Using The Forums - The Basics

About Forums, Threads and Messages

What is a forum?
A forum is an online discussion site. It's sometimes also called a 'bulletin board' or 'board'. It contains
  • categories where forums about related topics are grouped together. Categories contain
    • forums where discussions (known as threads) on a particular topic are located. Forums contain
      • threads (discussions) on specific topics and threads contain
        • posts (individual messages)

How do I find my way around the forums?
Because we have so many forums, we have created two views for the main forum list.
The forum list is here.

The default Compact View shows the names of the categories and their top level forums. This view is designed to give an overview of the available forums in a more digestible way for people new to AVForums.

The Expanded View shows the traditional forum list like we see on most forums. It shows the categories, the top level forums and the top level sub forums, as well as forum statistics. This view is more appropriate for people who are confident at navigating around the forums.

You can swap between the two views using the Compact View or Expanded View button located top right of the forum list.

About Threads
When you click on a forum's name, you are taken to the list of threads it contains. A thread is a (usually publicly visible) discussion between members. Each thread starts out as a single message and grows as replies are added.

To start a new thread simply click on the Post thread button towards the top-right of the page. If there is no such button, it means you do not have permission to post a new thread (this is usually because you are not logged in or new threads are not permitted in this particular forum).


Threads can be filtered ordered in different ways. The default is to have the thread with the most recent activity at the top. But you can easily change this ordering, for example to have the thread with the most messages at the top, or the most views. Simply click on the Filters link located top right of the thread list. (Note that 'sticky' threads will always be at the top no matter how you change the viewing options).

The elements of the Thread Page are shown in the image below.

Multi-page views
When there are more threads to display than will fit on a single page, you will see the page navigator top-left of the list of threads, which contains page numbers. This indicates that the list of threads has been split over two or more pages. This method of splitting lists of items over many pages is used throughout the forum. If there are lots of pages, you can click the page number or the Next and Previous buttons to change the displayed page.

What are sticky threads?
Sticky threads contain particularly useful information and are 'stuck' near the top of the thread list by forum staff.

How do I read a thread?
To read a thread, click on its title. Each message in a thread is created by a member. You'll see some brief information about the member who created the thread to the left of their message.

How to I reply to a thread?
To post a reply to an existing thread, type your reply in the box at the bottom of the list of messages and click on the Post Reply button. If there is nowhere to type your reply and no Post Reply button, it could mean that you are not logged in as a member, or that you do not have permission to reply, usually because the thread has been closed to new replies.

How do I find out more about members?
To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will open a popup window showing information about them. Click their name in the window to visit their public profile page.

What is the Breadcrumb?
The breadcrumb is a navigation aid which shows you the location of the forum page you are currently viewing in relation to other forum pages. The term comes from the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel in the popular fairy-tale.

The image below shows the anatomy of a typical thread.



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What do the post buttons (message composition buttons) do?

This video illustrates the function of the message composition buttons

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Why are the post buttons (message composition buttons) greyed out / disabled / unavailable / not working?

You have toggled BB code mode so that the buttons are not longer usable.
To re-enabled them, click here...

and click the two square brackets button


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What is the Breadcrumb?

The Breadcrumb is the navigation aid displayed below the header and above the footer of all forum pages. It allows users to keep track of their locations within the forum.
Each element of the Bredcrumb is clickable to return to navigate to that area of the website.
The term comes from the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel in the popular fairytale.


The breadcrumb is a standard feature of websites as explained by Wikipedia.


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Why can't I post a message?

If you can't post a message it is because you are either not logged in, or you don't have permission to post in the particular forum.
Look in the FAQ for Membership information here to find out more.

How do I upload a picture to a post?

To upload a picture to a post, press the Attach files button below the text box and the select the pictures or other files you wish to upload.

How do I Like / Thank / Agree with a post?

The Reactions system allows you to react to posts with one of a number of different reactions. These reactions include Like, Thanks and Agree and provide an easy way for you to indicate how you feel about a particular post. Only one reaction can be given per post.

In order to react to posts, you must be an AVForums member logged in to the forums.

Hover over (or tap on a touch device) the blue thumbs-up icon. This shows the reactions available. Click on one of these to react to the post.

You can always undo your rating by clicking the Remove link.

The reactions given to a particular post are shown below the post on the left.

How do I get a positive reaction to my posts?

Other members choose to give you a positive reaction (e.g. Like/Thanks/Agree) in appreciation for the contents of a post you make. So if you want positive reactions, post something useful in the forums. Please do not ask people to give you a positive reaction as this is against our rules.

How do I quote multiple posts? What is the + Quote button?

The + Quote button allows you to select various posts (from different threads if you wish) to be quoted in a reply you type.

To select a message to be quoted, click the + Quote button. Note that the plus sign + changes to a minus sign - which indicates that you have selected this post to quote. Click the - Quote button to deselect it.

When at least one post has been selected for quoting, an Insert Quotes... button will appear below the reply text box.

Clicking the Insert Quotes... button will activate a pop-up window allowing you to confirm which of the selected posts you wish to quote in your reply. Select the required quoted posts and click the Quote These Messages button.

The posts will all be inserted into the reply box ready for you to add your comments.
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