Difference between revisions of "Getting started"

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(Tidy up, lots of links to remove and fix.)
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Some forums permit guests to read and post, some permit guests to read only and some are restricted to only registered members. We recommend registering at any forum that you visit often, because many of the most useful features will only become available to you when you do so. Since SMF, however, is such a flexible system that few forums are likely to be identical, we will start by describing four key areas that normally are available for you.
 
Some forums permit guests to read and post, some permit guests to read only and some are restricted to only registered members. We recommend registering at any forum that you visit often, because many of the most useful features will only become available to you when you do so. Since SMF, however, is such a flexible system that few forums are likely to be identical, we will start by describing four key areas that normally are available for you.
  
'''Overview of Getting Started:'''
 
 
[http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=23 Getting Started]''' | '''[http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=22 The Main Menu]''' | '''[http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=21 The Board Index]''' | '''[http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=20 The Message Index]''' | '''[http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=19 The Topic Display]
 
  
 
----
 
----
Supposing you've arrived here as a [http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=31194.0 guest] (or have registered but are currently logged out), the [http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=198.0 Main menu] (which appears on every page) should normally contain five or six buttons (or text links):
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Supposing you've arrived here as a guest (or have registered but are currently logged out), the Main menu (which appears on every page) should normally contain five or six buttons (or text links):
 
[[File:Mainbuttons.gif]]
 
[[File:Mainbuttons.gif]]
  
<ul><li>'''Home''', which takes you back to the [http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=209.0 Board] index.</li>
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<ul><li>'''Home''', which takes you back to the Board index.</li>
 
<li>'''Help''', which brings a guide similar to this entry.</li>
 
<li>'''Help''', which brings a guide similar to this entry.</li>
 
<li>'''Search,''' which allows you to search the forums for whatever you're looking for.</li>
 
<li>'''Search,''' which allows you to search the forums for whatever you're looking for.</li>
<li>'''Calendar''', which links to the [http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=201.0 Forum] calendar (if enabled).</li>
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<li>'''Calendar''', which links to the Forum calendar (if enabled).</li>
 
<li>'''Members''', which shows the complete list of all the registered members on the forum.</li>
 
<li>'''Members''', which shows the complete list of all the registered members on the forum.</li>
 
<li>'''Login''', which allows you to login if already registered.</li>
 
<li>'''Login''', which allows you to login if already registered.</li>
<li>'''Register''', which allows you to [http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=187 Register] (or sometimes apply for registration) when you wish to do so. </li></ul>
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<li>'''Register''', which allows you to Register (or sometimes apply for registration) when you wish to do so. </li></ul>
Once you've registered and logged in, however, the [http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=198.0 Main menu] should look a little different: [[image:mainbuttons_02.gif]]
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Once you've registered and logged in, however, the Main menu should look a little different: [[image:mainbuttons_02.gif]]
 
<ul><li>'''Home''' (as before).</li>
 
<ul><li>'''Home''' (as before).</li>
 
<li>'''Help''' (as before).</li>
 
<li>'''Help''' (as before).</li>
 
<li>'''Search''' (as before).</li>
 
<li>'''Search''' (as before).</li>
<li>'''Profile''' which allows you to make changes to your [http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=189.0 Profile] settings.</li>
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<li>'''Profile''' which allows you to make changes to your Profile settings.</li>
 
<li>'''My Messages''' takes you to personal message area (if enabled).</li>
 
<li>'''My Messages''' takes you to personal message area (if enabled).</li>
 
<li>'''Calendar''' (as before).</li>
 
<li>'''Calendar''' (as before).</li>
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Forum administrators should also note the presence of an additional Admin button, which will lead the admin to a page where you can manage and administrate your community.  
 
Forum administrators should also note the presence of an additional Admin button, which will lead the admin to a page where you can manage and administrate your community.  
  
'''Next:''' [http://docs.simplemachines.org/index.php?topic=21.0 The Board Index]
 
  
 
===Board Index===
 
===Board Index===

Revision as of 20:16, 16 November 2010

So you have arrived to a forum powered by Simple Machines Forum (SMF)! Perhaps you've been looking at the Board index or a screen telling you that you need to register before you can read the forum.

Some forums permit guests to read and post, some permit guests to read only and some are restricted to only registered members. We recommend registering at any forum that you visit often, because many of the most useful features will only become available to you when you do so. Since SMF, however, is such a flexible system that few forums are likely to be identical, we will start by describing four key areas that normally are available for you.



Supposing you've arrived here as a guest (or have registered but are currently logged out), the Main menu (which appears on every page) should normally contain five or six buttons (or text links): Mainbuttons.gif

  • Home, which takes you back to the Board index.
  • Help, which brings a guide similar to this entry.
  • Search, which allows you to search the forums for whatever you're looking for.
  • Calendar, which links to the Forum calendar (if enabled).
  • Members, which shows the complete list of all the registered members on the forum.
  • Login, which allows you to login if already registered.
  • Register, which allows you to Register (or sometimes apply for registration) when you wish to do so.

Once you've registered and logged in, however, the Main menu should look a little different: Mainbuttons 02.gif

  • Home (as before).
  • Help (as before).
  • Search (as before).
  • Profile which allows you to make changes to your Profile settings.
  • My Messages takes you to personal message area (if enabled).
  • Calendar (as before).
  • Members (as before).
  • Logout, which allows you to logout again if desired.

Forum administrators should also note the presence of an additional Admin button, which will lead the admin to a page where you can manage and administrate your community.


Board Index

Overview of Getting Started:

Getting Started | The Main Menu | The Board Index | The Message Index | The Topic Display


While the Board index (forum home page) is packed with all kinds of information and links, the core of the interface (at least in the SMF default theme) normally looks something like this: Board index Example

  • The Forum name links back to the top of the Board index.
  • If the Category is collapsible (shown by this symbol Collapse.gif ), clicking the Category name collapses or expands the forums in a category, enabling you to see the Category name but not see the forums within the Category when collapsed.
  • The Board name links to the Message index for that board.
  • The Board description describes the board's content, and may also include links to child boards and/or specify the board's moderator(s).
  • The New Posts and No New Posts icons, usually in the leftmost column show registered members whether there have been any new posts to the Board since they last read it. Most forums also use another subtly different icon to indicate that there are new posts in one or more Child Boards of a Parent board without the Parent containing any new posts of its own. By clicking the New Posts button, a registered Member can view all of the latest unread posts of that board.
  • The Mark as Read button enables registered members to mark all posts in the entire Forum as 'read'. This will clear the list of posts in the Unread Posts section.

Next: The Message Index

Message Index

Overview of Getting Started:

Getting Started | The Main Menu | The Board Index | The Message Index | The Topic Display



While the Board index (forum home page) is packed with all kinds of information and links, the core of the interface (at least in the SMF default theme) normally looks something like this: Board index Example

  • The Forum name links back to the top of the Board index.

  • If the Category is collapsible (shown by this symbol Collapse.gif ), clicking the Category name collapses or expands the forums in a category, enabling you to see the Category name but not see the forums within the Category when collapsed.
  • The Board name links to the Message index for that board.
  • The Board description describes the board's content, and may also include links to child boards and/or specify the board's moderator(s).
  • The New Posts and No New Posts icons, usually in the leftmost column show registered members whether there have been any new posts to the Board since they last read it. Most forums also use another subtly different icon to indicate that there are new posts in one or more Child Boards of a Parent board without the Parent containing any new posts of its own. By clicking the New Posts button, a registered Member can view all of the latest unread posts of that board.
  • The Mark as Read button enables registered members to mark all posts in the entire Forum as 'read'. This will clear the list of posts in the Unread Posts section.

Next: The Message Index

Topic Display

Overview of Getting Started:

Getting Started | The Main Menu | The Board Index | The Message Index | The Topic Display


Sometimes referred to as threads, topics are where you find the actual posted messages: Topic Example

  • Some forums show the navigation tree at the top in a space-saving horizontal mode.
  • Some forums may also be configured with previous' and next Topic links.
  • The page numbers' link to further pages of the topic, and may be accompanied by Go Up and Go Down buttons linking to the top and bottom of the current page.
  • The Reply button enables you to Reply to the topic.
  • The Notify button enables registered members to subscribe to email notification of replies to the topic.
  • The Mark Unread button enables registered members to mark the Topic as 'unread', which means that it will still be listed as new and can be effectively 'saved for later'. Note that this button changes to Add Poll in the bottom button set for users with permission to add polls to existing topics.
  • The Send Topic button enables registered members to send a link to the Topic by email.
  • The Print button creates a simplified, printer-friendly rendering of the page.
  • The author name links to the author of the post's own profile.
  • The author details in the lefthand column may be accompanied by further personal information.
  • The Topic subject links back to the start of the topic.
  • The Quote button enables you to quote the post.
  • Further Modify and Delete options are normally provided to enable registered members to edit their own posts.
  • Report to Moderator enables you to report abusive or wrongly-placed posts to the Forum staff.
  • Logged indicates that the IP of the author has been logged. The actual IP is only available to Board administrators or those that have the permission to manage members of a forum.
  • The Jump to menu provides a convenient quick method of navigating the forum. It will allow a user to quickly "jump" to any Board that they have access to view.
  • The Quick Reply at the bottom of the topic's page when enabled by the user will allow members to Post in a posting box located at the bottom of every page in a Topic as an alternative to clicking the Reply that leads you to a new page to submit a message.

Board Index

Overview of Getting Started:

Getting Started | The Main Menu | The Board Index | The Message Index | The Topic Display


While the Board index (forum home page) is packed with all kinds of information and links, the core of the interface (at least in the SMF default theme) normally looks something like this: Board index Example

  • The Forum name links back to the top of the Board index.
  • If the Category is collapsible (shown by this symbol Collapse.gif ), clicking the Category name collapses or expands the forums in a category, enabling you to see the Category name but not see the forums within the Category when collapsed.
  • The Board name links to the Message index for that board.
  • The Board description describes the board's content, and may also include links to child boards and/or specify the board's moderator(s).
  • The New Posts and No New Posts icons, usually in the leftmost column show registered members whether there have been any new posts to the Board since they last read it. Most forums also use another subtly different icon to indicate that there are new posts in one or more Child Boards of a Parent board without the Parent containing any new posts of its own. By clicking the New Posts button, a registered Member can view all of the latest unread posts of that board.
  • The Mark as Read button enables registered members to mark all posts in the entire Forum as 'read'. This will clear the list of posts in the Unread Posts section.

Next: The Message Index

Message Index

Overview of Getting Started:


Getting Started | The Main Menu | The Board Index | The Message Index | The Topic Display


While the Board index (forum home page) is packed with all kinds of information and links, the core of the interface (at least in the SMF default theme) normally looks something like this: Board index Example

  • The Forum name links back to the top of the Board index.
  • If the Category is collapsible (shown by this symbol [img]http://www.simplemachines.org/community/Themes/newsite/images/collapse.gif[/img] ), clicking the Category name collapses or expands the forums in a category, enabling you to see the Category name but not see the forums within the Category when collapsed.
  • The Board name links to the Message index for that board.
  • The Board description describes the board's content, and may also include links to child boards and/or specify the board's moderator(s).
  • The New Posts and No New Posts icons, usually in the leftmost column show registered members whether there have been any new posts to the Board since they last read it. Most forums also use another subtly different icon to indicate that there are new posts in one or more Child Boards of a Parent board without the Parent containing any new posts of its own. By clicking the New Posts button, a registered Member can view all of the latest unread posts of that board.
  • The Mark as Read button enables registered members to mark all posts in the entire Forum as 'read'. This will clear the list of posts in the Unread Posts section.

Next: The Message Index

Topic Display

Overview of Getting Started:

Getting Started | The Main Menu | The Board Index | The Message Index | The Topic Display


Sometimes referred to as threads, topics are where you find the actual posted messages: Topic Example

  • Some forums show the navigation tree at the top in a space-saving horizontal mode.
  • Some forums may also be configured with previous' and next Topic links.
  • The page numbers' link to further pages of the topic, and may be accompanied by Go Up and Go Down buttons linking to the top and bottom of the current page.
  • The Reply button enables you to Reply to the topic.
  • The Notify button enables registered members to subscribe to email notification of replies to the topic.
  • The Mark Unread button enables registered members to mark the [1]Topic] as 'unread', which means that it will still be listed as new and can be effectively 'saved for later'. Note that this button changes to Add Poll in the bottom button set for users with permission to add polls to existing topics.
  • The Send Topic button enables registered members to send a link to the Topic by email.
  • The Print button creates a simplified, printer-friendly rendering of the page.
  • The author name links to the author of the post's own profile.
  • The author details in the lefthand column may be accompanied by further personal information.
  • The Topic subject links back to the start of the topic.
  • The Quote button enables you to quote the post.
  • Further Modify and Delete options are normally provided to enable registered members to edit their own posts.
  • Report to Moderator enables you to report abusive or wrongly-placed posts to the Forum staff.
  • Logged indicates that the IP of the author has been logged. The actual IP is only available to Board administrators or those that have the permission to manage members of a forum.
  • The Jump to menu provides a convenient quick method of navigating the forum. It will allow a user to quickly "jump" to any Board that they have access to view.
  • The Quick Reply at the bottom of the topic's page when enabled by the user will allow members to Post in a posting box located at the bottom of every page in a Topic as an alternative to clicking the Reply that leads you to a new page to submit a message.