LOLCats From Your Phone To RSS – The LOL-* Specification From

LOL-* (Pronounced “LOL STAR”)  is a simple and compact markup language for creating image macros on your mobile phone via MMS.

An implementation of this language has been included as part of the MMS to RSS gateway.

When you submit an MMS message from a mobile phone you typically send one media element with a subject. A server capable of rendering LOL-* is able to extract the LOL-* markup and render one or more captions or annotations onto the encapsulated media.

Caption Your MMS Submissions

Any text you put at the start of the subject in square brackets.

[Like This]

will be turned into a caption.


The remainder of the subject will be left as is, so if you send

[Fear Me Human]Why is my kitty growling?

It will caption the image with “Fear Me Human” and the subject will be “Why is my kitty growling?”


Why is my kitty growling?

wallpaper,Why is my kitty growling?


A Caption can be positioned in three rows on your photo, [Top/Middle/Bottom]. The / character is used to switch to the next row.

A more complicated example is

[I/love/these things]Tribbles taste like chicken.

which will caption the image on three lines “I” will be at the top, “Love” will be in the middle and “These Things” will be at the bottom. The Subject of the message will be “Tribbles taste like chicken!”

Tribbles taste like chicken.


You can of course leave the first two rows blank if you want your caption at the bottom as in this next example,

[//I Is Raptor U Fool!!]Why does my Kitty Have Glowing Eyes?

…which will caption the image at the bottom with “I Is Raptor You Fool!”. The Subject of the message will be “Why does my Kitty Have Glowing Eyes?”

Why does my Kitty Have Glowing Eyes?

Putting a < or > in your caption will align the text to the left or the right so…

[<Oh hai, can I Ha..//>WTF!!]

…will put a caption at the top, left justified and at the bottom right justified.


All captions are automatically capitalised, they just seem to look better that way.

If characters are already capitalised, they will remain capitalised. Note the WTF!! in the previous example was not converted to Wtf!!

Here is another example.

[//O RLY?]


You don’t have to end your caption instruction with a ] if you are not going put some text after it, such that …

[nom nom nom

…will still work as a top caption even though the caption command is missing its final ]


As part of an MMS message standard you are also allowed to send one or more large blocks of text, which ThumbWhere treats as the message body.

If you send a video, the caption will be rendered over the top of the thumbnail and the video will remain unaltered.

If you run out of room in the Subject, keep the Subject blank and use the message body. If the Subject is blank, the Body will be treated as the subject and image commands such as caption and rotation will come from the body.

Image Rotation. Not all phones have sensors to detect if you are taking an image on its side, so you may need to rotate the image from your phone for it to make sense.

Luckily you can do this as part of LOL-*

Rotate Your MMS Submissions

You can add special commands to the start of the subject to rotate your photos. This is useful if your phone’s camera functions don’t automatically rotate an image before sending it via MMS

< Will rotate the photo left (anti-clockwise)

> Will rotate the photo right (clockwise)

So if you sent in the following subject

>I Love My Kitty!

Your picture will be rotated to the right and given the subject of “I Love My Kitty.”

You can rotate your image before applying a caption such that if you sent in the following subject

>[Distinctly Told//Not To Mow During The Day]Australia - Its Hot

Your picture will be rotated to the right and given the subject of “Australia – Its Hot”, a top caption of “Distinctly Told” and a bottom caption of “Not To Mow During The Day”

Australia – Its Hot

LOL-* is being constantly extended. I will post updates.

If you think these instruction can be made better – please send me an email.

About James McParlane

CTO Massive Interactive. Ex Computer Whiz Kid - Now Grumpy Old Guru.
This entry was posted in LOL-STAR, Mobile Phones, Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to LOLCats From Your Phone To RSS – The LOL-* Specification From

  1. Robz says:

    Can you do anything with just an SMS phone?

  2. Sorry for the delay, been rather busy with updates to ThumbWhere

    With an SMS only phone. if you submit to ThumbWhere via +61-407-999-927 it will go up as a text message, but if you include any LOL-* they will be stripped out as there is no media to apply the captions to.

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