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Technical FAQs

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 06:10 pm

This section is designed to answer some of the more technical "how do I...?" type questions you may have relating to posting on the forum. It is designed as a supplement to the forum FAQ, which details basic operation on the site.

The index below lists the questions answered so far in this FAQ. You can go directly to a question and answer by clicking on it, or by scrolling down as normal in the thread.

It is not possible to post to this thread, so if you have a technical question you can either post it to the separate questions thread, or send them via PM.
Last edited by Addicted on Sat Apr 23, 2005 07:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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How do I add pictures to my post?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 07:00 pm

Q: How do I add pictures to my post?

A: This is done using the img tag (from the bar above the text entry box). What you need to do is put the tag, then the hyperlink to the picture, and then the closing tag.

For example, to include a picture "fred.jpg" on http://www.mysite.com, the link could be:

Code: Select all
[img]http://www.mysite.com/fred.jpg[/img]


The picture itself needs to be hosted on a suitably accessible web site. Having it on your local hard disk is not usually good enough, as people who are not at your machine will not be able to access it.

There are two ways to achieve this. Some forum members have websites or available webspace, and if you ask nicely they may host the picture for you. Alternatively there are a number of web-based services that will do this for you. A commonly used one is photobucket, which is free to use (although you do need to register). They will even generate the img tag you need to use, all you need to do is cut and paste it into your post.

With thanks to Steeljam for letting me know about the code tag.

Editted to add:

In the new forum set-up, you can directly attach and use pictures in your posts. When writing your post, just underneath are two tabs, one of which says "Options" and the other "Upload Attachment".

  • Click on the upload attachment one, and using the browse button point the window towards the file on your hard disc.
  • Push the "add the file" button. This will upload the file (picture in our case) to the server - note that there are file size and extension limits.
  • A new box will appear just under your normal message box (between it and the aforementioned tabs) labelled "posted attachments"
  • Here you have the buttons available to place inline (add the file into your post) or to delete it (if you uploaded the wrong one). Youi can also add comments if you wish.
  • Select "Place Inline" to add code tags into your post to show where the picture will appear. You can then move these around in your post to wherever you want them to be.

Hope that's clear :) If you place the file inline then it is automatically downloaded and displayed when the post is. Otherwise you have to click on it to download it as an attachment.
Last edited by Darren on Mon Apr 25, 2005 03:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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How do I add URLs with normal "short" names?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 07:08 pm

Q: How do I add URLs with normal "short" names?

A: If you use the standard pair of tags, everything in between them is the link. Hence you will see the full url path, which can be somewhat ugly and long.

To make a neater URL link, the coding to use is

Code: Select all
[URL=http://www.yoursite.com]click here[/url]


with the hyperlink address and message being your own.

For example, the long version:

"Click on this link to go to the stamp homepage - http://www.discworldemporium.com."

can be made to look the much nicer in the form

"click here to go to the stamp homepage."

using

Code: Select all
[i]"click [url=http://www.discworldemporium.com]here[/url] to go to the stamp homepage."[/i]


The i tags are for italics, and aren't required for the linking (unless you want it in italics).
Last edited by Darren on Sat Apr 23, 2005 09:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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How do I set/change my avatar?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 07:41 pm

Q: How do I set/change my avatar?

A: The control panel for the avatar is at the bottom of your profile information. To access this, click "profile" at the top of the page.

Your avatar is the small picture that appears to the left of all of your posts, underneath your name, number of posts and location information. It can be in any graphical format you wish, although has a maximum file size of 8kB and dimensions of 80 pixels x 80 pixels.

There are many pieces of software available that can be used to edit and resize images. A very basic program on Windows machines is "paint", which can do the job. Recommended file formats are .jpg or .gif, as they are usually the smallest, to meet the 8kB limit.

It is possible to use animated .gif's as avatars, if they fit the criteria. A useful site for editting and resizing these is gifworks.

In all cases the avatars should be non-offensive to other forum members (e.g. nothing XXX).
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How do I link directly to posts in other threads?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 07:51 pm

Q: How do I link directly to posts in other threads?

A: Sometimes it is useful to be able to refer readers of your posts to other posts on the forum, by hyperlink. The simplest way to do this is to go to the post you wish to refer to, and right-click on the small white page icon in the top-left hand corner (beside the posting date).

Your browser should open up a menu with various items. The one you want is "copy shortcut" (in Internet Explorer), "copy link location" (in Firefox) or something similar (if using a different browser). Select this to store the URL of the post in the computers clipboard.

Once you have this, you can write your post and include the hyperlink in the normal way. When you need to enter the URL location, paste the clipboard back in. For more details on "friendly" hyperlinks, see the post above (or click here).

With thanks to Fendetestas for this useful tip.
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How to I quote (and split quotes)?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 08:12 pm

Q: How to I quote (and split quotes)?

A: The basic quote in reply to a post is well known, by simply using the "quote" button at the right hand side of the post you wish to quote in your reply.

Anything within quote tags will appear in a white quote box as seen in normal replies. If you want to name the source of your quote, the format is:

Code: Select all
[quote="name"] The text you wish to quote goes here. [/quote]


where name is the person you wish to quote, the "" need to be included too.

For example a block of text could be quoted in one section using the normal quotes:

Everything I have between these quote tags will come out in one box.
Even things on a second line


Or to split it in two, and give different citations for each:

Person one wrote:Everything I have between these quote tags will come out in one box.

Person two wrote:Even things on a second line
Last edited by Darren on Sat Apr 23, 2005 09:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Why is the PM I sent yesterday in my outbox still?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 08:27 pm

Q: Why is the PM I sent yesterday in my outbox still?

A: PMs (or personal messages) are a very nice little feature of the forum. They work in a slightly different manner from normal email however, which can cause some problems and confusion.

When you write your PM and click send, the message goes into your outbox. It remains there until the person you sent it to logs into the forum and opens their messages. At this point the message appears in their inbox for them to read, and goes from your outbox into your sent items box.

This has the advantage that you can actually view and edit any PM you have sent that has yet to be read. Simply select the outbox and open the PM as you would a normal post, and edit it if you wish. You can also use this to tell if your PM has been read or not (as a kind of read receipt), if it is still in the outbox then it has not been read.

It should be noted however that if you delete the PM whilst it is your outbox, if the recipient has their profile set to notify them of new PMs being received, they will get the email. When they log on however there will be no PMs waiting for them (at least from you), which can (and has in the past) cause confusion and comment.
Last edited by Darren on Tue Oct 18, 2005 03:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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How do you create bullet-pointed lists?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 08:43 pm

Q: How do you create bullet-pointed lists?

A: Lists are done using these tags:

Code: Select all
[list][/list] for normal lists or [list=][/list] for an ordered list.


For the ordered lists, if you put =1 you get a numeric list (1,2,3...), and if you put =a you get an alphabetical one (a,b,c...).

There is no bullet-point marking each line however. It is possible to have a bullet-pointed list. To do this simply add
Code: Select all
[*]

before each item. For example
Code: Select all
[list][*] One. [*] Two. [*] Three. [/list]

would look like:

  • One.
  • Two.
  • Three.
Last edited by Darren on Sat Apr 23, 2005 09:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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What happens when my inbox reaches 100% full?

Postby Darren » Sat Apr 23, 2005 09:46 pm

Q: What happens when my inbox reaches 100% full?

A: All of the "boxes" in the personal message space have a limited size. When you send or receive a PM, it is stored in the relevant box (inbox or sent items). If they are not deleted, gradually the boxes will fill up.

Once they reach 100%, the next message sent or received will "push out" the oldest one, which is then automatically deleted. Thus if you have sent or received a PM that you particularly want to keep, you should save it to the save box using the "save message" button. Note though that this box also has a limited size, and the same rule applies if it reaches 100%.
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How do I post hidden (spoiler) text?

Postby Darren » Tue Apr 26, 2005 03:30 pm

Q: How do I post hidden (spoiler) text?

A: This is done by changing the colour of the text to match the background colour (grey or light blue). To do this you need to use the color tag, with either colour=#EFEFEF (for grey backgrounds) or color=#DEE3E7 (for light blue backgrounds).

Hence the text:
Code: Select all
[color=#EFEFEF]This text is invisible on grey backgrounds[/color] and [color=#DEE3E7]THis is invisible on light blue backgrounds[/color]


will generate this text : This text is invisible on grey backgrounds and This is invisible on light blue backgrounds

To see the text, all you need to do is highlight it (drag the cursor over it). This will invert the colour of the background, thus making the text visible again.

With thanks (again) to Fendetestas for his original information on how to do this.
Last edited by Darren on Thu Jul 20, 2006 07:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Why does the forum time appear to be wrong?

Postby Darren » Sun May 15, 2005 07:14 am

Q: Why does the forum time appear to be wrong?

A: The forum has its own clock, which is used to mark the time when posts and PMs are completed. As this forum is used by people in many countries and timezones, "Forum time" is fixed to the GMT timezone.

Hence in winter, forum time is the same as that in the UK (where the forum is based). In summer however (when the clocks change and we go to BST), there will appear to be a 1 hour difference (BST = GMT + 1 hour). The forum is not reset to BST as this may cause problems on the change-over days, with posts being wrongly timed.

When new accounts are created, the default timezone set is GMT. This is why the forum time can appear wrong. To change this, all you need to do is go into your profile (through the link at the top of the screen). Towards the bottom (just above the avatar area) is a selection called "Timezone", where you can set your current timezone relative to GMT.

Making this change in your profile should bring the forum time back in line with your local PC time. Any other variation may be a fault on the forum computer, and should be reported to a moderator or administrator.
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How do I obtain special character symbols?

Postby Darren » Fri Aug 05, 2005 08:11 pm

Q: How do I obtain special character symbols?

A: Useful symbols such as ™ and ¼ can be produced using the ALT key plus a four-digit code typed on the numeric pad of your keyboard.

Some examples are:
  • ALT 0153 - â„¢
  • ALT 0188 - ¼
  • ALT 0189 - ½
  • ALT 0199 - Ç
  • ALT 0128 - €
  • ALT 0163 - £
  • ALT 0165 - Â¥
  • ALT 0177 - ±

For a full list of them, click here. With thanks to Fendetestas and Steeljam for the original discussion on this tip.
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How do I hide the signature and avatar of another member?

Postby steeljam » Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:27 pm

Q: How do I hide the signature and avatar of another member?

A: If you look at the bottom left hand corner of a post you will see a number of icons
The first icon just shows a person in a blue top. If you click on this it will hide the avatar and the signature of that person.
The icon will now show as red. Clicking it again will restore the avatar and signature.

Note: Annoying avatars and long signatures will cause people to turn them off. If you advertise on you signature make sure it isn't annoying or people will not see your sales.

Note 2: It is hereby reminded that pictures and other images are not allowed within signatures. If one is found, you will be asked nicely to remove it by a moderator. Anyone not doing so may have it removed by the administrators.
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Is there a way to check spelling on the Forum?

Postby steeljam » Mon Apr 17, 2006 06:15 am

Q: Is there a way to check spelling on the Forum?

A: If you want an easy and simple way of avoiding typing errors when posting to the forum then the Google tool bar is a useful tool.

After typing the post in the text box click on the ABC <green tick> Check button. If there are any words that are not in the dictionary they are highlighted and you can correct them easily.

If you haven't got the Google Toolbar then go to the Google toolbar page and download it. It is available for IE and Firefox.
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