Discord offers two primary methods of communication for gamers: text and voice. Voice is ideal for in-game communication, as it doesn’t require you to look away from the action to communicate with your friends. Text chat is primarily useful for communication over longer timescales, as you don’t have to be actively online when the message is sent to receive it.
One of the potential issues with text-based communication is that it can sometimes be hard to communicate emphasis, which if misplaced can change the meaning of a message. A change in emphasis can vary in effect from just making a point more prominently to implying something that isn’t explicitly written.
Discord supports four types of emphasis text styling: bold, underline, italics, and strikethrough. These can each be combined to affect a whole message or any part of a message.
How to add emphasis styling
The markdown syntax for bold is two asterisks on either side of the intended text, **like this**. The syntax for underline is two underscores on either side of the intended text, __like this__. Strikethrough syntax is two tildes on either side of the intended text, ~~like this~~. The syntax for Italics is unnecessarily confusing, however, you can use either a single asterisk or a single underscore on either side, *like this* or _like this_.
You can combine any of the effects by chaining together the syntax, the only restriction is that you need to close the syntax in the reverse of the order you opened it in. For example, if you use the syntax “__*~” to underline, italicise, and strikethrough text, you need to use “~*__” to cancel the effects. You don’t need to cancel all text styling effects at once, but they do need to be ended in the reverse of the order in which they were started.
If you can remember and use the syntax for these styling options that’s great, but if you can’t Discord has a feature to help. If you use the mouse to highlight the text you want to emphasise, a small popup will appear above it. The left three options in the popup will add the syntax for bold, italics, and strikethrough respectively. Unfortunately, this popup doesn’t offer a way to underline text, so you’ll have to remember how to do that one manually.
Tip: In testing, highlighting text with the keyboard with Ctrl + A or Shift + Arrow-Keys did not cause this styling popup to appear. You need to highlight text with the mouse.