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Forum Tips and Tricks

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Forum Tips and Tricks

Post  The Don on Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:09 pm

First off, Welcome to the MII Forum! For those of you who are familiar with posting on other forums and message boards, you probably don't need to read this. However, for those of you to whom forum software is new, read below for instructions and tips on how to effectively use the forum.

Basic Instructions

The primary means of communication on the MII Forum is through posting on the various boards. While the ForumMotion software is relatively easy-to-use, for those of you unfamiliar with forums, you may find some of the more advanced functions complicated. If you find you cannot view/post on a board, that means you don't have access to it (e.g. you are a student trying to use the faculty-only board). If you can't post in any forum, contact me or Adam and we'll sort it out.

To start a new topic, click the big button that says "New Topic". Ok, pretty straightforward. Likewise, if you want to reply to a topic that someone else started, click on that topic to view the thread, then click the button that says "Post Reply". In either case, you will type what you want into the box, then hit "Send". Your post will then be uploaded onto the forum for others to view. However, please remember to use the forum search tool before starting a new topic so that you don't start a thread that someone else has already started!

If you're unsure about how your post is going to look (e.g. if you are formatting it), hit the "Preview" button instead. This will give you a glance at how others will see your post. If you forget to do this and you notice something in your post that you want to alter, that's no problem. Simply view it and click the "Edit" button at the top of the post. You can then make your changes and resubmit the post.

Formatting Your Post

The ForumMotion software that we are using has pretty simple text formatting tools. Above the text box of your post-in-progress, there is a toolbar with a variety of formatting options available. To, for example, underline a section of text, you can highlight it, then click the underline button. Your post would then look something like this:

Code:
[u]Underlined Text[/u]

The is an example of a 'tag' of BBCode, which is how forum software recognizes the formatting of your text. For a primer on BBCode, click on the question mark on the formatting toolbar, or click here: http://uvamic.forumotion.com/faq?mode=bbcode. BBCode tags can be used to change the font, color, etc. of your post, just like in a word processor. However, if you want to type your post without all the distracting code, click this toolbar button, which will switch your post editor to more of a word-processor appearance.

Inserting Images, Etc. Into Your Post

At some point, you may wish to add a picture to your post. First, you must have the image hosted somewhere online. If you already have a place for this, then great, you can use that. If not, you need to click the "Host an image" button in the toolbar and upload your image. However your image was hosted, you can then add it to your post by clicking the "Insert Image" button, or using the tags: [img][/img] around its url. Please make sure that the picture is not too big for the screen as this is very annoying! The default size for forums is 800 pixels.

Speaking of url's, you can insert hyperlinks into your post by using the [url][/url] tags or by clicking the "Insert URL" button on the toolbar. Emoticons (for those of you so inclined to use them) are even easier. Just click on the emoticon you want--see the menu next to the text box--and it will be inserted into your post.

Advanced Posting Topics

There are many other tags and functions that you can use as you post, including
Spoiler:
spoiler tags,
quote tags,
and subscripts and superscripts. Play around with them as you want.

You can also add polls to the topics that you start. To do this, simply fill in the section below the text box labeled "Add a Poll". Additionally, on some boards, such as the Break Room, you can add calendar events to organize activities by filling out the section labeled "Calendar". Feel free to use this option, but be aware that over-use of it could clutter the calendar, making it more difficult to notice important MII-wide events.

Editing Your Profile

Everyone has their own 'profile', where you can customize your avatar, signature, and preferences. Importantly, this is also where you can add information about yourself. Since the point of this forum is to get everyone in MII talking to each other, it would be nice if we all know who we're talking to! To edit your profile, simply click the 'Profile' link at the top of the page, and check out each of the tabs. To view someone else's profile, you can click on their name, avatar, or the icon of a little person that is next to any of their forum posts. You can also search for another member using the forum's search tool.

Private Messaging and Chat

The MII forum also supports private messaging and chatroom functions. To PM someone, click on the icon right next to the 'profile' icon--it looks the same, only with the letters 'PM' next to it. You can also access private messaging through their profile. To check your own private messages, click the link at the top of the page that is to the right of the 'Profile' link. Of course, email works too.

You can also participate in the MII chatroom at the bottom of the homepage. First you must log in to the chatroom (even if you're already logged into the forum itself). Then, chat away! It will automatically refresh at regular intervals, but you can manually refresh it at any time by clicking 'Refresh' at the top of the chat box.

Final Words

Well, that about all for the basic instructions! For more comprehensive help, visit the ForumMotion FAQ here: http://uvamic.forumotion.com/faq. If you have questions about how to use the forum software, ask them here (or PM me or Adam if you don't want to admit it). Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the MII Forum.

_________________
--
Don Mackay
1st year MII
Current Rotation: Petri lab
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The Don
Founder
Admin

Posts : 10
Join date : 2011-01-18

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