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Atlas Quest


This help is for HTML-style markup. You can use it almost anywhere there is a box of text, but you’ll most often find it useful on the message boards, in your clues, or in AQ mail. It cannot be used in form elements that only allow a single line of text such as a message board post or the name of a letterbox.

Quoting Text

By far, the most commonly used tag on the message boards: quoting text. Text surrounded by <quote> and </quote> will be displayed in a special box marking it as quoted text. So for instance, if someone mentions that national parks do not allow letterboxing and this is shocking to you so you want to follow up and ask why, you could type this: <quote>National Parks do not allow letterboxing.</quote> then follow up with the appropriate degree of shock. That will generate the box below:

National Parks do not allow letterboxing.

This is, naturally, the recommended way to quote a small segment of the post you are replying to.

Decorating Text

For those of you that know HTML, decorating text is as easy as using HTML. For those of you who do not know HTML, it’s as simple as surrounding the text you want to decorate with tags that mark the beginning and end of the decorated text.

To italicize text, begin the decorated text with <i> and end it with </i>. That’s it! To create bold text, use <b> and </b> respectively. And to underline text? Yes, use <u> and </u>.

Some examples will make this even clearer:

Create this: The fox jumped over the fence By typing this: This fox <i>jumped</i> over the fence Create this: The shelter protected the letterboxer from rain By typing this: The <b>shelter</b> protected the letterboxer from rain Create this: The snake bit the unsuspecting letterboxer By typing this: The <u>snake</u> bit the unsuspecting letterboxer

Less common tags include subscripts and superscripts, typewriter text, deleted text and spoiler text. Let’s see some example:

Create this: The molecular structure for water is H2O By typing this: The molecular structure for water is H<sub>2</sub>O Create this: Einstein figured out that E = mc2 By typing this: Einstein figured out that E = mc<sup>2</sup> Create this: This is monospace text, where the width of all characters is the same. By typing this: <tt>This is monospace text, where the width of all characters is the same.</tt> Create this: This is ‘deleted’ text. By typing this: <del>This is ‘deleted’ text.</del> Create this: This is hidden text—useful for hiding spoilers. (Mouse over or click to reveal text.) By typing this: <spoiler>This is hidden text—useful for hiding spoilers.</spoiler>

Linking the Web Together

Often times, you’ll want to post a link to a webpage or resource somewhere on the Internet. The normal a href tags will work, but it’s somewhat of a mouthful to type, so there is a shortcut syntax to create links a bit quicker and easier. Some examples will make the syntax clearer.

Create this: Atlas Quest By typing this: <a href="">Atlas Quest</a> Create this: Atlas Quest by typing this: [ Atlas Quest] Create this: By typing this: []

Showing Images

Images are not allowed in most places on Atlas Quest such as the message boards. It helps keep the boards running fast for folks on slow Internet connections. There are, however, a couple of exceptions including the Help pages and your AQ-hosted letterboxing clues.

Create this: Pet Friendly By typing this: <img src="" alt="Pet Friendly" />

The alternate text is not required, but it is considered good style to include something in place of the image for the blind (screen readers can scan the text, but not the image) or for those who have images disabled.

Showing Videos

Videos, like images, are not allowed in most places on Atlas Quest such as the message boards for the same reasons. Like with images, however, there are a couple of exceptions including the Help pages and your AQ-hosted letterboxing clues.

Create this: By typing this: <video src="" />

The video is required to be in the MP4 format. If you attempt to include a video on a page that does not allow it, the video will be turned into a link instead.

Creating Lists

You have two types of lists to choose from: ordered and unordered. An ordered list is numbered while the unordered list use bullets to mark each list item. It’s a bit messy with the HTML markup, but it can be done!

Create this:
  1. First list item
  2. Second list item
By typing this: <ol> <li>First list item</li> <li>Second list item</li> </ol>
Create this: By typing this: <ul> <li>First list item</li> <li>Second list item</li> </ul>

Creating Tables

Yes, you can create some pretty cool looking tables. It’s a syntax nightmare, and if you do it often, you might want to switch to the wiki-style formatting, but here’s how it works:

Create this:
Row 1, Col 1Row 1, Col 2
Row 2, Col 1Row 2, Col 2
By typing this: <table> <tr><td>Row 1, Col 1</td><td>Row 1, Col 2</td></tr> <tr><td>Row 2, Col 1</td><td>Row 2, Col 2</td></tr> </table>

Miscellaneous Options

In rare cases, you might want to post a table or some other data that must be formatted in a specific way. Web browsers, unless told otherwise, will squish multiple spaces into a single space. You can turn off this behavior by putting the text in question between the <pre> and </pre> tags. For instance, you might want to create a list of costs you incurred to create a letterbox that looks like this:

Eraser:        $0.67
X-acto knife:   3.99
Ziplock bags:   2.99
Box:            1.99

Unless you put that entire list between <pre> and </pre> tags, it’ll turn out like this:

Eraser: $0.67 X-acto knife: 3.99 Ziplock bags: 2.99 Box: 1.99 ------- $9.64

You can use header tags to mark sections of your post as headings. Header tags use the format <hX> where X is a number from 1 to 6 that specifies what size of header to use. Here are examples of all header tags:

<h1>Header 1</h1>

<h2>Header 2</h2>

<h3>Header 3</h3>

<h4>Header 4</h4>

<h5>Header 5</h5>
<h6>Header 6</h6>

And finally, you can add links to If there’s a book or other product that you want to link to, there’s a special construct to make it really snazzy:

Create this: The Letterboxer’s Companion
By typing this: [amazon:0762746793 The Letterboxer’s Companion]

Be sure to hover your mouse cursor over the link to see the snazziest part! That number is the ISBN number of the book on Amazon. Items without ISBN numbers have an ASIN—an equivalent of ten alphanumeric characters. You’d have to look up the item on Amazon’s website to find its ASIN.

To help secure Atlas Quest against hackers, only these HTML elements are supported at this time. Additionally, Atlas Quest is very picky about what it will accept as a valid HTML—much more so than browsers will tolerate. Atlas Quest will only accept tags that have no spaces or additional attributes included. So if you use <b > to begin your decorated text, Atlas Quest will not interpret it as a tag and instead display exactly what you typed: <b >.

If you include a URL in one of your posts, the link must be complete, including the http:// (or https:// or ftp:// or mailto:) part at the beginning of the URL. If you write a URL without the prefix, such as, it will not be turned into a link.

Because it is possible to make mistakes (forgetting a closing tag of an element, for instance), it is recommended that you preview your posts before posting them to ensure everything looks like you expect it to.

Also available: a wiki-style markup. Which of these that Atlas Quest applies to your text depends on your Preferences. You can check out our Markup Comparisons chart to see at a glance how all of the versions compare.