Now as WhatsApp offers options for bold, Italic & strike-through text, how not to make the text bold while still enclosing it in *. Any kind of escape character?

For example: *test* will result in test (bold).

I want to send a phone-recharge number as *127*123456789#, but it goes as 127123456789# (127 as bold). Is there any escape character to keep * as * instead of it making text bold?

9 Answers 9


You could send it as code using three back-ticks, similar to formatting code here on StackExchange:

*word* = word

```*word*``` = *word*

(Note: it will use a monospace font).

  • 2
    Yes, visually it goes as intended, thanks, upvoted. But the text does not gets recognized as a dial-able number, and once copied, the backticks also gets copied.
    – DavChana
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 20:46
  • 1
    Hmm, that's awkward. Oh well, hopefully help in other cases.
    – Leo
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 20:50
  • 3
    Yes very helpful in other cases.
    – Lokesh
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 8:56

Excerpt from the official WhatsApp FAQ:

Note: There is no option to disable this feature.

See https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/general/26000002

  • 3
    Wrong. Surrounding with three ``` Disables. Syntax is ``` any text *not will format * ``` Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 9:31
  • 2
    But this does not disable formatting, it just monospaces the text and therefore no other style is applied.
    – Ercksen
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 10:32

I suggest you quote it instead. '*245*648464885838#'

  • Doesn't work on the web interface, and is not very pretty imho :/ Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 12:43

You could add a space between the asterisk and the word, like * that *

  • Just for information, if someone gets here, this is no longer true, since they have added the incredibly useful and demanded autoformatting feature of transforming anything starting with an asterisk or a hyphen to a list, so the number *127*223... will be transformed into: - 127*223...
    – Unapedra
    Commented Mar 20 at 8:24

Extended from this answer, you can prefix the first * with a Zero Width Joiner character. So the text will be verbatim, with no extra visible space and with the standard font.

[Paste ZWJ here]*127*123456789#

It's working on Android but it may not work on iOS.


Well I have played a bit around, and WhatsApp is really not consistent between various media. The ZWJ answer (copy ZWJ here), imho the best, looks fine in iOS (and apparently on Android according to Julien Ehrhart), but will still result in bold on the web interface.

So for me, none of the solutions is really satisfying. Here is the workaround I found: ❊another❊ unicode star symbol. Pick the one you like best: ✶ ★ ☆ ✯ ✩ ✪ ✫ ✬ ✭ ✮ ✶ ✷ ✵ ✸ ✹ ✺ ❊ ❋ ❈ ※ ❅ ❆


You can do it like this:


Technically the asterisks will be in a different font, but that's not really noticeable. The output will look just like *test*


Just add this ', single quotation mark before whole message no need to add it in end just add it in starting of message and WhatsApp will not bold text inside * symbol.

For eg.: If your message is "hello *dear" then to not bold the word "dear", write it as " 'hello *dear ". It works!

  • doesn't work in the web interface
    – pashute
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 14:10
  • This doesn't work on Android.
    – Max Meijer
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 9:57

You could double the character, such as **text**, the word text will be bold, but the asterisk will remain.

  • 2
    No.. using double ** will not bold the text and it will go like ** text **.
    – serenesat
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 6:56
  • @serenesat You're wrong. This works. Only difference is everything is bolded except the last asterisk.
    – Neo
    Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 12:49
  • @Neo Read the question again. OP wants output as *text* but if you use **text**, the output will be in bold with asterisk also in bold, which doesn't answer the question completely. You need to test it in WhatsApp. Also, my comment was before answer get edited.
    – serenesat
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 8:27
  • @serenesat My comment has nothing to do with the question. I am replying to your comment to an answer. And saying "using double ** will not bold the text and it will go like ** text **" is simply incorrect because that sentence is not true regardless of whatever context you put it in. The answer being edited is irrelevant here, because your comment implies you clearly understood the original answer's intent before the typo was corrected.
    – Neo
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 12:51
  • @Neo It's been 2 years, I do not comment or answer without testing. Something might have changed. I don't remember exactly, so no point of argument.
    – serenesat
    Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 9:23

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