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Features: Help and How-To Running Thread

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Glenn MacGrady

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Oct 24, 2012
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Welcome to our new, richly featured Xenforo (XF) software platform.

There is no user help manual for the XF features. There is a Help link on the bottom right of this page, which provides a little info. Where I will look for help is in the Xenforo 2 Administrator's Manual and on the Xenforo support forums. You can, too. Anyone can search and read the XF support forums for answers, but only I as the licensee can post there.


The purpose of this thread is to provide a running How-To FAQ about various XF features, which I will update periodically as we discover how to use the features in other threads posted in this forum. I'll begin with a few.

• Your Profile and Account Settings: I recommend you initially click on your profile avatar/icon in the navigation bar on the upper right. Then, you can experiment with and adjust all the various options in Privacy, Preferences and the other menu items.
You should also be able to figure out how to upload an avatar or change your avatar.

Choosing Different Site Color Themes: The site's default color theme is blue fonts on white background. If you go down to the bottom left corner of any page, you will see the Style Chooser icon (paint brush). Click that and you can also choose the Chestnut Green-Gray, Mocha Style, Arctic, Shades of Blue, or Shades of Grey color theme.

• Forum Descriptions: If you hover your cursor over the name of a forum in the Default, Arctic, Shades of Blue or Shades of Grey color themes, you will see the detailed description of what type of threads belong in the forum. The forum descriptions are permanently visible in the Chestnut Green-Gray and the Mocha color themes.

• Enhanced Search and Similar Threads: There is an enhanced search feature. You will mostly notice it popping up "similar threads" when typing a new thread topic or when just reading a thread. The purpose is to help searchers find threads similar to the topic or question they are interested in.

• Individual Posts are Called "Messages" in Xenforo Lingo. But I personally will use both terms to mean the same thing.

• How to Post a New Thread. There are two ways to start a new thread, which are essentially the same:

→ 1. On the top right of the home page there is a rectangular button that says "Post thread". Click that. It brings up a box with a list of all the forums. Choose the forum that best fits your topic and click it. That will open up a new thread posting page where you fill in the title of your thread and then type your text. There are also various editing tool buttons you can use for bold, italics, embedding photos and videos, etc. When you are finished and want to go public, press the "Post thread" button at the bottom of the text box.

→ 2. From the front page list of forums, choose the forum that best fits your topic and click it. That will bring up a page with a list of all the threads in that forum. At the top right of that page is a rectangular "Post thread" button. Click it. That will open up the new thread posting page as described in #1 above.

• Editing Time for Messages: You have 48 hours after posting a message to edit it. After that, the editing button will disappear. If you have an important need to edit something older than that, contact me and either I can do it or give you temporary permission to do so.

• Quoting other Posters: There are two types of quote features:

→ 1. Select quote: If you want to quote and reply to something Adam wrote, just highlight the words in Adam's post you want quoted. Then click the mini Reply box that pops up. That will take you to the text entry box, which automatically will have the quoted words entered.

→ 2. Multi-quote: If you want to quote both Adam and Eve (or more), highlight the words from Adam's post you want to quote, and then press the multi-quote (+Quote) button at the bottom of Adam's post. Then do the same within Eve's post. When you scroll down to the reply text entry box, press the Insert Quotes button, which will add the selected Adam and Eve quotes to the text entry box.

• Private Messages are Called "Conversations" in XF: There are at least two ways to initiate a private conversation. The first is to click on the envelope icon in the navigation bar underneath the site logo, and then follow the prompts. The second way is to hover your cursor over the member's name or avatar, which will bring up several items of information including a Start Conversation prompt.

• Reaction Score and Trophies: These are different ways measuring a member's posting impact. Reaction Score is an algorithm based on the reactions a post received. There are five emoji reactions available: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry. Trophy points are awarded by another algorithm, which is explained in the Help link at the bottom right of this page.

• "Unfurling" URLs: If you want to link to the URL of an article, you can do it the old-fashioned, unfurled way: Click the Insert Link icon in the text entry box and then paste in the URL. The result looks like this:


In XF, you can forget clicking the Insert Link icon and simply paste the URL directly into the text box. You must paste the link in as a new paragraph if there is regular text before it. Then, the software will automatically "unfurl" the URL to give a clickable snippet preview of the article that looks like this:

Easier and more sophisticated looking, methinks, and it makes our site distinctive from others.

There is more detail on how to post unfurling and regular links HERE.

• Cleaning Out Your Conversations Inbox: To clean out old conversations, Xenforo has what it calls a "Leave" function (rather than "Delete"). Leaving a conversation removes it from your inbox, but not the other participant's inbox. You may "soft" leave, which will restore the conversation to your inbox if you get a future response to the conversation. A "hard" leave will delete the conversation on your end permanently.

You can reach the "Leave" function in two ways. First, if the conversation is open like a thread, you will see a Leave button on the upper right. That button will let you soft or hard leave that single conversation.

The second method allows you to leave multiple conversations at the same time. Look at the list of your conversations and you will see a checkbox next to each conversation's title. Check as many conversation boxes as you want to leave and a "Choose action" menu will open at the bottom of your screen. Select "Leave conversations" from the menu and then press the blue "Go" button. That will let you soft or hard leave all the checked conversations at once.

• Maximum Images and Attachments per Message: I have set both the maximum images per message and maximum attachments per message to 30. Images can be embedded within message text using the Insert Image (mountain) icon in the toolbar atop the reply box. Images can also be attached at the end (bottom) of your message using the Attach Files (paperclip) button below the reply box. Attachments can be images, but also can be documents, sound files, video files and other things.

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