Forum FAQ

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This Document Provides Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About:


What are discussion forums?

Discussion forums allow you to share ideas, opinions and information quickly and easily. Organized by topics in an easy-to-follow format, discussion forums are designed so you can quickly locate information, find other knowledgeable users and participate in conversations.

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How is forum content organized?

The content in the Forums is structured as follows:

  • Forums: Forums are the areas where individual discussions take place as a listing of topics.

  • Topics: Topics (also known as "threads") are the discussions that consist of one or more messages displayed as a list, or in a tree structure of messages and their replies.

  • Messages: Messages are the individual discussion posts made by community members.

  • Replies: Message replies are posts in response to other messages and are organized in a flat or threaded mode.

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How do I create a topic or post a reply?

To start a new topic, choose the appropriate forum and select Post New Topic. Type your topic header in the subject line and type a message in the message box. Before you are about to post, you can spell check your message by clicking on Spell Check. You can also choose to watch the topic (which will add it to you watch list, and allow you to receive email notifications when new posts are made) by clicking the Watch This Topic box.

When you are satisfied with your message, you can preview your message to see how it will appear when posted by clicking on Preview. Or you can post your message without previewing it by clicking Post Message.

To post a reply to a topic, select the reply icon next to the message you would like to reply to. If you want to respond to specific text from the original message, click on Quote Original, and that will add the text from the original post in your message.

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How do I search the forums?

From the main page of the discussion forums, type your term(s) into the search box, select which forum(s) you want to search, and click the Go icon.

When you are in a Forum page, you can click on Search Forum to use an advanced search page where you can narrow your search by specifying a date range or filtering by username.

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What are watches?

A watch notifies you if the topic you are interested in has been updated. Notifications may be sent through the web or e-mail.

To add a topic to your watch list, click on the Watch This Topic link at the top of the topic page. Click on Stop Watching Topic to end the email notifications. After 30 days, inactive watches automatically expire.

To see the current list of topics you are watching, click on "Your Control Panel" then "Watches". From this screen you can choose to receive email notifications when new posts are made. Just click on Add Email Notification next to the topic for which you want to be notified.

You can delete a watch by clicking in the Delete tick box for the watch you want to delete, then clicking the Delete button.

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How can I format the text of my posts?

To format your message text, there are three buttons for Bold, Italics and Underline. Clicking on these buttons will add tags to the message field.

For example, typing: "This is [b]bold[/b] text, and this is [i]italicized[/i] text" will appear as "This is bold text, and this is italicized text" once you post the message.

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How do I check the spelling of my message?

To check the text of your message for proper spelling, just click Spell Check on the post screen.

If our spell check dictionary doesn't recognize a word in your message, it will appear in a box. You can correct it yourself by simply typing over what is displayed. If the dictionary has any suggestions, you will be able to see them in the suggestion box.

To choose one of the suggestions, simply select the suggestion you'd like to use and click on the Change button for each of the words you would like changed.

When you are finished checking your entire message, click on Post Message to save your changes and post the message with your spelling corrections. If you want to continue editing your message, hit Go Back or Edit to return to the post message area.

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How do I recognize a helpful answer to my post (award points) ?

Recognition

Forum topics can be posted as questions. There is a small checkbox to indicate that the post requires response. Good etiquette is to give points freely for good answers to your questions with:

Solved my problem

Very helpful

Helpful

See the Point Recognition page for further details.

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