Please note that, because an SMF forum may be customized extensively by its administrator(s), the presence of a feature in this documentation does not necessarily mean that it will be available to all users in all forums.
- Posting Basics
- Standard Posting Options
- Tags and Nesting (for beginners)
- Additional Options
Starting a New Topic
Browse to the board where you wish to post and click the New Topic button (positioned by default at both the top and the bottom of the board, as shown in the User Help Introduction), which should take you to the Start new topic screen. While this presents a number of options, the two most important are the Subject field and main Message field (not labeled as such, but obvious by its size). So enter your subject and start to type (or paste) your message into the main text area, noting that a message missing either a subject or a body will not be accepted for posting until it has both. If you're happy with your plain text message, you can then post it by clicking the Post button and/or preview it first by clicking the Preview button, but there are many further options available to make things that little bit more interesting.
- Some forums show the navigation tree at the top in a space-saving horizontal mode.
- Some forums may be configured to offer an additional Spell Check button alongside the Post and Preview options.
Starting a New Poll
A poll is basically a topic with an added question and voting options, started by clicking New Poll instead of New Topic as described above. To post a poll it is necessary to fill out the Question field and at least two of the Option fields in addition to the Subject and Message fields required by a standard topic. Further options to configure how many choices the user may vote for, how long the poll should run, whether users can change their votes and what conditions must be fulfilled for the results to be displayed should be self-explanatory.
To offer more than five choices in a poll, simply click Add Option as many times as necessary.
Note that it may also be possible for some users in some forums to add a poll to an existing topic.
Replying to a Topic or Poll
Replying to a topic or poll is basically the same as starting a new topic, but it's not necessary to enter anything in the Subject field unless you wish to change what's already there. To vote in a poll, you simply have to select your chosen option(s) and click Submit Vote.
Quoting a Post
To reply to a post by quoting it, you can either click the Quote button for the relevant post and add your own message to the quoted text or click the Reply button followed by Insert Quote from the relevant post in the 'Topic Summary' below, but note that:
- Both these options add a link to the original post showing the name of the poster and the date and time of the post, whereas the Bulletin Board Code quote tag simply quotes the relevant post without this additional information.
- You can also retain or add the 'author' attribute independently of the full Quote function, as demonstrated in the SMF Bulletin Board Code Reference below.
Modifying or Deleting a Post
To modify a post, click the Modify button and make your changes. Note that most forums are likely to be configured to show the date and time of the last edit, but the administrator(s) may also allow a short period to elapse before this happens.
To delete a post, click the Delete button followed by OK from the Remove this message? box that appears. Some forums may also allow you to remove topics or polls that you start, but the buttons for these are usually at the bottom of the page.
This drop-down menu allows you to change the default icon for the subject line to something matching the mood or purpose of your post.
The following options may appear by default in some forums but be contained within an expanding/collapsing panel (try clicking the link with the arrow below!) in others:
Notify me of replies
Check this to subscribe to email notification for the topic.
Return to this topic
Check this to return to the topic (instead of the message index) after posting (NB you can also set this behavior as a preference in your profile).
Don't use smileys
Check this to prevent certain character combinations in your post from being parsed and rendered as smileys.
If enabled, this feature allows you to attach files to your posts in much the same way as most email clients, so you simply have to browse to the relevant file(s) on your computer before clicking Post. You can delete your attachment(s) or add more by modifying your post, but please note that:
- The permitted file types and sizes are set by the forum administrator(s).
- Although most forums are likely be configured to display attached images as part of the post, it's not possible to preview attachments so you should always browse to and attach your files just before you finally post your message.