HTML on Craigslist

Part of what makes Craigslist so popular is the simplicity of the entire site. It is easy to post ads, navigate the site, search for items, and it’s overall pretty straight forward. However, when it comes to posting an ad, it’s simplicity can be somewhat of a drawback. Everything you type in the posting description is automatically put into one big paragraph. Therefore, it can take a little extra work to make sure your ad looks just the way you want it.

It is a good idea to make multiple paragraphs, lists, or even just ad some space between different parts of the ad. Not only is it easier on the eyes, but having a more attractive looking ad will be more inviting to read and will possibly generate a better response out of those who see your it.

To change the format of different parts of the ad you must put what are called “tags” around each part you would like to change. Tags are not visible in the ad itself but they are used by computers to interpret what you want them to do. A tag consists of two parts, an opening tag and a closing tag. The only difference between the two is that a closing tag has a forward slash ( / ) in it. This is what an opening and closing tag look like:

<opening tag> </closing tag>

So all you are going to need to do is just say what you want the tag to do inside the brackets, and put what you want the tag to affect in between the brackets. Note that most tags are abbreviations of the word describing what they do.

Probably the quickest and easiest way to make your ad look good is to simply type it up how you want it to look and put it between a set of <pre> </pre> tags. This will make your ad look exactly like you typed it. “Pre” stands for “pre-formatted text” which basically does nothing. However, without these tags, Craigslist will scrunch your whole ad into one big paragraph. So instead of telling your computer to make separate paragraphs and lists and such, it will simply allow you to keep it in it’s original form.

Note: Text font may change when using this approach.

In the table below there are examples of different ways you can manipulate text in the posting description of an ad. All you need to do is insert the text you want to change in between the tags in the table. The left side shows the HTML code needed and the right side shows what it will look like when the ad is posted.


HTML Results
<pre>Pre formatted text goes hereMore text…No other tags are needed.
Pre formatted text goes here.

More text...

No other tags are needed!
<b>Bold Text</b><i>Italic Text</i><u>underlined text</u> Bold TextItalic Textunderlined text
<blockquote>indented text</blockquote>
		indented text
<font color=”green”>green</font> Supported colors:
<p>Individual Paragraph</p> Individual paragraph.Second paragraph with a space before it.
<br>line break</br> This will create asingle line break
<hr>horizontal line</hr>


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