WhatsApp’s New Formatting Features Improve Message Readability

edited March 18 in PC Tech

WhatsApp users now have four additional options for formatting text messages: bulleted lists, numbered lists, block quotes, and inline code. Whether you’re sending a grocery list to your partner or communicating technical data to your colleagues, these new features enable you to compose clearer, and more organized and readable messages. 

How to Use the New WhatsApp Formatting Options 

Here’s a quick guide to applying the new text formatting features on WhatsApp

Bulleted Lists 

To start a bulleted list, use a hyphen (–), followed by one space. 

Use Case Examples: Shopping lists; to-do lists; meeting agendas that are unranked 

Numbered Lists 

To start a numbered list, type one or two digits (for example, the number 1), followed by a period (.) and one space. 

Use Case Examples: Recipes and other items with step-by-step instructions; meeting agendas or program lists where the items are ranked by priority or in chronological order 

Block Quotes 

To introduce a block quote (this refers to text that will be indented and easily distinguishable from other messages), type a greater-than (>) symbol and a space, followed by the text or quote. 

Use Case Examples: Emphasizing or reiterating something that a colleague had said in the group chat; highlighting quoted lines from content like articles, books, podcasts, and movies 

Inline Code 

To introduce inline code (a formatting technique where computer code, such as a code snippet, a command, or a variable, is embedded within regular text), wrap the text with backtick (`) symbols. 

Use Case Examples: Giving technical instructions; quoting logs or errors; referencing code elements like variables, functions, or method names 

With the introduction of these four options, the recent WhatsApp update expands the messaging platform’s text formatting toolbox, which already includes bold, italic, monospace, and strikethrough. All formatting options are available on WhatsApp Web, Mac, iOS, and Android. 

Platforms like WhatsApp allow students and professionals to connect, communicate, and collaborate seamlessly and efficiently, regardless of geographical location. You can pair these instant messaging platforms with PCs that are also designed for staying productive on the go, like the Acer TravelMate P4 Laptop

Why Formatting Options Help Improve Message Readability 

Whether you’re using messaging platforms on desktop or mobile, being able to add text formatting such as bold, italics, bulleted or numbered lists, and block quotes is helpful for several reasons. Here are some examples: 

  • Adding Emphasis: Formatting allows users to emphasize certain words or phrases, making it easier to convey tone, intention, or importance in a message. For example, bold text can indicate headings or key points, while italics can be used for emphasis or to denote titles. 
  • Organizing and Differentiating Message Contents: Bulleted lists, numbered lists, and indentation (such as in block quotes) help organize information so messages are more readable and easier to understand. Formatting options also enable users to differentiate easily between different types of content within a conversation. 
  • Increasing Visual Appeal: Using the appropriate formatting options can make messages more engaging and visually pleasing to read. Well-formatted messages are often perceived as more polished and professional. 
  • Providing Expressiveness and Clarity: Users can express themselves more accurately with various formatting tools at their disposal. They can add nuance, emotion, or emphasis to their messages. The ability to do so fosters improved communication and deeper connections with others. 

The extent to which text formatting options benefit users of instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp also varies in different contexts. They can be especially useful in the workplace, where communication between colleagues and collaborators should be clear, understandable, and professional. Formatting isn’t just about jazzing up your messages, but also unlocking greater levels of articulation and engagement in your conversations with others. 

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About Micah Sulit: Micah is a writer and editor with a focus on lifestyle topics like tech, wellness, and travel. She loves writing while sipping an iced mocha in a cafe, preferably one in a foreign city. She's based in Manila, Philippines. 



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