The main forum page (Forums) shows a list of forum categories. When you click on the category you then see a list of topics (aka threads) within each category. Within each thread are individual posts from members. You have the option to start a new thread or reply/add to an existing one. (see below)
Your profile info, signature etc.
At the top of the page in the main navigation bar (on the right), you will see your name. This links to your profile area where you can upload a picture (aka avatar) that will appear by your posts, and create a signature that will appear under your posts. For new members the signature is limited, but once you have more posts you can increase its contents and add links etc. These restrictions help to deter spammers and freeloaders.
To start a thread
Click on Forums in the main menu
Click on the Post Thread button (top right) and choose the appropriate forum for your topic, alternatively navigate to the appropriate forum/category first, then click on Post Thread
Type in a title and your post contents, then click the Create Thread button at the bottom
To reply in a thread
General reply: just type in the box at the bottom of the thread or each page and click on the Post reply button
Reply to one post: click on the reply link at the right of the specific post. This will quote the post you are replying to
Reply to more than one post at once: Click on the multiquote link (+ Quote) at the bottom right of the post. This then adds to your "pool" of quotes that become available when you press reply.
Quote just a part of the post: This is a good idea so that you only quote what is relevant. Highlight some of the text in the post. When you release the mouse pointer you will then get the option (+Quote | Reply) to just include that part of the text you wish to quote click +Quote , this will add it to a pool of multiquotes and you should then use insert quotes in the reply box
NB: Editing Quotes
In post editing mode (ie what you see in the message field before submitting) you will see the text surrounded by two quote tags: an open quote and a closed quote:
Open quote =
Close quote =
Due to the ability to just quote part of a post, it should no longer be necessary to edit quotes but if you do please be careful to edit the text between the quote tags and not remove the quote tags themselves.
Everyone tends to be friendly and helpful here so if in doubt about how to use the forum, please don't hesitate to ask a question.
When you type into the reply box at the bottom of each page of a thread, the text is automatically saved every 60 seconds. Alternatively you can save manually using the save icon at the top of the text box
If you do not post, you can come back to that thread and your text will be in the box ready to continue. Drafts are deleted when posted or after 24 hours. They are not deleted if you log out.
You may have more than one saved draft. A draft of a new thread is similarly saved.
Drafts are only available in the thread/forum originally composed in.
There may be issues with some browser so for absolute safety (especially for long posts) you are advised to keep a backup of your own using a word processor or text editor.
Images and Videos in Posts
There are various ways to include an image in a post:
Click on the image icon above the text field when posting a message and upload from your computer or enter the URL of the image (the URL of the actual image, not the web page that the image is on).
Copy and paste (CTRL+C CTRL+V) an image from your computer into the text editor
Drag and drop an image from your computer to the text editor.
To post a video from Youtube etc.
First copy the Youtube URL . You can get this by clicking on Share underneath the video - it is the bit that starts with https://
Go back to the forum text editor
Click on the video/media icon and paste the URL of the video page.
Other Forum Features
Use the Personal Conversation message system (see below). The general contact form at the bottom of the page is for business, advertising or registration enquiries.
Messaging another member (Personal Conversations, aka PCs)
These used to be called PMs (private messages) but since the new software are called Personal Conversations (PCs), and they do actually function more like a conversation as there is no longer a separate inbox and an outbox, they are displayed as a conversation.
Private or Personal?
To start a conversation
Click on the inbox link next to your profile link at the right of the main navigation bar and then Start Conversation
Click on a member's name/avatar and then on Start Conversation
You will see links to use in order to invite other people to participate if you wish
Organising Your Conversations
You can see all your conversations in your profile area. Each conversation has a tick box to the left, when ticked you will see a dropdown menu for various actions, e.g.:
To delete a conversation you leave it via the link at the top. If all participants leave a conversation it becomes deleted.
You can mark important ones (star conversation). You can then use the filter link to show all your starred conversations
New Posts (either unread or read)
This is different to the previous forum software. The New Posts link in the navigation bar under Forums shows all recent threads with posts you have or haven't read. If you click on the thread title directed to the first unread post in that thread.
On the top right of the thread list you will see Filters. Here you can have various options to show only unread threads, watched content etc. By clicking on save as default this will be the default thread filter applied every time you log in.
You can also see recent posts on the home page or you can click on the main Members navigation tab and then Recent Activity)
Browser Bookmark Links
In order to make a bookmark in your browser for New Posts, you need to use this link:
When viewing on mobile device, there is a shortcut to New Posts via the Lightning icon.
Watching a thread
Click on the Watch Thread link at the top of each thread.
By default, you are automatically subscribed to any thread you start or post in. This means you will get email notifications of any new posts in that thread. This option can be disabled in your profile area preferences.
Watching a Forum
Click on the Watch Forum link at the top of each forum.
In addition to email notifications, you will always see a prominent red alert notice if there are new posts or threads you have subscribed to.
Likes & Points
If you think a post is useful, clicking on the like link underneath the post will give the member who posted it a "like". Points are automatically awarded to members based on number of posts and number of likes they receive.
(See link in main navigation bar above) This is where members may write articles or upload useful resources. These can be reviewed, rated and discussed. Please contact us if you would like to contribute a resource.