Forsilvra :: Winds of Change
Old 06-30-2012, 01:29 AM
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Jenn
The Lioness of Forsilvra
 
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Default [01.3] Members Guide to Using VB

How to Use VBulletin Forum Software
A guide to using the software as a member

VBulletin has a lot of features that have made roleplaying here easy! Here is some information on how to navigate through the site, use the control panel, private messaging, and other awesome forum features!


[Registration]

The first step is to get registered. This step is fairly early. First click on register on the top navigation bar. You will first need to enter your birthday. The forum may have rules about the age required to join, and in the U.S. you must be 13 to join a forum without your parent’s permission.



Next read and agree to the terms of roleplay by clicking the box and submitting. The next page is where you will enter required information for the board. This will vary from board to board. All boards will require a username, a password and an email. Many require human verification as well. Some have other information that is option shown here, such as messengers, location, other other board specific information. Fill out all required and any optional of your choice and then click “Complete Registration.”



Some forums require email verification. This means you will receive an email asking you to confirm your registrations. Others require admin approval before you can post. Either way, the forum will tell you this. If you do not receive your verification email, try checking your spam box, as often these types of emails are automatically shuffled there.


[Basic Profile Updates]

Now that you’re a member, let’s go over some of the very basics of your profile. In your User CP, which you can find along the top navigation bar, you have a number of options. These two screenshots display what that the sidebar filled with options should look like:



The list below details out all the options under each header. *please note some of these may be different depending on the admin CP settings.
  • Edit Details
    • Edit Email and Password
    • Birthday
    • Custom User Title
    • Homepage URL
    • Messenger Information (AIM, MSN, Etc)
    • Additional Information such as biography, location, interest, and occupation.
  • Profile Privacy
    • The ability to set who can see your user information
  • Edit Options
    • Go Invisible: No one but Admins and Super Moderators can see you online
    • Messaging options: Email and private message options.
    • Thread Display Options: How threads are listed, do you see avatars and signatures
    • Date and Time Setting: Put in your time zone.
    • Misc Options: Usually anything else the board admin has added

[Setting Your Avatar and Signature]

Also in the User CP is setting your avatar and signature. On the User CP side bar, click on Edit Avatar. Depending on the site settings, you may be able to upload, link, or choose from the site gallery for your avatar. Sites may have dimension and file size limits. Consult your site admin if you are having trouble with your avatar.

Next, edit your signature, by clicking on Edit Signature. Signatures use bbCode like the rest of the forum. You may add images, links, colored text, etc just like a post. For more on posting, see below.


[Linking Accounts]
[Forum must have Add On Installed]

VB has a really nice accounts linking feature. If you have two or more accounts, go to your User CP on the navigation bar. If you scroll down the first page, you should see a place to put your username and password for other accounts and link them.



Once linked, you can swap accounts by clicking on the top right bar where it says "Welcome Username!" A drop down of all your links will appear and you can switch!




[Posting]

Posting is the most important part of being a member of a forum. Starting a new post can be done by going to the forum in which you would like to make the post (introductions is always a good place to start) and clicking on “New Topic”.

Some forums will use a WYSIWYG editor, which means “What you see is what you get.” If you see bolded text, you have bolded text. If you see large text it is large. Some forums have you use the bbCode. You may have the option to choose what you wish, and this option can be found in Edit Options, Misc Options.

bbCode is the standard uses across all message boards. Some examples of basic bbCode are:

HTML Code:
[b]TEXT[/b] for <b>TEXT</b> (bolded text)
HTML Code:
[u]TEXT[/u] for <u>TEXT</u> (underlined text)
HTML Code:
[img]LINK[/img] (to place an image in your post)
HTML Code:
[URL=LINK]TEXT[/URL] (to place a link in your post)
I suggest you play around with the different buttons shown below to discover what each does. Other buttons will change the font, font size, text color, allow for quoting or displaying of html and lists either bullet or numbered form.


When you are done, click post. If you find an error, most admins allow you to edit your post. You can do this by clicking on the ‘edit’ button along the button of the post. You will first have a quick edit box that allows you to make changes and save them. If you want the full editor click on “Go Advanced”. When you’re done click “Save”.

To reply to someone else’s post click on “Reply” or “Reply to Topic”. Here you can post your reply using the same steps as above. You also have the option on some boards of quick reply, a box at the bottom of the thread that allows you to type and post without loading the full edited. You can always click “Go Advanced” to load it.

To quote someone’s post in your own, click on the quote button on the post you want to quote, then type the rest of your reply in the post box.


[Tagging]

To keep track of what threads your character is in, use the tag system. When you start a new thread, or add your character to an existing one, type your character's first name into the tag line (new posts) or click on edit tags at the bottom (existing thread). If you are the second character to use the name (IE: There is a character named 'Bob' already using the tag 'bob' and your character is 'Bob' then you would use 'bob b' as your tag.)



To list your threads, you can use the tag cloud by going to 'search' on the top navigation bar, and then 'tag search'. A list of all tags will be shown in alphabetical order. Choose the character you want to post for and all your threads appear! Or, at the end of any thread your character is tagged in, you can click on their name tag on the tag list at the bottom and a list will appear as well.

This is a great way to make sure you don't forget any of those random threads!





[Thread Subscriptions]

Another way to keep track of threads is to use the thread subscriptions. You can subscribe to a specific thread by going to that thread and clicking on “Thread Tools”. Then choose, “Subscribe to Thread”, pick your method of notification and Click “Add subscription”


To list your subscriptions, go to your User Cp, scroll down to “Subscribed Threads” on the side bar and choose “List Subscriptions.” Here you also have the option of setting up folders for your subscriptions and managing the notifications you receive for them.


[Searching]

There are two ways to search on vbulletin. You can use the tag search, which we discussed in the tagging section. Or you can do a forum search. Go to “Search” on the navigation bar and click to bring up the drop down menu.


This search gives you many options. You may search by keyword, which will look through posts or titles based on what you select on the drop down menu. You can search based on a certain user. You can specify options, such as which forum you want to search, how many replies the thread must have, and what date range you’d like the posts to be from.



[Private Messages]

To use your private messaging system, click on your User CP on the navigation bar. Scroll down to the section marked “Private Messages”. There are four options here.
  • List Messages
  • Send New Message
  • Track Messages
  • Edit Folders


The first will take you to your inbox. You can then choose to load a different folder, or scroll down to see the messages in your inbox. Bolded messages are new. You may also sort your messages by title, sender or date by clicking on the appropriate heading.

Send new message does just that. Some key things to keep in mind is that you may send your message to multiple members (provided the admin has allowed this with permissions) and you may blind carbon copy someone. The member names must be separated with a semi-colon. BBcodes work fine in PMs, and you may preview the message before sending it.

Note the options at the bottom, including “Request a read receipt for this message” and “Save a copy of this message in your Sent Items folder.” A read receipt will tell you when the receive has read the message. As a note, neither requesting the read receipt or saving the message are default settings. You must click the box when you send the message. You can update your settings to save the message by going to “Edit Options” and clicking “Save a copy of sent messages in my Sent Items folder by default” under the private message section.

“Track Messages” link will take you to a list off all the message you have requested a read receipt for, and give you the status.

“Edit Folders” allows you to create folders to store and organize your private message in.

The default for the board is that you receive nothing when you get a PM. You can change this setting in “"Edit Options" in the section for Private message options. You can choose to have a pop-up when you arrive at the site and/or have your PMs sent to you by email. If you pick this second option, the entire contents of the PM will come with the email.


[Your Notifications]

Underneath your name on the right of the screen, there is a link for “Your Notifications”. When you click this, a drop down with the following appears.
  • Unread Private Messages - the number of unread private messages in your inbox
  • Unread Visitor Messages - the number f unread visitor messages in your profile
  • Unapproved Visitor Messages - if you have set your visitor messages to require your approval, this is the number you have not approved.
  • Incoming Friend Requests - This is the number of friend requests in your profile
  • Social Groups Join Requests - if you are the leader of a social group, these are the new requests members have sent to join it
  • Social Group Invitations - these are invitations you have been sent to join new social groups
  • Unread Picture Comments - comments on any of the photos in your gallery you have not read yet
  • Picture Comments Awaiting Approval - if you have set your picture comments to require your approval, this is the number you have not approved.
  • Unapproved Group Messages - if you are the leader of a social group, and have set messages to require your approval, this is the number you have not approved.
Clicking on any of these links will take you to the page needed to address them.



[Group Memberships]

Some forums may have user groups for different character types that you may join in order to display a special image, user title, or color. If the board has these and has public joining set, you can join the group as follows:
  • Go to theUser CP located on the top navigation bar
  • Click on Group Memberships, located on the side bar
  • Scroll to find the correct user group
  • Click the radio button for "Join Group"
  • Scroll to the bottom of the list and click on "Join Group"
At the very bottom of the same page, there will be a table listing all your groups. You can choose there which one is your display group. Choose the new user group you just joined and Click on "Update Display Group".




[Quick Links]

Quick links is a drop down menus with fast access to the following:
  • Today's Posts
  • Mark Forums Read
  • Open Contacts Popup
  • User Control Panel
  • Edit Signature
  • Edit Your Details
  • Edit Options
  • Miscellaneous
  • Private Messages
  • Subscribed Threads
  • Your Profile
  • Who's Online



[Other]

A few other features you might be interested in are the edit ignore list, social networking, marking forums as read, viewing the community leaders and the currently active users list.

To ignore users, go to your User CP and scroll down until you see “Edit Ingore List”. Click on this and you’ll see a screen where you can enter the username of the member you wish to ignore. This means you will not longer see their posts in the forum.

Under social networking, you can add other members as your friends. Click on “Contacts and Friends” and add users to your friends list. You can also click on social groups to make a group based on certains interests, like knitting or running, and members with the same interests can join. Vbulletin also has the option of adding your own picture albums, which you can find under “Pictures and Albums”

You can use the link near the bottom of the board on the very page that says “Mark Forums Read” to clear all threads, changing them from new posts to no new posts. Next to that is a link that says “View Forum Leaders”. This click will take you to a list of all admins, super moderators, moderators and any other group the admins have set to show on the list.

Beneath that, if you click on ‘currently active users’ you can see who is online and what they are looking at on the forum. Yes, it’s a slight way to spy, but I’ve also had my attention drawn to threads I hadn’t noticed because someone else is reading it.


[Putting it All Together]

Vbulletin is a huge software and has many features. The site admin may add extras or take things away. This guide may not be complete, because the features on the site you’re a member of may be slightly different than the site I based this guide on.

If you have further questions, contact your site admin!

Last edited by Jenn; 12-26-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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