All about permission profiles

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Revision as of 15:37, 11 April 2014 by AngelinaBelle (talk | contribs) (some simplifications. left "deny" for the deny article)
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Permission profile is short for board permission profile. In SMF 2.x, you use a board permission profile to control precisely who can post, add attachments, moderate, etc. on each and every board on your forum.

Basically, permission profiles describe, for each member group, what that member group is allowed to do. Every board on your forum uses a permission profile. If you don't pick a board permission profile for a board, then SMF will use the default board permission profile for that board. Board permission profiles do not control who can see a board; for more on this, please read what members are allowed to see and do

SMF 1.x admins did not have board permission profiles; they used general permissions and local board permissions.

There are two basic steps to using board permission profiles.

  1. For each board, pick the permission profile you want to use for that board (or stick with the default profile).
  2. Set up a new one board permission profile, and make changes to it.

Keep these two steps in mind, and you'll be able to get your board permissions set up the way you want them. If you don't keep these two steps in mind, you might "accidentally" edit your default profile and make changes to many boards at once. Remember to create a new board permission profile whenever you want special permissions settings for one board.

See or set board permission profiles

To see which boards are using which profiles, go to Administration Center » Permissions » Board Permissions This is a list of all your boards. It is listed by category. Within each category, the boards in that category. Within each board, any child boards of that board. For each board, there is a profile name. Click on the Board Name to modify the board and change it's board Permission Profile.

See or edit permissions for a profile

Go to either Administration Center » Permissions » Board Permissions or Administration Center » Permissions » Edit Profiles and click on a Permission Profile name. Either way, you'll wind up with a list titled with this profile name. This is a list of member group names, some statistics, a link to "modify permissions", and a check-box. Below this list, there is a set of Advanced Options.

Caution: remember that several boards often use the same board permission profile, especially the default one. If you start editing a board permission profile, you will affect every board that uses this same profile.

See or change permissions for a member group in this board permission profile

Simply click on the member group name. Suppose you already chose the Default profile. Now choose the Guests member group. You will now see a page of information titled Permissions for group "Guests" in profile "Default". You see a bunch of check boxes. If a box is unchecked, that member group does not have that permission in this profile. If it is checked, the member does have permission in this profile.

What if a member belongs to more than one group

If you have permissions set up in the "regular" way, then permissions "add up". If that permission is checked on one member group OR another to which a member belongs, that member will have that permission. Here is an example.

  • Member SparklyPony belongs to "club members" and also "club officers".
  • "club members" does not have permission to Announce topic in the Default profile
  • "club officers" has permission to Announce topic in the Default profile
  • Therefore, member SparklyPony has the permission Announce topic in the Default profile

"Regular" permissions and "deny" permissions

What does "permissions set up in the regular way" mean? It means the way things are set up when you install SMF 2.x for the first time. If you want some fancier ways of controlling permissions, have a look at Administration Center » Permissions » Settings. This scheme is a bit more complicated than "regular" permissions, and most forums never need "deny permissions. If you use "deny" permissions, it can be tricky keeping track of how all the permissions add up when a member belongs to several different membergroups.

If you think you want to be able to deny permissions, read about the difference between disallow and deny.

Create a new profile

If you have had a good look at all the profiles you've already got, and don't see one you like for a particular board, you can create a new one. From Administration Center » Permissions » Edit Profiles , scroll down to the New Profile section, fill in a name for your new profile, choose a profile that is close to what you want to Copy Permissions From as a starting point, and hit the Create button. Then check and edit the permissions for each member group in this profile.

Assigning permissions to a board

This step is easy. Administration Center » Boards » Modify Boards. Pick the board you want to change and click on its "modify" link. On the Permission Profile: line, choose the board permission profile name you want from the drop-down list.


But what if I want one member to have very special permissions on this board

Create a special membergroup just for that user. Move that user into that membergroup. You might want to remove one or more other membergroups from that member. To change membergroups for a user, use that member's account settings. Go to Administration Center » Members » View All Members , choose a member name, and choose Account Settings from the member menu.

Every time you create a new membergroup, you need to go through all of your permission profiles to make certain that the new membergroup has the permissions you want in every single profile you want to use. That sounds tedious, doesn't it? The advanced option "Set permissions like this group" may help you out here.

Advanced options can make it easier to assign permissions within a profile

You can get by without ever using these advanced options. But if you have several permission profiles, and want to make sweeping changes to several membergroups within those profiles, you might give this a try.

First, click the checkbox at the end of the line for one or several of the member groups for this profile. Now scroll down to the Advanced Options section of the page. If you see only a title, click on the little triangle to show the details. You have three choices.

  1. Apply pre-defined permission set -- click on the ? for a quick description of each of the 4 choices here.
  2. Set permissions like this group: Select a membergroup from the list of member groups. The permissions for each of the member groups you checked in the list above will be changed to match the member group you choose from this list.
  3. 'Add permission... Clear permission... Deny permission... This is a quick change. From the first drop-down list on this line, choose whether to add, clear, (or deny, if you have deny permissions set for your forum). From the second drop-down list, choose which permission to change. The permissions for each of the member groups you have checked above will have this one change made.

Now, click the Set Permissions button to make it so.