What members are allowed to see and do

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There are a bunch of different types of things members can be allowed to see and do on the forum, and a few different places the admin needs to go to change these settings. Most of the things that members can do are handled by allowing membergroups to do them, while a few of these settings are applied to individual members, regardless of which membergroups they belong to. If you are not familiar with any of the terms in this paragraph, please read about them now.

  • These are set for membergroups.
    • Almost everything members can do on forum boards, topics, posts is set through board permission profiles.
    • Except that permission to see a board is set from modify boards.
    • Permission to do things that are not related to boards, topics, posts (calendar, etc) are set in General Permissions.
  • These are set for individual member
    • You can give an individual users the ability to control who can join a membergroup
    • You can give an individual user the ability to act as a local moderator for a single board from modify boards

What members can do on boards -- Board Permission Profiles

In SMF 2.0.x, a board permission profile is usually referred to as a permission profile and, sometimes, just as a profile. It is used by the admin to control what different membergroups (and, therefore, the members in those groups) can see and do. A board permission profile is completely different from the member profile. Because both things are often just called a profile, this can sometimes lead to confusing conversations, if you are not clear which one the other person means.

Each Board Permission Profile is a list, for every member group on the forum, which things (start topics, reply to topics, modify own posts, delete own replies, etc) each member group can do in that board permission profile. These board permission profiles only have effect when they are applied to a board.

Board Permission Profiles are only found in SMF versions 2.0 onwards. All versions of SMF use default board permissions. To learn more about making changes to default board permissions and working with board permission profiles, please read All about permission profiles.

What about board permissions in older versions of SMF

In SMF 1.0.x and SMF 1.1.x, the default set of board permissions was always set in "General Permissions". The default board permission profile can still be set this way in SMF 2.0.x. For individual boards, SMF 1.X admins could set Local board permissions for each board. The idea for SMF 2.0's board permission profiles evolved from these local board permission settings.

SMF 2.0

Creating permission profiles allows admins to pre-set permissions profiles which can then be applied to individual boards. Each profile allows the permissions for posting, responding, etc. to be set (by membergroup). That profile can then be applied to one (or more) individual boards. When a profile (other than "default") is applied to a board, the permissions defined by the profile will over-ride the standard permissions of the site (set under "Permissions") - but only for that specific board.

The Permission Profile section comes with several pre-set profiles, like "Read Only" and "Reply Only".

Who is allowed to see which board

In SMF, the ability to see a board is not handled with permissions. To see which membergroups are allowed to view a board, check Administration Center > Boards > Modify Boards and click the "modify" link on the same line as the board name. To see which boards a given membergroup is allowed to view, check Administration Center > Members > Membergroups > Edit Membergroups, choose the "modify" link on the same line as the membergroup name, and click the [Show boards] link.

Who can manage membergroup members

This is done in Edit Member Groups at Administration Center > Members > Membergroups , which is a list of membergroups. Click on the group name to see a list of information about the membergroup as well as a list of all members. Click on the modify link to see additional information and settings for this membergroup. Enter the member names you want to manage membergroup members.

If a list of information and settings about an individual is a member profile, and if a list of information and settings about board permissions is called a board permission profile, why is this list of information and settings about a membergroup not called a membergroup profile? Perhaps some SMF users already feel that there are already one too many things calling themselves "profiles", and using the "profile" term yet again would only be more confusing. So we will just call this "modify membergroups" and leave it at that.

Who can moderate single boards

If you want someone to be able to moderate one or two boards (rather than all the boards on your forum), add that person to the board moderator list at Administration Center > Boards > Modify Boards. This person will then have all the permissions that belong to the moderators group, but only when they are working on topics on that specific board.