The main forum 'home' page should be very simple to navigate.
The top area shows the various forums, grouped within sections of similar content. Clicking on any forum name will take you to the recent threads within that forum.
Below the forums listings is a 'SuperSticky' area, which will show any threads that have been marked as supersticky. These are normally events that are in the process of planning, and have regular updates for those involved. When the event has passed, the thread will be 'un-stuck'.
Below the SuperSticky threads all 'Recent Threads' can be seen, and can be sorted by the reader in 'New Topics', or 'Most Recent Replies' order. Clicking on the thread title will take you to the first post in the thread. If there are more then 1 page of posts, there will be a numerical list of pages after the post title, and clicking on any page number will take you to that page. At the end of the thread title, to the right of the topic name, is the name of the last poster to make a reply, and clicking on the speech bubble icon will take you directly to the last post.
Any thread with unread posts will show a green icon.
Replying to an existing Thread
To make a generic reply to an existing thread scroll down to the last post, where a 'reply area' will be found. Type into the text box to make your reply.
To make a reply to a specific post click the 'Reply' link below and to the right of the post you wish to reply to. Using this link will place the original poster's name at the top of your reply, personalising the reply.
To quote content from a post in a reply to that post highlight some text from the message first, and then click the 'Quote' link. The text you have highlighted will be automatically inserted 'reply' area. To go back to look at the post from which the Quote has been taken use the up arrow icon, next to the 'Your Reply' text.
If a post looks to be spam, or otherwise inappropriate, you can use the 'Report' link to report the post to admin.
Around each post is a range of information including the poster's ID, post status, and Avatar (if set). To the right of the poster's name there may be a green icon, indicating that forum member is presently on-line.
Clicking on the posters name will take you to their Profile information.
There is also an envelope icon that can be use to send a 'Personal Message' directly to the forum member.
Starting a New Thread
To start a New Thread first select the forum heading under which the new thread is to be located. This can be done from the forum home page, or by clicking on any link that shows the desired forum name, or shows the desired forum icon.
When at the main page for the desired forum clicking the 'Start New Topic' link to the top right of the page will jump to the 'New Topic' text entry area. Alternatively, simply scroll down to the 'New Topic' text entry area, which is always at the bottom of any main forum content listing page.
means a thread is empty, with just the original post.
means a thread has 'some' replies.
means a topic is 'hot', with a large number of replies.
When making a new post, either as a New Thread, or Replying to an existing thread, there are a number of options available, beyond the ones outlined above, to highlight text, add images, and more.
After typing your message, select the text of interest, and press the Bold icon. This will make the selected text 'Bold'.
After typing your message, select the text of interest, and press the Italic icon. This will 'Italicise' the selected text.
The Camera icon will enable the insertion of an image into the message. When clicked the Camera icon will pop-up a window into which you can enter the URL of the picture to be inserted. The URL must link directly to the picture, not to a webpage that holds the picture. See below for further details on inserting an image into a post.
After the URL has been entered, a second window will appear enabling a text to be entered describing the picture. This text must be letters and spaces only, no punctuation at all - no commas, apostrophises, full stops, or anything! If any punctuation is included the image will not post.
After typing your message, select the text to be turned into a Hyperlink, and press the URL icon. This pops-up a floating window into which you can paste or type the Hyperlink. The selected text will become the actual Hyperlink. If no text is selected before using the 'URL' button the actual Hyperlink text will become the link as well.
After typing your message, select the text of interest, and press the Highlight icon. This will 'Highlight' the selected text, by placing it into a separate 'text box', on a separate line, within the message when posted.
After typing your message, select the text of interest, and press the Colour Picker icon. This will display a selection of colours that will change the selected text colour when a colour patch is clicked.
To insert a video from YouTube into your message, place the curser where the video is to be inserted and press the YouTube icon. This will pop-up a window into which you can paste the YouTube link.
To obtain a YouTube link use the 'Share' option when looking at the video to be inserted. That will automatically highlight the link, which will look something like 'http://youtu.be/x9ca501W-hw', and should be pasted into the forum YouTube pop-up window.
To insert a video from Vimeo into your message, place the curser where the video is to be inserted and press the Vimeo icon. This will pop-up a window into which you can paste the Vimeo video link.
To obtain a Vimeo link use the keyboard Shortcut 'S' key to open a 'Share This Video' when looking at the video to be inserted. That will automatically show a Link, which will look something like 'http://vimeo.com/63300544', and should be pasted into the forum Vimeo pop-up window.
After typing your message, select the text to be hidden as a spoiler, and press the Spoiler icon. This will 'Cover' the selected text, by placing it into a separate area of the message, with just the word 'Spoiler!' visible after the message is posted. Anyone who wants to read the hidden text can use their mouse to 'select' the hidden text below the word 'Spoiler!', revealing what is written there.
After typing your message, select the lines of text to be made into a list, and press the List icon. This will turn each line in the selected selected text into a bulleted list.
Only text on separate lines within the message will be separated into list entries.
The File Upload icon can be used to directly upload images and selected file types (.pdf and .zip) to the 7-DNA forum, without the need to host them elsewhere on the internet.
Select the File Upload icon, and within in the pop-up window use the 'Browse' button to locate the file/image within your PC. The file needs to be one of the specified types, and be smaller than the specified sizes - if necessary, pre-size any file before attempting an upload. When an image is uploaded it will be re-sized automatically during the upload process. Add a description of the upload using the provided text box, and Press 'START UPLOADING' to initiate the upload.
When the upload is complete copy the displayed 'Upload Code' and past it into the main message body where you want the image/file to be shown.
Posting Pictures Held Elsewhere
Posting pictures hosted elsewhere on the internet is also very simple, but unfortunately can cause a lot of issues if the following rules are not followed correctly.
The main rule is that the hosting service must allow the picture to be viewed directly, without any other webpage information being visible. This means the image URL must end in an image extension, such as .jpg, .png, .gif, etc.
So, for example, for an image hosted on flickr this is a normal hosting page for an image:
None of the 'standard' flickr image viewing tools, buttons, or options will show the image on its own, with no other webpage information visible.
As can be seen above, where the same image is seen in large view mode, but still has 'webpage' items around it, as it is simply being viewed within the flickr lightbox.
What is needed is to see the image 'raw', without any associated webpage information.
With flickr you can use the the 'Share' function to see the direct image link, or go to the Photo/All sizes page (both options work as the owner, but not always for others, as you may have protected the image), and from the Photo/All page you can right click the image, and depending on the browser you are using, you can access the direct image link.
In the above Firefox right click menu you can use 'View Image' to see the raw image, and then copy the URL, or use 'View Image Info' to see the direct link.
With IE there is no 'View Image' option.
Selecting 'Properties' option (at the bottom of the menu) will show the image URL details directly.
The 'Right Click' function will work for may image already held on the web somewhere, depending on the hosting service used - but it's always worth trying to see if it will show the direct link!
Posting Pictures with Dropbox
Using Dropbox can be a bit more of an issue, as you must have a Public Folder, and place the picture in there. Unfortunately, Dropbox accounts made after Oct. 2012 do not have a Public Folder by default - so you'll have to make one yourself.
See: https://www.dropbox.com/help/16/en. Scroll down to 'Creating a Public Folder'... You may have to manually make the folder, and then use the link above. It seems to both 'remove' the Public Folder if it thinks there is one, as well as make one. A bit confusing, but it does work.
When you have a Public Folder, Right Clicking on any image with the folder, or within any sub folder, will show a 'Copy Public Link' option (along with other options). Use this to copy the link, ready to be pasted anywhere...
Posting Pictures via Facebook
Using Facebook rarely works...
Most pictures posted onto Facebook have strange links, and are impossible to show as URLs that end with xxx.jpg. This can be seen when a Facebook picture is right clicked, and the link shows a URL that is very long name, and doesn't end in the required .jpg, .png, .gif, etc. This means the image are impossible to use with forums.
Knowing Facebook this will all change again, as image used to work...