to the latest version of WhatsApp in order to get the most out of formatting text in your chats.

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How to use Markdown for Formatting:

WhatsApp allows users to personalise their messages with italics, bold, and strikethrough text simply by inserting special characters before and after the text.

The use of these special characters is referred to as markdown.

Users can even transform regular font into a monospaced font with the right syntax – here is how.

Insert an underscore (_) on both sides of a word or phrase to italicise it.

Add an asterisk (*) on either side of a word or phrase to make it bold.

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Including a tilde (~) on both sides of a word or phrase to cross out the text.

Type a trio of grave accents, also known as backquotes or back-ticks (“`), on both sides of a word or phrase to use the monospace font.

WhatsApp for both iOS and Android provides a live preview of text as you type, allowing users to see precisely how messages appear when sent.

Users can either combine italics, bold, and strikethroughs should they want.

However, if monospace is applied to any other formatted text, it will cancel it, as monospace removes all formatting when the font changes.

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How to format via the Contextual Menu:

Both Android and iOS also contain a simple contextual menu allowing users to select bold, italic, strikethrough, or monospace.

Android users should long-press the target word, then drag the selectors to highlight more words or characters if necessary.

They can also tap vertical ellipsis from the contextual menu that pops up, then select your formatting option.

Apple iOS users can long-press too, as well as double-tapping the word instead to see the selection.