Sometimes plain old boring text just doesn’t cut it when you want to leave a comment on YouTube. Maybe you want to get noticed by your favourite influencer, or perhaps you want a comment to be understood by readers on a deeper level.
Whatever the reason, YouTube permits some text formatting when you leave a comment under a video. There are three effects to choose from to dress up your text; bold, italic and
Unlike word processors and email clients, there are no text formatting icons available with YouTube to change the style; instead, you have to type in other special characters either side of the text you want to style.
So let’s jump in and take a look at how you can format your text in a YouTube comment.
Bolding words is a centuries-old technique of dressing up the visual appearance of text. Bolding strengthens the emphasis of a particular word or phrase, and you might do this because you want to highlight the importance of a point.
For example, ‘I can’t believe she did that’ sounds different in your head when you read it as ‘I can’t believe she did that’.
In the olden days, scribes used a quill and ink to hand-thicken writing to emphasise a word. Later on, printers used a different font style to emphasise words. Then, in 1845, an enhanced ‘Clarendon’ font typeface was designed, that contained an extra set of type in the same style, but bolder.
To change your text style, so it displays in bold in a YouTube comment, you need to add an asterisk (*) either side of the word or phrase. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t add in and additional spaces.
Meaning each asterisk (or star) should be next to the first and last letter of the text you want to display as bold. If you are struggling to find the asterisk (*) it’s located on most English layout keyboards as the alternative character to the number 8.
Hold down the shift key and press 8 to test it yourself.
Here is an example of bolding text. Copy and paste the following string of text into a YouTube comment yourself and hit the ‘Comment’ button to see how it looks.
Don’t mind me, I’m just figuring out how to make text *bold* !
After you’ve posted your comment, the text with the asterisks on either side is displayed in bold. The asterisks have disappeared from the posted comment, and your’s now stands out from all the drab standard text above and below it!
Note: If you want to add punctuation after a comment you have boldened, you need to add in a space after the closing asterisk. If you don’t put the space in, it will ‘break’ the instruction, and your comment will display the asterisks.
Italics is a font style where the writing slopes from left to right. They were first designed in the 1500s, and Wikipedia says that using italics is ‘the print equivalent of underlining‘. Some grammatical conventions say that you should use italics when writing spoken words too, like;
Jenny bounded up the stairs and said, here I am!
Other conventions say that you should use italics when you identify something like a book or a film. One example that works for both is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Whatever you choose to italicise, it’s another form of emphasis you can add to your writing. There are no hard and fast rules, though, so use it however you’d like.
To make the text display in italics, you need to follow the same process as for making text bold, but this time instead of the asterisk you should use the underscore sign (_) directly either side of the text you want to change.
The underscore is a bit of a funny character. It’s found on the same key as the minus sign, or hyphen, and is a character that a lot of people often confuse.
To get the underscore sign press the dash/minus character button while holding down the shift key. The underscore is most often found to the right of the 0 (zero) in the horizontal row of number keys.
Here is an example of italicising the text. Copy and paste the following text string exactly as it is into a YouTube comment section.
Now I’m typing in _italics_ , there really is no stopping me!
Once again, after you have clicked on the comment button, stand back and admire your newfound power. But don’t let it go to your head just yet – there is more to learn.
Sometimes instead of deleting something you have written, you might want to strike it out instead, to show the reader that you have changed your mind but let them still read what you previously thought.
Interestingly, the writers of the Domesday Book did strikethrough some entries with red ink. But in this situation, they were doing a medieval version of underlining rather than striking through a written word so they could use another. Conventions change over time.
Today, strikethrough is generally used in two ways. Firstly, in the usual manner, for example, The meeting will be held at
Newcastle-Under-Lyme Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Many people, though, use it for humour. Like, ‘today I have been watching Netflix in my onesie working my butt off on an essay’.
To make text display with the strikethrough effect in a YouTube comment, again you need to place a special character either side of the word you want to format. The character used for strikethrough is the minus or hyphen sign (-).
Here is an example of strikethrough text. Copy and paste the following text string exactly as it is into the YouTube comment section.
Gaze upon my glory as I perform the magic of -strikethrough- !
Click the comment button to update your entry and take a look at that lovely effect.
OK, I hope you’re sitting down for this part because it’s likely to blow your mind. You can combine all three effects into the same sentence!
I know this information may be more than some readers can handle. But let’s plough on regardless.
Here’s an example:
First they told me I couldn’t *bold* , then they said _italics_ was beyond my capabilities, and they laughed and pointed saying ‘you’ll never know -strikethrough- ’. Well *whose* _laughing_ -now- !
In all seriousness, don’t overuse text formatting in your YouTube comments. Sometimes when you learn how to do something new, you can go a little overboard and get carried away.
Additionally, formatting the whole of a long comment in bold or italic means that you will stand out, but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of drawing in attention to your comment, people will assume you are a little crazy, and ignore your comment instead.
Bold, italics, and strikethrough are there to emphasise a few words and communicate what you are saying more effectively.
Of course, it’s easy to add emojis to your YouTube comments when using your smartphone. Smartphone keyboards aren’t physical like desktop keyboards, so it’s easy to add in extra functions and characters.
But if you’ve ever wondered how to add emojis to your youtube comments using a physical keyboard with a laptop or desktop PC? Let me tell you the secret; there are three ways.
On Apple Mac, you can bring up an emoji menu using the keyboard shortcut control+command+spacebar. This gives you access to the same group of emojis you find on your iPhone, and you can click on the popup to add in an emoji wherever the cursor is flashing.
If you use Windows 10, then there is a similar emoji menu pop-up with a keyboard shortcut. Press the Windows key plus the full-stop or semi-colon key to bring up the emoji selector.
If you don’t like either of these options, or you are on an older version of Windows, then you can copy and paste emojis directly into YouTube comments.
Go to a website like Get Emoji. This site has a list of all the standard emojis, which you can copy and paste into YouTube comments and a whole host of other social media applications.
Simply highlight the emoji you want and copy it. Then, navigate back to your YouTube comment to paste the emoji in. Voila!
So there you have it. I hope you liked this little guide to enhancing text comments for YouTube. Head over to my YouTube account now, and leave me a comment using bold, italic, or
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.