Content describes all user-generated data throughout the XenForo system, including threads and posts created within forums. Much of this content shares various facilities for enhancement, including tagging, smilies, tags and BB code text markup.


Smilies, also known as emoticons are small graphical items that can be used to convey emotion or meaning in textual content. While their use has been diminished by the advent of Emoji, there is still a place for them in forums, where specific text combinations are automatically converted into iconic imagery. The most common smilie in use is the :) combination, which is replaced by a smiling face icon.

XenForo comes with a collection of default smilies, and can be extended to add any number of additional smilies as suits the needs of your forum. The smilie manager can be found in the Smilies section of your admin control panel.

Smilie manager

All the smilies currently available for use are listed within the smilie manager, along with their name and any text combinations that can be used to trigger them. For example, the Smile smilie can be triggered with any one of :), :-) or (:.

Individual smilies can be removed from the system using the delete icon, or they can be edited by clicking on their name. New smilies can be added by clicking the Add New Smilie button at the top of the page.


For ease of management, smilies in XenForo can be attached to smilie categories, and the manager will display all your smilies in their respective categories if you choose to use this system.

Import and export

If you have built a large collection of smilies and you'd like to share them, you can use the Export tools in the smilie manager to do so. Similarly, if you have acquired a collection of smilies from another source, you can import them into your own XenForo system using the Import tool.

Smilie editor

Within the smilie editor, you can make all necessary changes to your smilies. The most important, non-obvious controls are described here:

Text to replace

Use this box to enter the text combination(s) that you would like to have replaced by this smilie icon. If you would like to have multiple text combinations apply to a single smilie, enter each one on a single line in the text box.


Smilie text combinations must be unique. If you try to apply the same combination to more than one smilie, the system will alert you that the text combinaiton is already in use, and prevent you from saving the smilie data.

Image replacement URL

Enter the path to your smilie icon graphic in this box. Using an absolute URL can be useful here, but if you use a relative URL, it should be relative to the XenForo home directory (where index.php lives).

Smilie category, Display order and Show this smilie in text editor

These fields control how smilies are presented to users when they are viewing all available smilies in the text editor and smilie help page:

Smilies with higher display order values are shown after those with low display order values.

If you want to attach a smilie to a category but none are shown in the list, you can go back and create new categories from the manager page.


Turning off Show this smilie in the text editor will only prevent it from being shown in the list of smilies that appears when users click the smilie button on the text editor, but it will not prevent it from being used, if users enter its text replacement combination.

Sprite mode

In some cases (such as the default XenForo smilies), smilies will come as part of a large sheet of images, rather than being separate, individual images. The sprite mode controls allow you to define coordinates to pick out a single smilie from within the sheet of images.


Attachments are files that have been uploaded along with users' posts etc. They are frequently images, but can also be text files etc.


You can define exactly what kind of files can be uploaded as attachments using the Allowed Attachment File Extensions box in the Attachments section in the main XenForo options system.

Attachment browser

The attachment browser within the Applications section of your admin control panel allows you to review and manage the attachments that have been uploaded to your forum. There are simple controls to switch between the most recent and the largest attachments, and further controls to allow you to filter these results down to specific file types, owner names and dates.

Once you have found the attachment for which you are looking, you can choose to view it right there in the manager, to view it in the context of its host content (the user post in which it was attached) or to delete it.

You may also delete multiple attachments at the same time by selecting the checkbox next to each attachment in the manager, and then using the Delete Selected Attachments control at the bottom of the list.

Be careful, because once attachments have been deleted, they cannot be recovered, and their host content may no longer make sense without the attached file.

More settings for controlling how users may attach files can be found in the Attachments section of the main XenForo options system.


To help organise your forum, users may add tags to their content. These tags become links, allowing topics that discuss similar things to be grouped and searched.

Tag manager

The tag manager lists all the tags that have been applied to content within your forum, describing the number of items that have been tagged with each tag and the date the tag was most recently applied.

From here, you may click to view all content tagged with a particular tag, or you may merge tags if you decide that they are essentially the same thing.

You may also delete tags from the manager.