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WhatsApp launched four new text formatting options globally on Wednesday. These new options join the existing bold, italic, strikethrough, and monospace formatting options. A new range of text tools allows users to send messages in bulleted and numbered lists, as well as two different citation styles. The new Markdown-style syntax is available in WhatsApp for Android, iOS, web, and Mac. Along with this, the instant messaging platform is also reportedly testing a new feature to protect users from malicious entities taking screenshots of their profile photos.

Gadgets 360 staff was able to test the new formatting options in WhatsApp for Android version 2.24.3.81 and the latest version of WhatsApp Web. Formatted text looks visually neat, and adding formatting is simple. To use a bulleted list, simply add a hyphen ( – ) at the beginning of a new line. When spaces are added, they are automatically converted to bullets. Moving to the next line adds one more bullet, and all you have to do to stop it is to tap backspace.

Numbered lists are easier to use. Entering the number 1 (1) at the beginning of a line, followed by a period ( . ), and then pressing space starts a numbered list. If the chain is broken by using a number other than 1 or by adding a statement without a number, the list will not be executed. The third formatting option is block quotes, which add a pipe symbol ( | ) before a sentence to highlight it. To use it, simply add a ‘greater than’ sign ( > ) and trigger it by adding a space.

Finally, the last quote option is an inline quote, which displays your message inside a grayed out bubble. To use this formatting option in WhatsApp, add backticks ( ` ) before and after sentences without adding spaces between them. The inline citation format will then run automatically. These options have been rolled out globally and will be available to all users in the coming days.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo discovered that the service is working on a feature that would protect users’ profile photos from unauthorized screenshots by others. This feature was discovered in Android beta build version 2.24.4.25. Once enabled, when other people try to take a screenshot, they will see a black screen with the message “Screenshots cannot be taken due to app restrictions.” This is to add another layer to protect user privacy on the platform. A similar feature is available in the Facebook app for smartphones. Users can turn on the Profile Picture Guard option within the Profile Picture window. Once activated, other users will not be able to take screenshots of your profile page or photos.

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