MrExcel Message Board FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

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What is a bulletin board & how is it structured?

A bulletin board is an online discussion site. It's sometimes also called a 'board' or 'forums'. It may contain several categories, consisting of forums, threads and individual posts.

The bulletin board as a whole contains various categories (broad subject areas), which themselves contain forums (more specific subject areas) which contain threads (conversations on a topic) which are made up of individual posts (where a user writes something).

The board home page has a list of categories and forums, with basic statistics for each - including the number of threads and posts, and which member posted the most recent message.

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What are sticky threads?

'Sticky' threads are created by moderators or administrators (?), and remain 'stuck' to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any posts recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.

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What are announcements?

Announcements are special messages posted by the administrator or moderators. They are a simple one-way communication with the users and you can't reply. If you wish to discuss announcements, you will have to create a new thread in the 'About This Board' forum.

Announcement threads are displayed at the top of forum listing pages, above regular and sticky threads.

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What are thread tools?

At the top of each thread, there is a link called 'Thread Tools'. By clicking on this link, a menu will appear with a number of options:

  • Show Printable Version - this will show you a page with the thread post content in a reduced graphics format that is more 'printer friendly'.
  • Email this Page - if you think the thread may be interesting to someone else, you can forward a link to it to their email address.
  • Subscribe to (or Unsubscribe from) this Thread - by subscribing to a thread, you will receive periodic email updates on recent activity within it. Click here for more information on subscriptions.
  • Adding a Poll - if you started the thread, you can add a poll to it with this option. Click here for more information on polls.

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How do I search for something?

To find a thread or post of interest anywhere on the bulletin board, click on the 'Advanced Search' link near the top right of all pages. Then, click on the 'Search Single Content Type' tab. Use any of the available options to restrict or expand your search options.

If you are browsing a forum, you can quickly search for a thread or post within it by clicking on the 'Search Forum' link just above the list of threads. You can also search for individual posts within a thread by clicking on the 'Search Thread' link at the top of any thread view page.

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Can I change how a thread displays?

You have a choice over how you view threads. When you're in a thread, look at the top bar. On the right hand side you'll see 'Display'. Click on this and it lets you change how posts are displayed.

You have three choices:

Linear Mode - posts are displayed chronologically, usually from oldest to newest. Posts are shown in a flat mode so that many posts can be viewed simultaneously.

Threaded Mode - a tree is shown along with every post. This shows you the relationship each post has to the others. It's easy to see who responded to whom. Only one post is shown at a time. By clicking on a single post in the post tree, the page will show that post and all posts made in response to it.

Hybrid Mode - This is a mixture of the linear and threaded modes. The post tree is displayed as in the threaded mode, but many posts are shown at the same time as in the linear modes.

It is possible to permanently change your display option by changing your preferences in the 'General Settings' section of your User CP

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What is a thread rating?

The forums allow you to rate threads between 1 star (terrible) and 5 stars (excellent). Once enough votes are cast for a thread, stars will appear next to its name in the listings. These show the average vote, and can be an easy way to see which threads are worth reading if you are on a busy forum.

On the forum viewing page you can also arrange threads by rating, with either the highest or lowest at the top.

To rate a thread, click on the 'Rate This Thread' link at the top of the thread viewing page. Choose the number of stars you feel best represents the quality of the thread. Once you have voted you cannot change your choice of rating at a later date.

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What are moderators and administrators?

Moderators oversee specific forums. They generally have the ability to edit and delete posts, move threads, and perform other actions. Becoming a moderator for a specific forum is usually rewarded to users who are particularly helpful and knowledgeable in the subject of the forum they are moderating.

Administrators are the people who have overall control of everything that happens on the board. They oversee how the board is styled, what forums to create and how to organize them, what information to require from members and who to appoint as moderators.

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What is 'Automatic Login'?

When you register (and also when you login using the form at the top of the screen), you will be given the option to 'Remember Me'. This will store your identity securely in a cookie on your computer. If you are using a shared computer, such as in a library, school or internet cafe, or if you have reason to not trust any other users that might use this computer, we recommend you do not enable this.

How do I clear cookies?

You can clear all your cookies set by the forum by clicking the 'logout' link at the top of the page. In some cases, if you return to the main index page via the link provided and you are still logged in, you may have to remove your cookies manually.

The precise process to clear cookies depends on the browser your are using, and its version. Refer to the browser documentation for details of how to clear cookies manually

Once cookies have been removed, you may want to restart the computer and revisit the forums to be sure.

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What can I do if I have forgotten my password?

If you forget your password, you can click on the 'Forgotten Your Password' link. This will appear on any page that requires you to fill in your password.

This link brings up a page where you should enter your registered email address. An email will be sent to that address shortly, with instructions for resetting your password.

Since passwords are encrypted, there is no way to resend your original password. This option provides you with the ability to reset your password.

You must be able to receive emails to your registered email address for this to work. You may need to check your spam filters and folder if you do not see this email in a few minutes.

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What are Notifications?

When you have logged into the board, a link to 'Your Notifications' may be displayed in the 'Welcome' box near the top of the forum. 'Your Notifications' will show if you have any Notifications such as:

  • Unread Private Messages
  • Incoming Friend Requests

By clicking on the 'Your Notifications' link, you will be able to quickly see how many of each type you have received. Clicking on any of the links in the menu will take you to the relevant page within the User Control Panel or elsewhere in the system.

If there are no notifications, then this link will be replaced by a link to 'Private Messages'.

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What is the Quick Links menu?

The navigation bar at the top of each page has several helpful links. One of them is a dropdown menu called Quick Links. (It appears only to registered members who are logged in). Clicking it once with the mouse will make it drop down and show the following options:

  • Today's Posts (shows posts created in the past 24 hours)
  • Subscribed Threads (get an overview of your free subscriptions and options to manage them)
  • Open Contacts Popup (opens a new window with a list of all your contacts)
  • Who's Online (see which users who are currently online on the board and what they are doing)

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What is private messaging?

Registered members may be able to send messages to other members of this forum using the private messaging system.

How do I send Private Messages?

Private messages work a little like email, but are limited to registered members of this forum. You may be able to include BB code, smilies and images in private messages that you send.

You may send a private message to a member of this forum by clicking the 'Send A Private Message' link in the private messaging section of your user control panel (more info), or by clicking the 'Send a Private Message' link in the drop down menu that appears in a member's posts when you click on their username.

When you send a message, you have the option to save a copy of it in your 'Sent Items' folder.

How do I work with Private Message Folders?

By default, you will have two folders in your private message area. These are the 'Inbox' and the 'Sent' Items folders.

The 'Inbox' folder contains any new messages you receive. It allows you to view all the messages you have received, along with the name of the person who sent it, and the date and time it was sent.

The 'Sent Items' folder contains a copy of any messages that you have sent, where you have specified that you wish to keep a copy for future reference.

You can create additional folders for your messages by clicking the 'Edit Folders' link.

Each folder has a set of message controls which allow you to select messages, then either move them to one of your custom folders, or delete them. Once you have selected your messages, you can choose the following options in the 'Selected Messages' box at the bottom of the list:

  • Move to Folder
  • Delete
  • Mark as Read
  • Mark as Unread
  • Download as XML
  • Download as CSV
  • Download as TEXT

You will need to periodically delete old messages, as the administrator has set a limit to the number of private messages you can have in your folders. The number depends on which group of forum members that you belong to. If you reach the limit, you will not be able to send or receive new messages until you delete some old ones.

If you would like to keep a record of your messages before you delete them, you can use any of the 'Download as..' options listed above to take a copy and store them on your own computer.

Whenever you read a message, you will have the option to reply or forward it to another member of the forum. You may also have the ability to forward that message to multiple members of your contact list.

How do I track messages?

When you send a new private message, you may have the option to request a read-receipt. This lets you check whether or not a message has been read by its recipient. To do this, go to the 'Message Tracking' page.

This page is divided into two sections: unread and read messages.

The unread messages section shows all messages that you have sent with a read-receipt request, that have not yet been read by their recipient.

The read messages section shows all messages you have sent with a receipt request that have been read and acknowledged by their recipient. The time that the message was read is also shown.

You may choose to end the tracking on any message you choose by selecting it and clicking the 'End Tracking' button.

When you receive a message with a read-receipt request, you may have the option to read the message while denying the read-receipt request. To do this, simply click the 'Deny Receipt' link rather than the title of the message, if it appears.

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What can I do about troublesome users?

If there are particular members that bother you and you do not want to see their posts or receive Private Messages from them, then you can add these members to your 'Ignore List'.

Through your User Control Panel: User CP, Settings & Options, Edit Ignore List. Then, type their name into the empty text box and click 'Okay'.

What if I think stronger action is needed or I see something offensive?

You will find 'Report' buttons at the bottom left of all posts and private messages. This allows you to alert the board Moderators and Administrators to anything which you find to be offensive, objectionable or illegal so they can decide on the appropriate action to take.

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How can I modify my settings?

The Settings Control Panel is where you control your personal settings, options and preferences. To visit the Settings Control Panel, you must have first registered on the forums. Once logged in, click on 'Settings' in the header bar in the top-right corner of the page.

The Settings main page will list any new notifications, including new private messages and pending friend requests. Additional pages and forms allow you to control:

  • Your email address and password
  • Privacy Settings
  • Custom public profile settings
  • Private messages
  • Subscribed threads and forums
  • Friends and Contacts

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What are the rules about signatures?

A minimum of 50 posts is required before a custom signature is allowed.

Once eligible, you can edit your signature here within your profile.

A signature link to another site is allowed as long as your posts that the links appear in are quality posts. Blatant posting to simply advertise a site is not allowed and such signatures will be removed and the member possibly banned. Signature links must be unobtrusive.

If we feel the signature is not in the "spirit" of MrExcel, we may request the signature be changed or removed.

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What are subscriptions?

Subscriptions are a way of keeping track of different threads or forums. You can choose how you are notified about updates - for example by having them listed in your User CP and receiving email updates for each one.

How do I subscribe to a thread or forum?

To subscribe to a forum, click the 'Forum Tools' link above the list of threads then select 'Subscribe to Forum'. You will then have the option to choose the subscription mode for this forum. If the forum that you are subscribing to has any child forums (forums within a forum) then your subscription will be extended to these automatically.

To subscribe to a thread, click the 'Thread Tools' link at the top of the list of posts then click 'Subscribe to Thread'. You can then choose the subscription mode that you wish to use for that thread.

What subscription modes are available?

There are a number of different forum subscription modes available.

  • No Email Notification - lists the subscription in your User CP only. You do not receive any notifications about new posts or threads in the forum.
  • Daily Email Notification - sends one email a day with the new and updated threads in the forum and any sub-forums. If there are no new or updated threads in the forum or its sub-forums then you will not receive an email.
  • Weekly Email Notification - sends one email per week in the same way as the Daily Email Notification.

Thread Subscriptions have the same options as forum subscriptions with the following additional option:

  • Instant Email Notification - sends an email as soon as a new post is added to the thread. This is not sent for every reply and will only be sent once until you revisit the forums.

How do I manage Subscriptions and Folders?

Thread subscriptions can be sorted into folders for easy management. You can create as many folders as you wish by going to 'Edit Folders' in the 'Subscribed Threads' section of your User CP. To add a new folder, enter the folder name into one of the blank boxes and save the page. To delete a folder, delete the folder name. Editing a folder is done by simply editing the folder name in the list.

You can also manage your individual subscriptions by clicking 'List Subscriptions' under 'Subscribed Threads' in your User CP. Here you can select which subscriptions you wish to manage and delete them, move them to another folder, or change their subscription type.

Forum subscriptions are not managed through the List Subscriptions page and are shown on the User CP page where they contain the option to unsubscribe from the forum.

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What are tags?

Tags are a useful way to search for threads with similar subject matter and content. This complements the normal search system, which searches only for certain words or phrases and/or posts by specific users.

To use tags, you add words or phrases to threads to help describe the content. For instance, if the subject matter is 'photography' then you can add the tag 'photography' to the tag list. But you could also add tags like 'digital image', and 'camera' (depending, of course, on the nature of the thread). This will categorize this thread with all other threads that have matching tags, whether or not they have the word 'photography' in them.

Tags are initially added to threads by the user who started the thread. Other users may also be able to add and remove tags.

Tags are displayed in a box near the bottom of a thread page. Clicking on a tag will allow you to view other threads that have the same tag - and which may be related. Clicking on the word 'Tags' in the top of the box will take you to an overview page with a 'tag cloud.' This cloud allows you to see which tags are the most popular - the larger the word, the more times it has been used on threads within the board. There is also another tag cloud on the advanced search page that shows you the tags that have been searched for (or clicked on) the most.

Search FAQ

Select this option if you would like your search to look in the text of FAQ items as well as their titles.

Select an option here to specify how you would like your search query to be treated. 'Any words' will return the most numerous but possibly least relevant results, while 'Complete phrase' will return only results that contain exactly what you are searching for.