Author Topic: Helpful HowTos for Newbies  (Read 14386 times)

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Helpful HowTos for Newbies
« on: January 08, 2007, 03:54:02 pm »
Starting a new topic
Browse to the Category where you wish to Post, click on the category title and then click the New Topic button (positioned at both the top and the bottom of the Category), which will take you to the Start new Topic screen. While this presents a number of options, the two most important are the Subject field and main Message field (not labeled as such, but obvious by its size).  Enter your subject and start to type (or paste) your message into the main text area, noting that a message missing either a subject or a body will not be accepted for posting until it has both. If you're happy with your plain text message, you can then Post it by clicking the Post button and/or preview it first by clicking the Preview button.

Above the box where you type your message, there are several different buttons that you may use to edit your text, or add special links.  After you have typed in the text, highlight the text you wish to edit, and then click the button that performs the action you wish to take.  These tools may be useful to some, but are optional.


Replying to a topic
Replying to a Topic is basically the same as starting a new topic, but it's not necessary to enter anything in the Subject field unless you wish to change what's already there.  Click on the Reply button of the post you want to reply to, and then from there you can make a post just the same as if you were starting a new topic.  If you would like to change the subject, enter your subject and start to type (or paste) your message into the main text area, noting that a message missing either a subject or a body will not be accepted for posting until it has both. If you're happy with your plain text message, you can then Post it by clicking the Post button and/or preview it first by clicking the Preview button.

Above the box where you type your message, there are several different buttons that you may use to edit your text, or add special links.  After you have typed in the text, highlight the text you wish to edit, and then click the button that performs the action you wish to take.  These tools may be useful to some, but are optional.
 

Quoting a post
To Reply to a Post by quoting it, you can either click the Quote button (at the beginning of each individual post) for the relevant Post and add your own message to the quoted text or click the Reply button followed by Insert Quote from the relevant Post in the 'Topic Summary' below, but note that both these options add a link to the original Post showing the name of the poster and the date and time of the post.


Edit Forum Profile Information (Signature, Avatar, Personal Text)
To add signature, avatar or personal text you will need to edit your forum profile information.  You must first log in to your account.  Once logged in, a Profile button will be displayed after the Search button in the top navigation bar.  Select the Profile button to view your Profile Information.  To edit your forum profile information, select the Forum Profile Information link in the left navigation bar under Modify Profile.  Much of your basic Profile information is set on this page.

Here you will be able to edit your Avatar, also known as picture, by entering in a url of an avatar image.  An avatar is your personal image that displays to the left of your posts.  ANA requires that all avatars are actual images of the member posting on the forum.  This enables visitors to place a face with comments posted on the forum.  Animated or moving images are also prohibited.
 
On this page, you can also edit your own Personalized Text, which will appear under your Avatar/picture in the posts you make and the Profile summary page. You can also enter in your birth date, location; select your gender, along with entering your usernames for some popular chat services including: AIM, MSN, YIM, and ICQ. Your signature can also be edited here.  Your signature will appear below your posts.  You can also enter in your website title and address.  To save your changes, click Change profile at the bottom of the page.

A lot of this information while appearing in your Profile summary page also appears next to your posts.


Sending a personal message
To send a personal message, select the IM icon to the left of a members post or click on their profile and select Send this member a personal message located on the bottom of their profile page. 

Enter the subject in the subject box.  Write your message in the box below. Remember that Forum Netiquette Guidelines work the same for Personal Messages as they do for posting.  When you are finished with your message select the Send Message button to send or the Preview to preview.

You also will reply to personal messages using the same method.


Modify your post
To modify your post, find your post in the appropriate category and topic.  Scroll until you find your post and click the Modify button.  There you will be able to edit the subject and message.  Click Save to complete your changes or select Preview to preview your post.


To enlarge text size
Select View in your menu bar and go to Zoom.  Please note that this procedure may vary depending on which web browser you are using.


Starting a Search
There is both a simple Search field (partnered by an Advanced search text link) in the collapsible top section and a Search option in the main menu.  While you can just type (and search for) any combination of characters, you should consider using quotes to make your search really work for you.  The simple search field located at the top of the screen will, when viewing topics, filter search results to just that topic.  If you wish to search through the entire Forum, you would need to start from the top of the directory structure, "ANA Discussion Forum", and then perform the search.


Quote Marks
Searching for Acoustic Neuroma Association will return any or all of these three words depending on the option selected, but enclosing the search string in double quote marks (ie: " Acoustic Neuroma Association") will return only the entire phrase.


Simple Search
To use the simple search, the basic syntax outlined above is all you really need to know. But you might also like to know that this tool searches the entire Forum for any or all of what you specify that's been posted.  So, to take more control of your search, you should use the advanced search feature.


Advanced Search
Although the advanced search screen might initially seem a little intimidating, it's surprisingly straightforward when reduced to its basic components.

- Despite initial appearances, there are really three options for how to search, with Match all words and Match any words being available from the drop-down, and "Match as phrase" still being available.

- The default * in the by user field is essentially a wildcard matching any poster. Please note that, while you can replace this with any single username for a more specific search, it's not currently possible to search for posts by multiple users except as that single wildcard.

- Show results as messages returns the full message containing the search string (with a Reply option) instead of the usual linked excerpt, but will naturally result in much larger results pages which might be significant if you are searching for a popular word or phrase.

- Message age sets the minimum and maximum ages of posts to search.

- Choose a Category to search in provides you with another tool to narrow the scope of the search, with the default being 'all' (the whole Forum or, more properly, all the boards to which you have read access).

- The Search button not surprisingly sets the whole thing in motion, but hitting 'Enter' direct from any of the search fields is sometimes more convenient.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 11:37:51 am by ANA »