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Text Variables

MBBSEmu / MajorBBS have several text variables that you can embed into menus or text blocks. A text variable is a field that your systems fills automatically every time it is output to a user – for example, if you use the text variable DATE to stand for today's date, users always will see the current date in that field. This sections tells you how to use a text variable and what text variables are available with the basic platform for MBBSEmu.

(Note: Text Variables can be used in menus and also in .msg file blocks)


To embed a text variable using BBSDRAW, move to where you want the left end of the item to be and hit <Alt-V>. Then enter the name of the text variable and choose justification – <Spacebar> toggles these options:

  • None = value is displayed with no truncation or blank padding
  • Left = value is displayed on the left with extra blanks on the right if it is shorter then the format length; value is chopped off on the right if it is too long
  • Right = value is displayed on the right with blank padding on the left
  • Center = value is displayed in the center for the field with spaces around it

Then you choose format length, which is applicable only if Justification is Left, Right, or Center. Text variables are visible on the BBSDRAW screen. They show up with the name of the text variable in them and asterisks (*) surrounding the name. To edit a text variable, point to it and hit <Alt-V> again. To delete a text variable, point to it and hit <Alt-Z>.

Using Notepad++

Notepad++ can be used to embed Text Variables into your existing ANSI menus or MSG files.

First let's break down the basic format of a Text Variable in MBBSEmu / MajorBBS:


  • (1 Byte) SOH = ASCII Byte 0x1 or “Start of Header”
    • N = None, and will ignore padding value
    • C = Center
    • L = Left
    • R = Right
  • (1 Byte) PADDING = ASCII value that represents the # of characters to pad
    • # of spaces to pad is ASCII value of character minus 32
    • Example 1: * ASCII value is 42, subtract 32 = 10 character padding
    • Example 2: 4 ASCII value is 52, subtract 32 = 20 character padding
    • Example 3: 9 ASCII value is 57, subtract 32 = 25 character padding
    • If the padding # is greater then the length of the replaced text variable it will be ignored
  • (1 Byte) SOH = ASCII Byte 0x1 or “Start of Header”

To add a Text Variable:

  1. Insert SOH byte (Edit→Character Panel) and select SOH from the character panel
  2. Enter your Justification (N,C,L,R)
  3. Enter your padding character (Unless you picked “N” for justification, can just put “.”)
  4. Enter the name of your Text Variable (List below)
  5. Insert SOH byte

Example: Example Text Variable in Notepad++

Character Panel for Reference: Character Panel in Notepad++

Text Variable List

Text Variable Description
DATE Current Date
TIME Current Time
CHANNEL Channel Number
SYSTEM_NAME appsettings.json config option BBSTitle
SYSTEM_ADDRESS1 Internal Value “4101 SW 47th Ave., Suite 101”
SYSTEM_ADDRESS2 Internal Value “Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314”
SYSTEM_PHONE Internal Value “(305) 583-7808”
REG_NUMBER appsettings.json config option GSBL.BTURNO
NUMBER_OF_LINES appsettings.json config option BBS.Channels
OTHERS_ONLINE Number of Other Users Online
TOTAL_CALLS *COMING SOON* Total Number of Sessions Ever
TOTAL_ACCOUNTS Total Number of Accounts
BAUD Current Users Baud Rate, always 38400
PAGE Current Module/Menu
USERID Current Users User-Id
CREATION_DATE Date User Signed Up
LAST_ON *COMING SOON* Date User Last Logged In
CREDITS Total Number of Credits, always 31337
TIME_ONLINE Number of hours/mins/secs user has been online
mbbsemu/configuration/text_variables.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/06 23:41 by