How to use this forum - Tips and Tricks

This post lists some suggestions on how to make the most of your visits here. I’ll keep adding things as I learn more, so check back occasionally. If you have suggestions of things to add to this list, please reply in this thread.

General forum use

How is this place organized? To see the forum structure, click Categories at the top. This will show a list of all categories (“subforums” if you like) along with a list of labels. Clicking one of those labels will show you threads on those types of topics inside the subforum. See below for an example screenshot, or try it out for yourself. By the way, this view updates live, so as new posts come in, the page will auto-update to show which categories and labels have new messages.

Categories view

How do I access the old forum posts? Funny you should ask! While the old forum is now closed, our generous host @Hifihedgehog worked with to put together a complete snapshot of the old forum. This snapshot has now been added to the WayBack machine, and you can access it by clicking “Archive” at the top of the forum homepage. Amazingly the entire site seems to work, down to showing a list of popular users.

Remember these guys?

Tip: did you know Discourse supports a huge number of keyboard shortcuts? Just hit shift-/ (meaning type a question mark) when you’re not composing anything, and you’ll see the list. Or expand the section below:

Keyboard shortcuts


Tip: You can see all threads that haven’t received a reply yet by clicking Unanswered at the top of the main forum page.

Fun fact: you can make your own link to recent popular threads by composing a URL for example of the form


Tip: did you know that you can add pictures to posts straight from your Windows clipboard? With an image on the clipboard, type CTRL-V in your message to upload and include the image. Please use this feature responsibly, because server space is not free.

Tip: Did you know you can make a horizontal divider line by typing three or more underscores? I know because I just did it by accident. :slight_smile:

Tip: You can add quotes while you’re in the middle of writing a post. Just scroll up to the post you want to quote, highlight the relevant text, hit the “Quote” box that appears and it will be inserted where you left the cursor.

Tip: You can have text or images initially hidden in an expandable section by using the details tag, or clicking on the settings icon in the top right of the post and choosing hide details.

Click here to see a large image of a hard-working JoeS

Tip: did you know you can blur NSFW or otherwise offensive images and text? Use the spoiler tag. Click the blurred text to reveal it.

Discourse is the sh…

Tip: To insert a poll, hit the gear wheel on the ribbon and from the menu, select “Build Poll.”

Adding a poll

Thanks @Hifihedgehog for this tip

To be continued.


@Bronsky In case you were wondering why some quotes don’t render correctly: it seems like the quote tag and end quote tag each need to be on their own separate lines in Discourse.

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Yes, I was wondering. So much for my tidy habits of closing up spaces between quotes.

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More of question than a tip or trick: what do the the mini avatars in the thread lists mean? I think it something like: “the OP on the left, followed by avatars of the latest posters, with the most recent one who is not the OP on the right, and if the OP recently participated put a little halo around that avatar”. Is that it?

Recent example from the e-ink thread:

Question, how do I make a thread a wiki?

  • Click the three dots next to the ‘Reply’ arrow.
  • Click the spanner icon (also now next to the ‘Reply’ arrow.
  • ‘Make Wiki’
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