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Forum Navigation - An Introduction


After a fresh install of IP.Board and applications, the installed Forums list is very simple: one Forum in one Category. For the purposes of this introduction, we'll assume you've created a few more Categories and Forums from within the Admin CP. The following image will give you a general idea of the types of each that you can create to better define your Community. When logged in as an Admin, you will see all the Moderator controls, which your regular Members will not see, and these are explained in another section.
The descriptions of each Category and Forum in this image are simply for clarification of their position and function. You are free to name them as you wish, so that your Community has its own unique organization to it.
Attached Image: 1 - forum-main.png

[doctitle]Categories and Forums[/doctitle]

When navigating the Forums list you can view a Category, with its associated Forums, or an individual Forum and its Subforums if it contains any.
Click either a Category or Forum name, and you will be directed to that choice.
Attached Image: 2 - cat-hover.png [doctitle]>>>[/doctitle] Attached Image: 3 - forum-hover.png

To make a large Forum list more manageable, you can collapse a Category (and your choice will be remembered the next time you visit), by clicking the '-' sign at the right end of a Category, as shown here. The '-' will change to a '+', indicating a collapsed Category. To expand the list, click the '+' sign.
Attached Image: 11 - collapse-cat.png [doctitle]>>>[/doctitle] Attached Image: 11 - collapse-cat-2.png

By left-clicking on any Category or Forum name, you will be taken to that Category with its associated Forums, or to the individual Forum with its list of Topics. Here, we've left-clicked on the second Category.
Attached Image: 5 - in-cat-2.png

[docnote](For a closer look at the types of Forums you can create, as shown above, please see this section: [3.1] Forum Navigation - Forum Types[/docnote]

When viewing a Forum, the "Search" feature will by default only perform the search within that Forum, as seen below.
Attached Image: 12 - search-default.png

Clicking the arrow icon next to a Topic title, noted in the picture below, will take you to the first unread Post in that Topic.
Attached Image: 13 - go-new-posts.png

[doctitle]Forums and Subforums[/doctitle]
Extending our correlation of a File Cabinet to a Forum structure, in which the Cabinet is the entire list of Forums, Categories are drawers in the Cabinet, and Forums are file folders within each drawer, Subforums can be thought of as file folders within other file folders. Forums which contain Subforums can have Topics of their own or, at your discretion, be set to not allow Topics directly within it, and be used to contain only other Subforums. The picture below illustrates a Forum which allows its own Topics, and also contains two Subforums with Topics of their own. Take quick note of the Topic icons, which give you some additional information about that topic-type, and the legend at the bottom of the listing which shows the most common ones. To save space, one that isn't listed is the marker which indicates the Topic was made by you, or by another Community member. This image shows you the difference (see the red arrows) and you can see how each looks. In another section we'll add other Topic types to the list and explain them so you can see how they look:
Attached Image: 7 - post-icons.png
The blue numbered squares in the image show the additional controls that all members will see:
1) Watch Forum - clicking this icon will set your user account to receive a configurable notification every time a new Topic is created within that Forum, but not replies to that Topic. Note the difference between this and the "Watch Topic" icon, seen when viewing a Topic and which notifies you of any reply to an individual Topic.
2) Start New Topic - This takes you to the Topic creation screen, with the Editor of your choice (Standard or Rich Text Editor), to create a new Topic.
3) Mark this forum as read - Clicking this link will mark all Topics and Posts in this Forum as having been read
4) Forum Jump - A drop-down menu that lets you quickly navigate to another Category or Forum.
5) Filter Options - Expands to a small menu that allows you to set filter options for Topic Type, Sort By, Sort direction, Time frame, and whether to make those choices "remembered" for subsequent visits.



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