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How To Use The Forum

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So now we've had a few days to examine this new forum we got, and some things we just have to unlearn or relearn. For now, most of our research is quite spread across all of the board and hard to find for someone who doesn't actually read everything that's on the board, so this thread is dedicated to collecting just everything new-forum-related. Naturally, I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who used the old software from 2003 or so, for over 8 years, while someone entirely new to this site and forum might wonder what all the fuzz is about. *shrugs*

 

I do not own any mobile devices capable of surfing, so my stuff will only cover things with keyboard and a multi-button pointing device (typically a mouse) running Windows. Other people are totally free to provide information for touchscreen users or apple computer users.
Also, I use adblock. I'm not ashamed of admitting that, as I do have a paid subscription for the main site. Thus, my screenshots won't contain any ads.

 

This covers:

  • Changing the Theme/Skin
  • Marking as Read
  • Unread Content / First Unread Post
  • Searching
  • Profiles (Your User Controls, Public Profile)
  • PM Link
  • Posting Images (via Code, URL, Attachment)
  • Posting Linked Images
  • Using Sign-Up Forms
  • Formatting Text (including Colours)
  • Quoting (Single Quote, Multi-Quote, Partial Quote, Custom Quoting, Quoting by Linking)
  • Message Tracker
  • Changing Display Name, Member Title, Interests, Your Notepad, Notifications
  • Tagging

 

Let's start with the basics. The screenshots you will see will use the "Invision Blue" skin because it simply suits my needs better than the other option.
Where do you find/change that? Scroll to the bottom of any forum page to find the Theme button. There are currently two skins to be found, simply click to switch:

 

Theme switch at the forum bottom

 

Notice that asterisk next to my name? It means that I logged in anonymously and nobody else will see my name listed in any "Who's online" or "Recently Browsing" listing. So if I didn't post all over the place, nobody would even know I'm here. ;)

 

Marking the site or a subforum as read is no longer at the bottom, it's at the top now, for both skins. Also, marking a subforum as read no longer sends you to its parent forum.

 

There is also an Unread Content link which leads to a pretty sweet page that tells you everything you may have missed in your favourite threads, with neat filtering options on top. Give it a try! However, if you already know which thread you want to check for new posts and just want to get to the first message you haven't seen yet, in the list of threads, click the leftmost symbol next to the thread in question (for now, that's a star for threads you have already posted in and a circle for threads in which you haven't). Naturally, this only works for threads you haven't read or marked as read yet.

 

Some people may wonder where the Search function went, since all you see is a little input field with not much decoration around. However, if you click into the Search field, it expands to the left with a button you can click for another expanding. The result is a menu:

 

Click Search field to expand it and see more search options

 

By default, you'd search the whole forum for whatever you enter in the field (All Content), but if you want to search for a member, you may select that search function specifically. Clicking Advanced Search leads to a page with more search options, for either Content or Members (e.g. if you want to search for that moderator with "purple" in their name, just make sure only the various Moderator groups are selected for your search.)

 

Profiles

 

Your profile link in the top left corner actually has two functions.
Clicking your name or the arrow gets you all your profile reviewing and editing options.

 

accessing your user control panel

 

If you instead hover over your avatar (or actually over any avatar all over the board) you get a fancy tooltop-like popup. Or a popup-like tooltip, not sure what you'd call it.

This is where you can find your PM link that you need for so many forum projects and gifting threads. Simply right-click on the Message link and select Copy Link Location (or whatever it may be called in your browser - don't worry, you'll find it.)

 

getting your PM link

 

Another thing you may need to know is that if your browser window is too small, some things in your profile may be invisible because they are white text on white background - on both skins.

 

newforumprofilesmall.png.b1b75347d0e3565f3bbf7e9c616adb7f.png

 

Expanding the browser window or hiliting the text around the grey bar makes it visible, e.g. the Last Visited date:

 

newforumprofilesmallhilit.png.fe55650387a1db28d7758b6869a6d473.png

 

If someone could tell me what "Last Visited" refers to, I'd be grateful. It's the 15th already for me and I'm online every day, so it clearly cannot mean *me* visiting my profile.

Lovely Sock provided the solution: it's the last time I logged in without using the "anonymous" option. Clearly, logging in anonymously and having the forum tell everyone "Last Visited 2 minutes ago" would defeat the purpose of logging in anonymously!

Note that the Edit Profile and the Display Name History buttons are visible only for yourself on your own profile. Others cannot see your name history and vice versa.

 

Posting


Now let's get to the juice of the forum. Posting! The new editor has quite a few quirks that one may need to get used to first - it's more sophisticated than the previous one, which can be somewhat unnerving to people who are used to bare-bone bbcode editing - which is something the new editor will not provide. It will interpret most bbcode you feed it, but it doesn't generate any. Instead, it creates HTML directly and doesn't allow manual editing of that.

 

Assuming you want to post a trade with images. You go to the Image Codes sticky at the top of the trading forum and are presented with plenty of code boxes.

 

copying image bbcode

 

If you are like me, you'd go to the egg of your choosing, hilite the code in the box, and hit CTRL+C to copy it. Now here's the first trap already: Nowadays, the clipboard does not only get pure text, it also takes any formatting that goes with it, which is a fixed-width font in this case, and possibly also the code box itself. So when you go and paste your copied image code somewhere, this happens:

 

WYSIWYG pasting

 

As you can see, not only your code has been pasted, but also the font formatting and even the box around it. As it is right now, the forum thinks this is already everything required and won't do any further interpreting of the code - you won't see your image this way. That dark bar at the bottom shows up only shortly and may disappear at any keystroke, so better use the provided removal link as soon as you pasted your code.

 

In case that dark bar doesn't show up at all, you can also paste the code to a plaintext editor like Notepad first, and copy it from there. Notepad does not attach any formatting to your text, luckily, so pasting that bare text should work in most cases.

 

A third option if all you need is an image and nothing else, just right-click the image above the code box and select Copy Image. Pasting this into your post should work as well (I haven't tried this, but our lovely Sock says so.)

 

Images (again)! Unlike the old forum, the new one allows attaching images. This means no third party hosting site necessary - a relief with sites like imageshack and photobucket becoming enforced pay-to-play. At the bottom of your editor box, you see some text telling about about dragging to attach, or choose files - I used that link for most of this thread. Once you picked a picture to upload, it appears as a thumbnail below the input field. To get it into your post, first place the cursor (click) the spot in your post where the image should be, then click the little plus symbol on the thumbnail to make it appear in the editor box. Be patient - image processing may take a few seconds.

Also, if you're regularly showing large images, you may still need to resort to a third party site, as you are limited to a total attachment size of currently 100 MB, or 1 MB per post. You can manage your attachments in "My Attachments" when you click your profile link at the top. For me, it tells me "You have used 948.09 kB of your 100 MB attachment limit." after uploading all the images for this thread.

 

Just like the old forum, the new one's buttons don't know how to deal with linked images, by which I mean clickable links on images. Just previously, you could just use the img code as link text - when I tried this in the new forum, it didn't do anything, no inserting link nor text, and no error message either. *shrugs*
You still can code it yourself though, e.g. like this:

[url=http://dragcave.net/][img=http://images.wikia.com/dragcave/images/d/d4/Mystery.gif][/url]

Mystery.gif

 

Or you can use the sophisticatedness of the new forum. So imagine you have your image inserted already, like our beloved mystery egg. I used the Insert Other Media button and selected the bottom option, but of course you can also use an attached image like the screenshots in this thread:

 

inserting images

 

As soon as your image shows up inside the editor box, you double-click it to get this fancy popup:

 

adding a link to an image

 

Then you click Update and should now have a mystery egg that you can click to get to dragcave.net:

 

mystery egg

 

 

There are also plenty of sign-up forms all around the forum. Most of them use bbcode for bolding text and space for links. Now here's the next trap: by pasting any URL directly, the forum often automagically turns it into a real link:

 

pasting links into forms may result in auto-links

 

The problem with this is that the forum won't link the URL twice - you'd end up posting something with some ugly [url= text bits around your link. To undo that, hold down the CTRL key and right-click the link to for the Remove Link option:

 

removing the linking

 

The same way, you can also use Edit Link if you wanted to post a lineage link and accidentally posted a view link instead.

 

Text formatting mostly works the same way as before. If you know basic bbcode, you can still edit font size, color and other decorations manually.
Check here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBCode
What won't work from that list are [style] tags or the [table] code stuff - this forum simply does not interpret them.


Also, some of you will notice that they cannot change the font face anymore which, in my opinion, is a great relief since it helps in keeping things readable. Some trade posts were pretty to look at, but impossible to read!

 

Color coding works a little different than before. We used to be able to use any word we wanted and hope the browser interprets it properly. If you used one of these 140 words: https://www.w3schools.com/colors/colors_names.asp that would usually work. Nowadays, it doesn't anymore. The forum doesn't just take the name to store it like before; instead, it tries to interpret it on its own - but it only knows a handful of names. My favourite colour "darkorange" doesn't work anymore:

 

Darkorange Text

 

What works is the associated hex code, to be found on the above linked page:

 

Darkorange Text

 

In case you are, like me, wondering why the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) buttonbar seems to be lacking a certain something even though there is clearly enough room:

 

the button bar does not show everything if too short

 

You may want to expand your browser window a little to the side:

 

a slightly expanded window leads to a complete button bar

 

Don't ask me about the logic of this. I'm still not done shaking my head in disbelief.


Anyway, there's the button for the colours. Use the More Colors link for a larger colour selection and an editable field for hexcode if the available options don't cut it yet for you.

 

 

Another thing people often do is - surprise - quoting other people.
There are numerous ways to do that.

 

Firstly, there's the good old Quote button on any given post.
Secondly, we now have a Multi-Quote button right next to that - yay!

 

we have multi-quote!

 

Basically, use that plus + symbol on any post you want to quote. On each post you selected this way, the plus will turn into a checkmark. A new button will appear as soon as you select the first post, and when you're done with selecting, just hit that button to quote all marked posts at once.

 

newforummultiquote.png.5590c07c1a3b4d960bee61b5fde16b45.png

 

Your quotes will appear in the sequence of your selecting in the post editor:

 

multi-quoting like a pro

 

Thirdly, you can quote just part of a post instead of the whole thing. Just mark a portion of text and the forum will provide a button to Quote this. Click it and you get a properly prepared partial quote in the editor:

 

quoting part of a post

 

And fourthly, if you want to use a quote from one place of the forum in another place, just have it on your post editor (e.g. after hitting Quote), click into the input field, hit CTRL+A to select the whole content of said input field, and CTRL+C to copy it all. Go to the other forum place, e.g. writing a PM, and paste it in there. You'll get it all complete with linking and formatting and whathaveyounot in the new input field, just like you had it in the old one.

 

However, sometimes you want to quote something from a locked thread, e.g. some old news thread. There is no quote button there anymore, so you'd need to manually code a quote if you want it to have a proper header like a "real" quote. Luckily, someone found out how to do that with a proper quotation header:

https://forums.dragcave.net/topic/169995-tiny-little-questions/?do=findComment&comment=9524658

So there is a post like this:

 

old news

 

You need: a name, a date, a post ID. The name is obviously TJ09, the date is also there: June 23 2017, 09:46 AM (for me at least). The post ID can be found when you click the "Posted June 23" line - it's a link to exactly that post, and it contains the post's ID at the end: 9513444

Now watch me quote from a locked thread like a pro, using the code Sock and MissK. provided:

[quote name='TJ09' date='June 23 2017, 09:46 AM' post='9513444']
This upgrade will bring the forums out of 2003 and onto the latest version of Invision Board.
[/quote]
On 23.6.2017 at 11:46 AM, TJ09 said:


This upgrade will bring the forums out of 2003 and onto the latest version of Invision Board.

 

Important are the delimiters, in this case apostrophes. Quotation marks probably work as well.

Note that this method is mostly good for quoting only a portion of a post in a locked thread. If you just want to point people to that entire post, simply paste the URL into your editor field and the forum automagically turns it into a preview box, with the link:

 


Private Messages, or short, PM. People may miss the old option to track a message, but the forum does that automagically these days:

 

newforummessagetracker.png.b04929bd81e75acfddb4e7cc5d7a2908.png

 

 

Random other tidbits:

 

Changing your Display Name: Click your user name at the top, then Account Settings, then Display Name.


Changing your Member Title, Interests or other things: Click your user name at the top, then Account Settings, then Edit Profile (on the right side). Your "Notepad" is also there if you scroll further down. While the Interests field may appear tiny at first, its bottom right corner can be grabbed and dragged to expand the input field as much as your browser window or screen allows.

The Save button is at the very bottom.


Notifications: Click the bell in the top right corner, next to the envelope, then click Notification Settings. Note that below the first Save button there is another box with more detailed notification options to toggle!

 

Tagging: This forum allows to "tag" people now, as in, sending them a notifications (if they opted to be notified) by using @ and their username, e.g. @Ruby Eyes. As you type the username, the forum will help you find the correct one by showing a sample of names that match what you typed so far. Using tagging, you can give a shout out to people in threads they might not follow yet, without needing to send them a PM or somesuch.

 

Now let's see what happens if I submit this topic. This is probably the first time I've posted something *this* large!

 

 

Edited by Ruby Eyes

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23 hours ago, Jazeki said:

Would it be possible for a mod to pin/sticky this thread? 

I second this. 

 

Ruby, if you a post with mobile, I'll do my best to help out! If you want to PM about it as to avoid clutter, I'll be more that willing to help out!

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On 7/15/2017 at 8:47 PM, Jazeki said:

Would it be possible for a mod to pin/sticky this thread? 

2 hours ago, Dalek Raptor said:

I second this.

 

What benefits do you expect this would bring? At this point in time, we are not planning on pinning this thread.

 

1) We've worked really hard on cutting down sticky's because too many is overwhelming and people don't tend to check out stickys - particularly users who could use them most.

2) Help hasn't been very active recently, so this thread hasn't been buried yet.

3) So far, all the comments in this thread are from users who haven't needed to use this thread to figure out the new forum rather than users posting that they've used this thread to help learn how to use something on the forum. Likely it's a combination of the news post still being up and people figuring things out as they just spend a little time exploring the forum. But it means it's harder to actually have a good grasp of who all is using this thread.

4) The thread may be featured for a while after the news thread is closed, but all the help mods and myself have been doing this a really long time now. We're pretty good judges of what threads are being used, what needs attention, what's become outdated, etc. If there's a point where we think pinning this will bring a big benefit, trust me, we won't hesitate to do it.

 

Anytime there's a helpful thread, we're always overwhelmed with requests to pin the thread, even though those threads tend not to get a lot of notice. We agree and appreciate with you guys on this being hard work to pull together, but the answer isn't always to pin a thread out of pure appreciation. ;3

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I've seen questions along the lines of "how do I do 'x' on the new forums?" asked here in help and in the news thread multiple times and I figured stickying the thread now would save the trouble of having to bump it later in the future. Also, as far as I'm aware, there is only one sticky in help, so I figured asking for one more wasn't too much of an overkill.

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As people get used to the forum, this thread will outlive its usefullness anyway.

 

@Dalek Raptor If you feel something needs to be mentioned with regards to the mobile version of the forum, just post it here and I'll link to it in the first post.

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thank you ..  this is beautifully written and easily understood, even for neophytes.

 

BUT ... how do we change the stark white on white background ?

 

even lowering the light does not ease this ... nor does theme.

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Not with forum tools, sadly. You could check the web for custom stylesheets (and how to use them) and find a suitable one for invision boards.

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2 minutes ago, Ruby Eyes said:

Not with forum tools, sadly. You could check the web for custom stylesheets (and how to use them) and find a suitable one for invision boards.

 

hmm   :(

 

okay ..shall try that.

 

thanks again 

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Just know that if you encounter any problems with the forum, always switch off custom styles and try again before reporting, to make sure you're not actually reporting just a style issue.

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hmm

good to know .... thanks once more 

 

think I shall just wear tinted lenses 

other than the brightness ... this is more user friendly

 

 

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Quick question - when we first moved to the forums, was there an "About Me" section to the profile editor? Or is my memory messing with me again, but I'm sure there was because I remember put some of the lineages I was working on in it, but I can't seem to find it now and they're not in my notepad or any other info...

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1 minute ago, SheridanCharon said:

Quick question - when we first moved to the forums, was there an "About Me" section to the profile editor? Or is my memory messing with me again, but I'm sure there was because I remember put some of the lineages I was working on in it, but I can't seem to find it now and they're not in my notepad or any other info...

 

Yes, there was. But for some reason, even though it was marked to be public (as several users asked for that, since it didn't make sense as private), it wasn't appearing on profiles, so TJ got rid of the field (also because private, it was redundant due to the notepad). Sorry if you had anything there that you lost. D:

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3 minutes ago, SockPuppet Strangler said:

 

Yes, there was. But for some reason, even though it was marked to be public (as several users asked for that, since it didn't make sense as private), it wasn't appearing on profiles, so TJ got rid of the field (also because private, it was redundant due to the notepad). Sorry if you had anything there that you lost. D:

Ah fiddlesticks, I was wondering where it went. Oh well, the only thing on there was some lineage project ideas and they needed reworking anyway. Thanks for the answer! ^_^ 

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I have been *trying* to insert a linked image in a trade post, following the the instructions above, I can get the 'Insert image from URL' box to open, I put in the image url and nothing happens.  No edit box, nothing.  What on earth am I doing wrong?

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12 minutes ago, prpldrgnfr said:

I have been *trying* to insert a linked image in a trade post, following the the instructions above, I can get the 'Insert image from URL' box to open, I put in the image url and nothing happens.  No edit box, nothing.  What on earth am I doing wrong?

 

So after you paste the url in box and click "Insert into post", the image doesn't show up? I just tested with an image from your sig and it worked fine. What url are you using?

 

If your image is working, once your image is posted, double click it to get the edit box.

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4 minutes ago, SockPuppet Strangler said:

 

So after you paste the url in box and click "Insert into post", the image doesn't show up? I just tested with an image from your sig and it worked fine. What url are you using?

 

If your image is working, once your image is posted, double click it to get the edit box.

I was trying to use this url http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/dragcave/images/2/27/Silver_Tinsel_egg.gif, and when I click "Insert into post"  the box kind of flashes and that's it.  I'll see if I can get the image to show and try it the other way.

 

ETA:Now the silly insert into post is working.:dry:

 

Thank you, sock!

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*dragging the thread up again*

 

Could anybody tell me what is supposed to be the standard font and size of the forum posts, please ? Whenever I insert a specific font or a different size I can't find the right choice to get back to the standard "click answer and write it down" layout.

So, what font and size did I write this post in ??

Edited by Lantean_Pegasus

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7 minutes ago, Lantean_Pegasus said:

Could anybody tell me what is supposed to be the standard font and size of the forum posts, please ? Whenever I insert a specific font or a different size I can't find the right choice to get back to the standard "click answer and write it down" layout.

So, what font and size did I write this post in ??

 

This is Arial, size 13. (13's not a choice on the "Size" dropdown, but neither 12 nor 14 were accurate, so that's what I'm assuming it is.)

The easier way to do it, though, is --

01Vh1kb.png

Click the "Tx" button once you are done writing in a different font style. It should return your text to the default.

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Will do that. Thank you very much !

(I never expected to say that, being the computer fail that I am, but I really miss the "code it yourself" of the old forum. :()

Edited by Lantean_Pegasus

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1 hour ago, Lantean_Pegasus said:

Will do that. Thank you very much !

(I never expected to say that, being the computer fail that I am, but I really miss the "code it yourself" of the old forum. :()

 

You are not alone :(

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And there is nothing TJ can do - this came up a while ago.... Invision has spoken,the end. :(

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^ This is why I prefer ProBoards. It appeases those of us who like coding things ourselves. /brick'd

 

That said, I'm not horrified by the new interface. Some things never change, some things do. The failure to at least open yourself to what does change generally leads to extinction. :rolleyes:

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