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A pure python bbcode parser and formatter.

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The easiest way to install the bbcode module is with pip, e.g.:

pip install bbcode


Python, tested with versions 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8. Also tested with PyPy (2 and 3).

Basic Usage

# Using the default parser.
import bbcode
html = bbcode.render_html(text)

# Installing simple formatters.
parser = bbcode.Parser()
parser.add_simple_formatter('hr', '<hr />', standalone=True)
parser.add_simple_formatter('sub', '<sub>%(value)s</sub>')
parser.add_simple_formatter('sup', '<sup>%(value)s</sup>')

# A custom render function.
def render_color(tag_name, value, options, parent, context):
    return '<span style="color:%s;">%s</span>' % (tag_name, value)

# Installing advanced formatters.
for color in ('red', 'blue', 'green', 'yellow', 'black', 'white'):
    parser.add_formatter(color, render_color)

# Calling format with context.
html = parser.format(text, somevar='somevalue')

Advantages Over Postmarkup

  • More tag options for how/when to escape - for instance, you can specify whether to escape html or perform cosmetic replacements on a tag-by-tag basis. Same for auto-linking and transforming newlines.

  • More liberal (and accurate) automatic link creation, using John Gruber's URL regular expression:

  • Does not swallow unrecognized tags. For example, [3] will be output as [3], not silently ignored.

  • More flexible tag option parser. Tags may have standard bbcode options, for example [url=something]text[/url], but may also have named options, for example [url=something alt=icon]text[/url]. These options are passed to the render function as a standard python dictionary.

  • Ability to specify tag opening and closing delimiters (default: [ and ]). A side benefit of this is being able to use this library to selectively strip HTML tags from a string by using < and >.

  • Includes a runnable unittest suite.

  • Python 3 support.

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