Using The Forums

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 may contain several categories, consisting of forums, threads and individual messages.

How is all this structured?
The forum as a whole contains various categories (broad subject areas), which themselves contain forums (more specific subject areas) which contain threads (conversations on a particular topic) which are made up of individual messages (where a user writes something).

Threads are also sometimes called 'discussions'.

Messages are 'posted' to the forums and are sometimes called 'posts'.

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 'Detailed 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 'Switch to Compact View' or 'Switch to Detailed View' button 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 conversation between members. Each thread starts out as a single message and grows as replies are added by different members.

To start a new thread simply click on the 'Post New 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 the thread has been closed, or the thread is in a forum in which new replies are not permitted).

Threads can be ordered in many 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 appropriate column heading at the top of the list of threads. You can also reverse the sorting order by clicking the heading again. (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 may 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 a small arrow to change the displayed page numbers to find the page you want.

What are sticky threads?
'Sticky' threads are created by forum staff, and remain 'stuck' to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any messages recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.

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 the 'Post Reply' button does not appear, it could mean that you are not logged in as a member, or that you do not have permission to reply, or that the thread has been closed to new replies.

The 'More Options' button gives you more options when replying to a thread such as the ability to preview your reply prior to posting it.

Is there a faster way to get to forums?
If you know which forum you want to go to, you can use the 'Forum Jump' control, which appears to the right of the breadcrumb (see below).

How do I find out more about members?
To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will take you to 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 fairytale.

The image below shows the anatomy of a typical thread.


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 Like / Thank / Agree with a post?

The Reactions system allows you to react to posts with one of a number of different reactions. These ratings 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?

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.

How do I contact a Moderator ?

To contact a moderator, you need to start a conversation with them.
If you know the name of the moderator you wish to contact then you should open your conversations page and type the moderator's name into the recipient box. Click here to open your conversations page.

If you don't know the name of the moderator to contact, you can navigate to the forum relevant to your issue and click the Moderator List link. This link is above the thread list of all forums.
The list of moderators shows the most recently online at the top. Start a Conversation with one of the moderators in the list.

How do I upload picture to a post?

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

What is the Aggregated view?

Certain areas of the forums have an Aggregated view available. When Aggregated view is enabled, a list of threads from the current forum and all the sub forums will be displayed. In this way, you can see an 'aggregation' of all the threads in this section of the forums.

You can manage your settings for what forums are aggregated via your control panel at

How do I disable the automatically created links in my posts (Skimwords)?

We use Skimwords to help generate income to keep AVForums running. It adds links (to retailers) to certain limited words in posts. It's easy to identify Skimwords links because they are green in colour.
If Skimwords is creating an unwanted link in your post, you can disable it by adding the noskim bbcode around the text.
For example:
[noskim]This is some text I do not want Skimlinks or Skimwords to create a link in.[/noskim]
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