|dotNetBB End User Help|
This forum is powered by dotNetBB, the next generation in forum technology using Microsoft's .NET programming framework. Designed for ease of use and high speed performance, dotNetBB is 'THE' forum to use for your community messaging needs. More than just a message board, dotNetBB also offers integrated private messaging between members and a community calendar to track events and birthdays (if not disabled by the forum administrator).
This help documentation is here to assist you in learning the features of the forum, so please take a few minutes to read thru it. You can return to this help documentation at any time by clicking on the 'HELP' link on the upper right corner of the forum.
|Becoming a Member||Back to Top|
In order to use the forum to its full extent, you must be a registered member. Registration does not cost anything and adds the following features (if not separately disabled by an administrator) :
How do I register?
Registration is as simple as filling out a quick form. CLICK HERE to create your profile right now.
What is COPPA?
The Childhood Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998 is a privacy act enabled to protect children under the age of 13. If enabled by the forum administrator, you might need to affirm that you are at least 13 years of age in order to register online for forum membership. If you are under the age of 13 and the administrator has COPPA registration enabled, you will need to have from your parent or legal guardian fill out the printed registration form specific for COPPA registrants and send it to the contact listed on the form. More information about COPPA can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/coppafaqs.htm.
|Log in to the Forum||Back to Top|
How do I log in to the forum?|
The method you will use to log into the forum may vary depending on how the forum administrator has configured the forum authentication. This documentation only covers the standard dotNetBB authentication method. If you are unable to log into the forum following these steps, please contact your forum administrator.
If the forum is using dotNetBB authentication, you should see a "Log In" link or button in the upper right corner of the forum. Clicking on this link will take you to the log in form. Enter the user name and password you selected when you created your forum member profile and click on the 'SUBMIT' button to process your login. You will be notified of a successful login when you have correctly entered your user name and password.
I forgot my user name or password. Now what do I do?
If you are unable to remember your user name or password, you can click the link below the login form that says "Forget your login information? CLICK HERE". This will take you to another form where you can enter your e-mail address that you used when you registered your account. Your login information will be mailed to the address you enter.
|Navigating The Forum||Back to Top|
The Navigation Bar|
When you are logged into the forum as a member, the top of the forum you should have something similar to this image :
When navigating thru the forum posts, you will find 4 main views. These views are :
Following The Breadcrumbs
As you navigate the forum a breadcrumb trail is shown near the top of the forum. These breadcrumbs are there to assist you in moving up one or more levels based on where you currently are in the forum. An example of a breadcrumb link trail would be :
|Posting To The Forum||Back to Top|
Using the WYSIWYG Editor (a.k.a. What You See Is What You Get)|
If enabled by the forum administrator, and if you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer (v5.5 or newer) you can use the WYSIWYG editor with your posts. Using this editor you will see the font, font size, and any other changes to your post in the post editor itself. This is very similar to using a program like MS Word where you see how your post will appear as you type it. This is an improvement from the standard editor since you do not have to preview the post before seeing how it will appear. You can apply the changes to your post by using the toolbar buttons that are found above the edit box. An example of the WYSIWYG editor can be seen in this image :
Using the Standard Editor (a.k.a. mCode Editor)
The Standard Editor is the editor that has been used with all versions of dotNetBB. This editor is the default editor for browsers that do not support the WYSIWYG editor. The Standard Editor can also be used by members who do support the WYSIWYG editor by clicking on the "Standard Form" link on the WYSIWYG form. When using the Standard editor, you can change the post formatting by using mCode, a pseudo-HTML code replacement language designed to be simple to use and semi-familiar to anyone who has used other forums on the Internet. An example of the Standard editor can be seen in this image :
Adding A Poll To Your Post
If enabled by the forum administrator, you can add a poll to your post. You can only add a poll to a new topic by checking the box in your post similar to the image below :
When you submit your forum post form with this box checked you will be shown a second form similar to this image :
You must enter a minimum of 2 choices for your poll before it will be accepted. The actual maximum number of choices may vary depending on what your forum adminitrator has set. Additionally, if you would like the poll to end after a period of time, you can enter in the maximum number of days you want the poll to run in the box labeled "Poll Timeout".
Attaching A File To Your Post
If enabled by the forum administrator, you can add a file attachment to your post. The actual attachment types that are allowed to be uploaded will vary depending on what the adminstrator has enabled. You can add an attachment to your post by clicking on the button similar to what is shown in the image below :
When you click on this button you will get a popup similar to this image that you can use to upload your file :
You can only attach one file per post. The maximum file size is set by the forum administrator and is shown on the form.
The forum administrators have the option of replacing words that they decide are offensive or unacceptable for use on the forum. If this is used, this administrative feature would replace any words in your post that are on their list of censored words. Typically the filtered words are replaced with characters such as "****" though the administrator may choose to replace it differently.
Editing Your Post
You can edit your post by clicking on the edit image in the message thread similar to :
Deleting Your Post
You can delete your post by clicking on the delete image in the message thread similar to :
Why did my post change and it says it was edited by a moderator?
From time to time the forum administrators and moderators might feel the need to edit your post. This can be done for various reasons, most of which can be better explained by them.
|Using The Control Panel||Back to Top|
Your Control Panel is the place to change your personal preferences and options for the forum. There are 6 main parts to the
control panel that split up the various sections. These 6 sections are :|
Control Panel Home Page
The Control Panel home page gives you a quick view of any unread Private Messages and any threads you are subscribed to that have unread posts. You can use the links in either section to quickly go to these unread items.
If the forum is using dotNetBB authentication, you can use the form on this page to change the password you use to log into the forum with.
Your forum profile can be edited on this page. All fields can be changed with the exception of your user name. Once you pick a user name it is yours to keep and only a forum administrator can change it. When creating or editing your profile your real name, user name, password and e-mail address are all required fields. All other fields are optional but you are encouraged to complete the profile form as much as possible.
Your forum options can be edited on this page. Items such as your local time zone, language preference, forum theme and personal avatar are all set using the form found on this page.
If you are subscribed to any forums or message threads, you can use this page to unsubscribe from those items.
Edit Ignored Users
If you have decided to ignore any forum members, you can use this page to remove the ignore filter.
|Using Private Messaging||Back to Top|
What Is PM|
If enabled by the forum administrator, you can use Private Messaging (a.k.a. PM) to send messages in private to other members of the forum. While this is not intended to replace posting in the forums, there are times that things might need to be communicated in private and PM offers the means to do this. You can access your PM Mailbox by clicking on the "Private Messaging" link on the navigation bar.
To ensure that the amount of space used by individual mailboxes to not use too much space in the forum database, your forum administrator may set a maximum allowed amount of messages to be stored in your mailbox. This total is a combined amount from both your Inbox and Sent Items folders. If you exceed the maximum allowed set by the administrator, you will not be able to send any new private messages until you delete enough messages in either your sent items or inbox to get back below the maximum allowed. You can track your current mailbox maximum's by finding the table similar to the image below :
Sending A Private Message
To send a private message to someone you can click on the "New PM" button in your PM mailbox. This will take you to a form that is similar to the standard forum post form, but with an additional input field for the member's name you want to send the message to. It should look similar to the image below (WYSIWYG version shown) :
To find a member's name when sending your message you can click on the "Lookup User" link to the left of the "To:" field. This will open a popup window similar to the image shown below. You can use the popup form to find the member names you want to send your message to. You can select more than one member to send the message to at one time.
|Using the Community Calendar||Back to Top|
Calendar Views |
If enabled by the forum administrator, the Community Calendar can be used to view member birthdays and events. The calendar has the following view modes :
Adding an Event to the Calendar
Member's have the ability to add events to the Community Calendar. You can add an event by clicking on the "Add Event" link in the upper left corner of the calendar when in the "Month View" or "Year View" modes. When you click on this link you will be taken to a form similar to what is shown in the image below. Using this form, you can enter in the date/time that your event will start and end and choose what timezone to set the event for. This time will be adjusted for each member viewing the event to their selected timezone setting. NOTE : HTML and mCode is not allowed in the Community Calendar. The calendar only allows plain text messages.
|Searching The Forum||Back to Top|
You can search the forum by clicking on the "Search" link on the navigation bar. Using keywords you can search any of the forums you have access to. You have the
option of filtering the results by selecting the forums to be searched, time range, and maximum number of posts returned. The search form is similar to
the image below :|
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