Help

Welcome to The Publishing Training Centre’s discussion forum. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Register

You can only post to the forum if you have registered on the site. Next to the login boxes, at the top left-hand side of the site, there is a ‘Register’ link. If you are a Distance Learning student, or have bought something from this website, you will already have a login and password set up.

Set up your profile

You can access your profile by clicking the 'Profile' tab at the top of the forum. The ‘About Me’ tab in your profile is visible to other users. You can update your profile by clicking the ‘View your profile’ link, or the Profile Tab at the very top right-hand side of the site. Your profile page contains your forum posts. This is an easy way to jump directly to a post that you would like to revisit.

Board signature

You can create a signature that will appear at the bottom of all your posts by clicking the Forum tab in your profile area. Please be careful of infringing copyright laws and also keep signatures to under 200 characters.

Reply to an existing post

Quick Reply - this brings up a small text area (without reloading the webpage) where you can quickly type a short reply. Press 'Submit' when you are done typing your response. If you have a change of heart you can press cancel and nothing gets posted regardless if you typed anything or not.

Reply - This is the standard method in which you should reply when you want to reply primarily to the most recent post. The reason for this is because the subject line of your reply will auto-fill with the subject of the post from which you are replying. In case you were wondering, yes, you can change the subject.

OK, now you are looking at what is called a text editor. Think of it as a slimmed down version of a word processor (such as Microsoft Word) in which you can format your text, add links, images, smilies, etc. More on how to format your post later. For now, type your response and press the 'Preview' button at the bottom of the page if you wish to view your post prior to submitting it. When you are done editing and are satisfied your post is ready to contribute to the forum then press the 'Submit' button.

Quote - If you wish to quote someone's post whether in whole or in part you simple press the 'Quote' button located beside the 'Reply' button underneath each post. Once you press the Quote button you are brought into the same editing environment that you use to edit or create any other post. When you are done replying, press the 'Submit' button.

Create a new post of your own

The best place to start is the Welcome Mat, where you can introduce yourself to the community and tell us a bit more about yourself. It is best to start your own topic in the Welcome Mat category so that people can respond easily. To do this, you need to click on ‘New Topic’ button. Once you have typed your message, just click ‘Submit’.

Format your post

Remember we said earlier that the text editor is very similar to a word processor? Well, as in any word processor you can format and arrange your text for emphasis here in the forum.

The first, basic thing you should know is that the forum uses what's called BBcode or Bulletin Board Code. BBcode uses 'tags' to 'mark up' your text. Each 'tag' has an opening and closing 'tag' denoted within brackets. An opening tag will look like [ ] and a closing tag looks like [/ ]. Notice the slash in the closing bracket is the only thing that is different. If you forget the slash, the forum will interpret your closing bracket as an opening bracket.

The easiest way to 'mark up' your text is usually to type it out first, then select it, and press the appropriate button at the top of the editor. For example, if you wanted to make ‘some text’ bold you would type it out 'some text', then select 'some text' with your mouse, and then press the 'B' icon in the toolbar located just above the Message area (where you are composing your message). You will now see: [b]some text[/b]. When you preview or submit your message it will be displayed as 'some text'. Alternatively, if you know them, you can type the tags manually right along with the rest of your text or you can use the buttons at the top of the editor to insert the tags in your text.

Edit your own post

There will be times when you make a post and you don't catch a misspelled word, fix a broken link or something that will require you to edit you post. It happens to us all so the edit button is easily accessible. When you are looking at one of your own posts that you need to edit you will find the 'Edit' button at the bottom of your post. Simply press the edit button and you use the same editor you used to create your post populated with the actual post. Edit your post as you see fit and, when you are satisfied, press the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the page. All done!

Visibility and notification of your favourite posts

Now that you have settled into your new community and everyone has met you, you want to be able to keep up with your favourite posts without checking in every five minutes to see if something new has posted. There a couple of ways that you can do that.

Subscribe - At the top and the bottom of every thread you will find the 'Subscribe' button. Pressing this button subscribes you to that topic so that any responses to that topic will generate an email notification to your email address stating that a new post has been made along with a link directly to said post for your convenience. You will notice the button now reads 'Unsubscribe' indicating that you are subscribed and pressing the button again will remove your subscription to that thread. Remember that you can also manage your subscriptions in your profile.

Favourite - Another way of gaining visibility of threads that wish to keep an eye on is set them as your 'Favourite'. This will place an obvious indicator, such as a star, beside the topic name of the thread so that it will stand out in the forum list of topics. You will notice the button now reads 'Unfavorite' indicating that the post is already one of your favourites and pressing the button again will remove it from your favourites. This is a great way to get visibility on multiple topics that you wish to watch without getting spammed by email subscriptions. Remember that you can also manage your favourites in your profile.

The Karma System

The Karma system is one of those neat little things that contributes to the community aspect of a website by empowering you to give feedback to those who deserve it. It is a tool you can use to show appreciation or disapproval for anything that another member has done.

Maybe you posted for help on how to do something and got such a swift and helpful response from another member that you want to show appreciation in more than just words. You can applaud them by giving them Karma. Perhaps another member responded to that same post negatively offering no help and unnecessarily making you look foolish when you genuinely needed help. You can take away Karma. However, should you take Karma away from someone, you should follow that up with a message to an admin or moderator and let them know just in case there is a larger issue.

Please use the Karma system responsibly. Don't abuse it by artificially inflating someone's Karma or waging a personal war against someone by reducing their Karma unnecessarily.

The Karma controls are located in the top, right of each post we make in the forum. The '+' sign adds Karma and the '-' takes it away. You cannot adjust your own Karma.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to create your own posts, edit them, set notifications, and so on, you are ready to explore the rest of the forum. Don't be afraid: click things to see what they do. If something 'breaks' or you don't understand how to use something make a post in the ‘Forum Help’ category and ask for help.

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