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Forum hints and tips

HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,785
edited June 2012 in Forum Operation
This discussion will present some useful hints and tips on using the forum software. Its creation was in part prompted by me accidentally stumbling across a cool feature that'll be useful to many, but is hidden away.

Removing categories from your views
If there are categories in which you're not interested (Shopping UK, perhaps, if you're in the USA), you can prevent discussions from those categories appearing in your view. Here's how to remove specific categories:

1. Click on Categories in the menu on the right to access Category Management
2. Hover over the one you're not interested in
3. Click on the Options button that appears
4. Click on Unfollow

If you wish to follow the category again, repeat the previous steps and in the last step, choose Follow. If you don't see the categories previously marked as "unfollowed", you may need to select "Show unfollowed categories" from the right hand navigation to display.

Mark all viewed
New to the forum? Want to remove all the yellow new message counts? Click on Mark all viewed in the top menu to do so. Note that if you've read some of the replies in a conversation, it will remove the new message count but also forget those that you've read so the next time you view it will appear as if you've not read any of them.

There is a Mark read menu item in the categories list options, which implies that you can mark conversations in specific categories as read, but it doesn't appear to do anything for me.

Do you have any handy tips to share? Let us know here and we'll add them.

Inserting hyperlinks to Brickset set detail pages
Set numbers preceded with a # will be converted to hyperlinks to set details pages. If a set suffix is not provided, -1 will be assumed. Examples:

#6876 -- link to the Blacktron Alienator
#6876-1 -- link to the Blacktron Alienator

#6862 -- link to Secret Space Voyager
#6862-2 -- link to Superman Vs Power Armor Lex

(thanks to @brickmatic for the jQuery script to implement this)


  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    When adding an image, the width you should resize to is 480 if i recall. Also, its best to do this in image software before you upload.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    It looks like we now can opt out of the mobile version via a "Full Site" link at the bottom of the mobile pages...
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Could someone please explain how to link to your own profile/set lists? I know it's not just copying and pasting the URL - as that would take a person clicking on it to their own list/profile. Thanks
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,785
    edited July 2011
    If you click on 'My Sets' above, in the 'Share' box there are links 'Share your set list/wanted list with others'. They will give you the URLs you need.

    For your profile, the link at the top of the main site to 'Your profile' can be shared as it has your name already in it.
  • jonboy2000jonboy2000 Member Posts: 242
    How do I reference someone in my comment/reply (make it come up in blue).
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Put an @ symbol directly in front of their username. They will get an email notification and their name will turn into a hyperlink to their profile.

  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I can't seem to be able to unfollow subcategories, like Shopping UK, although I can unfollow the entire Shopping category. Am I looking at this correctly?
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited January 2012
    If you would like an announced thread (such as this one) to no longer stay at the top of your discussion list, you may 'dismiss' it from the following menu:
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    edited February 2012
    For those of you having problems with a URL you posted not working, and just linking back to the discussion, here's the answer:

    If I want to link to google, and type out, then the link works.
    If, however I type out <a href=""> </a>(using the hyperlink button), then the link doesn't work.
    (I've seen this a lot)

    So for normal URLs to work (where you don't want text to be the link, like this, which can be accomplished like this <a href="">this </a> ) then just type the URL (with http://) and it will automatically hyperlink. Only use the hyperlink button if you want an item of text to link.
  • wertyjjwertyjj Member Posts: 64
    How do you ask Brickset a question.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,785
    ^ Post a message in the category
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    It looks like we now can opt out of the mobile version via a "Full Site" link at the bottom of the mobile pages...
    Is there a way to get back to the mobile mode after clicking the Full Site link? It seems like it automatically resets the next day, but I'd like to be able to switch back sooner. Here's my pattern today - reading content with mobile mode, see a post for something being sold, curse that there's no way to PM from mobile mode, click the Full Site link, send PM, curse that there's no way to get back to mobile mode for reading.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,584
    ^ Yep, very familiar with that pattern... repeat until insane... :)
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^ Clear your cookies...
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,914
    Is there a way to prevent the forum going into mobile view automatically when viewing forum from a mobile device?
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,584
    ^ Check the settings on your phone. When investigating this clearing cookies malarkey, as suggested by @yellowcastle, I discovered all sorts of options I didn't know I had - including a box to check/uncheck for enabling mobile sites. Does that make sense to you? I'm not a techie, I don't know all the jargon.
    Clearing cookies to me usually means scoffing something chocolatey :-)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,785
    There is a link to the mobile site on the home page menu. There was a dirty great box at the top of the home page that was visible when viewing on a mobile device but people got fed up with it. is the mobile site URL. There is no auto-switching or cookies used to remember which one you visited.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    My stupid phone always loads the m sites if available. I kinda like this one, though.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,808
    Is there away of preventing the little red number coming up over my username and leaving it only over the 'Inbox' tab when a 'discussion' post is made. Having gone into my 'Inbox' and relevant discussion to read and clear the red notification, I then need to click on my username just to clear that notification as well.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    I now have a link at the bottom of the page to "return to mobile view." Anyone else?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,950
    edited March 2012
    I now see only half of the comment box in the forum threads now (I do not see this issue on the main page threads) any ideas?
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,584
    I have a new display on the mobile version which now shows the category of each discussion - yay! - but when I exit a discussion to go back to the home page I lose "all discussions" view and can't see how to switch back - boo!
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,584
    Ok, found the "recent discussions" button to rectify the above but now discovered I can't edit my previous post on the mobile site - I edit practically every post I make because of predictive text errors on my phone, this is a pain...
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Do you have a gear icon in the right hand side of your post? If so, try clicking it to access 'edit'
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited March 2012
    Nevermind. I don't see the gear in my mobile view either. Seems like a bug; I'll notify vanilla forums, although I imagine they've already been made aware.

    In the meantime, please switch to "full version" as needed.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,584
    Thanks rocao.
    Weirdly, I can only see the recent discussions button when I'm already in all discussions on the mobile site, can't see a button for it in category view. I have to reload the site using a favourite shortcut to get discussions view.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Due to the 3/19/12 forum upgrade, the "All Discussions" view is currently difficult to attain in the mobile version. We're escalating the issue to Vanilla but in the meantime, there is a workaround to get to and stay in this view.


    - Utilize this link:
    - When done with a particular discussion, simply use your back arrow
    - To refresh the discussions you've then read, click "Recent Discussions" up top
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    @Huw has answered our prayers. :o)

    At the bottom of every discussion in the Forum's Full Site Version, you should now find 4 links.

    - Home = Sends you to the default Forum view which is currently set for "Category"
    - (Current Category) = Sends you to the view of discussions in that specific category
    - Recent Discussions = Sends you to the "All Discussions" view
    - Categories = Sends you to the "Category" view

    Please note that this solution does not apply to the Forum's Mobile Version. Thus, we Mobile viewers will have to still employ the "workaround" noted above.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited March 2012
    Or mobile users can switch to the "full site" from the corresponding link at the bottom. Is there a reason people prefer mobile over full site view? I personally don't find it noticeably faster.

    I guess full site isn't optimized for the smaller screen of mobiles, but most modern smart phones with zoom capability should remedy this. So is this mostly an issue for older smart phones?
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,584
    ^ Not faster but fits better on small screen. I much prefer it.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,914
    I find the mobile site too small to my liking. And it seems very messy to me.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^^^ @rocao - Did you just poo on my phone again? :o) I too really like the mobile version for reading and such. But when I need more utility, I switch over to the Full Site version. It's great that we now have an easy way to switch back and forth.
  • dsdg88dsdg88 Member Posts: 133
    On the mobile site is there a way to hide or remove the "Mark All Viewed"?
    It is too close to the refresh button: I hit it *again* by accident.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^ I don't think so. At this point, we have very little (if any) ability to tweak the Mobile Version.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,808
    Forgive me if I'm just being blind, but has the ability to search by member been removed from the Home page? Can it be reinstated or added to the Forum site?
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    ^ It's still on the main site, but I don't think it ever was on the forum, as it would be too confusing with the two sets of user accounts.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,808
    ^ That's what I thought, but it certainly wasn't on my main site last night. I kept refreshing but 'members' didn't come up in my list.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,785
    ^ You must be logged in to be able to search for members.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    @Huw, would it be possible to redirect posts instead of deleting them from their original location? I read the forum thru my feedreader, then go to the post if I would like to participate in the discussion. Recently there has been a number of interesting posts, that when I clicked on their link in the feedreader brought up the dreaded "Discussion Not Found" notice. I'm pretty sure these posts were not deleted, as they were very good and relevant. So I assume they were moved to somewhere else, but I have no idea how to find them. Would it be possible to have a redirect link attached to the original location? Otherwise would you have any suggestions on how to find them? Keep up the awesome work!...(c:
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,785
    Threads are often merged with other similar ones. I don't think there's a way to put in a redirector, unfortunately.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    We do our best to merge new duplicative threads quickly so as to minimize any confusion. There is often some gap in time, though. In those occasions where I struggle to find a specific thread, I sometimes find it helpful to simply review all comments made by a specific user who I remember seeing in the thread. I'm not sure if that will help you here but I've found success with it.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    Would it be possible to turn the blue page numbers on a thread into a drop down menu, thus eliminating the ellipsis? For example, longer threads look something like this: 1 2 3 ... 89 90 91. Which make getting to the middle rather arduous. Just a thought.
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 529
    ^Good idea. Would be useful here, too. Im used to use this on a forum on which has threads about 1000pages and with the menu you can selevt every page with the same time of clicks.
    Vanillaforums should implement this.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,785
    I've added a section to the OP about how to easily insert hyperlinks to Brickset set detail pages.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited June 2012
    #10179 - excellent stuff, it works a treat.
  • voyanui12voyanui12 Member Posts: 15
    Am I being very stupid, or has the "edit" button disappeared from comments that I have posted? I can't find it anywhere :)
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    ^ Under the cog menu on the top right of your post.
  • voyanui12voyanui12 Member Posts: 15
    edited June 2012
    ^I don't have the cog menu or the edit button, just the option to quote myself!
    EDIT- I can edit this comment, which has the cog button, but none of my other comments!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,443
    ^ You only get six minutes to edit a comment, otherwise it is set in stone.
  • pantboypantboy EnglandMember Posts: 211
    Whenever I use # in front of a set number it links to a search of the set number rather than the set detail page, can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong?
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