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Django-precise-bbcode is a Django application providing a way to create textual contents based on BBCodes.

BBCode is a special implementation of HTML. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML, tags are enclosed in square brackets [ and ] rather than < and > and it offers greater control over what and how something is displayed.

This application includes a BBCode compiler aimed to render any BBCode content to HTML and allows the use of BBCodes tags in models, forms and admin forms. The BBCode parser comes with built-in tags (the default ones ; b, u, etc) and allows the use of smilies, custom BBCode placeholders and custom BBCode tags. These can be added in two different ways:

  • Custom tags can be defined in the Django administration panel and stored into the database ; doing this allows any non-technical admin to add BBCode tags by defining the HTML replacement string associated with each tag
  • Tags can also be manually registered to be used by the parser by defining a tag class aimed to render a given bbcode tag and its content to the corresponding HTML markup


Online browsable documentation is available at


  • Python 3.5+
  • Django 2.2+
  • PIL or Pillow (required for smiley tags)


Just run:

pip install django-precise-bbcode

Once installed you can configure your project to use django-precise-bbcode with the following steps.

Add precise_bbcode to INSTALLED_APPS in your project's settings module:

    # other apps

Then install the models:

python migrate


Rendering bbcodes

Django-precise-bbcode comes with a BBCode parser that allows you to transform a textual content containing BBCode tags to the corresponding HTML markup. To do this, simply import the get_parser shortcut and use the render method of the BBCode parser:

>>> from precise_bbcode.bbcode import get_parser
>>> parser = get_parser()
>>> parser.render('[b]Hello [u]world![/u][/b]')
'<strong>Hello <u>world!</u></strong>'

It's that easy!

As you may need to render bbcodes inside one of your Django template, this parser can be used as a template filter or as a template tag after loading bbcode_tags:

{% load bbcode_tags %}
{% bbcode entry.bbcode_content %}
{{ "[b]Write some bbcodes![/b]"|bbcode }}

The BBCode content included in the entry.bbcode_content field will be converted to HTML and displayed. The last statement will output <strong>Write some bbcodes!</strong>.

Storing bbcodes

While you can use the Django built-in models.TextField to add your BBCode contents to your models, a common need is to store both the BBCode content and the corresponding HTML markup in the database. To address this django-precise-bbcode provides a BBCodeTextField.

from django.db import models
from precise_bbcode.fields import BBCodeTextField

class Post(models.Model):
    content = BBCodeTextField()

This field will store both the BBCode content and the correspondign HTML markup. The HTML content of such a field can then be displayed in any template by using its rendered attribute:

{{ post.content.rendered }}

And more...

Head over to the documentation for all the details on how to use the BBCode parser and how to define custom BBcode tags, placeholders and smilies.


Morgan Aubert (@ellmetha) and contributors


BSD. See LICENSE for more details.


A Django application for parsing, displaying and editing BBCodes-based text contents.




Contributors 4