QnA How-To’s

BBCodes Used On QnA

QnA uses only 3 BBCodes for formatting text. They are Bold, Underline, and Italic.

The codes used are b, u and i respectively.

[B]Text to be bolded[/B]
Text to be bolded

[U]Text to be underlined[/U]
Text to be underlined

[I]Text to be italicized[/I]
Text to be italicized

BBCodes can not be used in a Question’s title, but you can use them in the question’s comment or explanation box.

How To Make A Clickable Link

QnA does not use a BBCode to make a link hot but rather HTML. For simplicity you can also just copy or paste in the actual URL which will become hot when rendered.

Standard HTML for a link (an anchor in HTML speak) looks like this:
<a href="http://paulsadowski.com/">Paul’s Home Page</a>
is rendered like this: Paul’s Home Page

Instead of trying to explain the component parts, you only need to replace http://paulsadowski.com/ with the full URL you want to use (be sure to include the http:// part known as the protocol). And replace Paul’s Home Page with whatever text you want displayed as the link text.

This works only with the HTTP protocol. Do not bother to try the file protocol, for example, as the text will not then be parsed as an anchor.

Use ALT Codes For Symbols

To use a symbol find the number of the symbol you want to use in the table below and then press and hold the ALT key and then the number or numbers of the symbol on the numeric keypad portion of your keyboard.

Alt 1 Happy Smiley
Alt 2 Sad Smiley
Alt 3  Heart
Alt 4 Diamond
Alt 5  Club
Alt 6  Spade
Alt 7  Bullet 1
Alt 8  Bullet 2
Alt 9  Bullet 3
Alt 10   Bullet 4
Alt 11  Male Sign
Alt 12  Female Sign
Alt 13  Quaver
Alt 14  Joined Quavers
Alt 16  Play Forward
Alt 17  Play Reverse
Alt 254  Stop
Alt 30   
Alt 31   
Alt 23   
Alt 24  Up Arrow
Alt 25  Down Arrow
Alt 26  Right Arrow
Alt 27  Left Arrow
Alt 15  
Alt 18   
Alt 29  

Searching QnA

The simplest search in QnA is a substring search. You type in a word or phrase and QnA will return all topics which contain the search term.

As a substring search ‘st’ returns matches on things such as steve, stun, start, stop, stipple, stifle, stagnate, worst, best

You can combine search terms with the AND keyword. For example, fish AND bake will return only those topics which include both words, fish and bake. You can refine searches using the AND operator. For example, rap AND music would return topics dealing with rap music but not country music.

Why not just search on rap music. You can! the AND operator is implied.

You can use the OR operator to search for multiple terms where all or some of the terms are present. For example, red OR purple will return result which contain red alone, purple alone, and purple and red together.

How might you use the OR operator? bowling OR golf would return topics that mention either or both sports.

(ham AND eggs) OR toast returns any posts that include both words ham and eggs, or the word toast. Ham and eggs are grouped together to be used as a single condition (ham and eggs) otherwise without the grouping the search would return all items containing eggs, ham or toast individually or collectively.

If your search string is enclosed in quotations then only the exact string match is returned. For example, "Chi Chi" returns only those items that mention chi chi and nit just chi.

The NOT operator is a negative operator that says do NOT return items. For example, apple NOT cake will return all posts with the word apple except for those posts that also contain the word cake.


You can search for topics with specific tags like this:
meta:Search.tag("beginTag searchtag endTag")

For example:
meta:Search.tag("beginTag Technology endTag")

Use the AND operator to search multiple tags:
meta:Search.tag("beginTag Technology endTag") AND meta:Search.tag("beginTag Optical endTag")


There are 4 searches that search questions or answers by/from specific users. Unfortunately the search doesn’t support usernames but only user IDs, a long string of digits and letters unique to each user.

To find a given user’s User ID find a post by them and click on their avator. In the address bar of your browser you will see a string that begins with ?uid= the string of numbers and letters following ?uid is the user’s ID. Do not confuse this with qid which is the ID of a question.

Using uid’s you can search for

  • questions from a specific uid
        Meta:search.qauthor(userid)
  • answers from a specific uid
        Meta:search.aauthor(userid)
  • comments from a specific uid
        Meta:search.cauthor(userid)
  • answer voted best answer for a specific uid
        Meta:search. bestaauthor(userid)

Replace the word userid with the uid string for a specific user.

You can search on the state of questions:

  • questions that can still be answered
        Meta:search.qstate(0)
  • questions that are closed but can be voted upon
        Meta:search.qstate(1)
  • questions that are closed and can not be voted upon
        Meta:search.qstate(2)

Using these last two searches you can come up with some handy compound searches.

For example, to find all your closed questions that still can be voted upon use this:
Meta:search.qauthor(userid) AND Meta:search.qstate(1)

Replace userid above with your own userid or the userid of another user.

Happy QnA’ing!

© 2003-2007 by Paul R. Sadowski   
All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. 

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