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Are there any special codes/tags I can use to markup my posts?

For the most part, your posts will contain plain text, but on occasions, you may want to emphasize certain words or phrases by making them (for example) bold or italic.

Depending on the rules of the forum, you may use HTML code to produce these effects. However, more often than not, the administrator will have disabled HTML code, and opted instead to use vB Code: a special set of tags which you can use to produce the most popular text-effects. vB code has the advantage that it is very simple to use, and is immune to malicious javascripts and page layout disruption.

You may also find that the administrator has enabled smilies, which allow you to use small icons to convey emotion, and the [img] code, which allows you to add pictures to your message.

For more information about vB code, click here.

What is email notification?

If you post a new thread, or reply to an existing thread, you can choose to be notified by email when someone else replies to that thread. You can also choose to receive email notifications of new posts in a thread without posting in that thread, by clicking the 'Subscribe to this thread' link displayed in the thread page.

If you choose to stop receiving email notifications from a thread, you can turn off the option by either editing your post, or by unsubscribing from the thread here.

Only registered users may receive email notification, and they can set whether they want to receive email notification by default by editing their options.

Email notification is also referred to as 'Thread Subscription'.

What are smilies?

Smilies are small graphical icons which you can insert into your messages to convey an emotion or feeling, such as a joke or embarrassment. For example, if you entered a sarcastic comment, rather than type 'that was a joke', you could simply insert the 'wink' smilie.

If you have used email or internet chat systems, you will probably be familiar with the concept of smilies already. Certain combinations of text characters are converted into smilies. For example,:) is converted into a smiling face. To understand smilie codes, tilt your head to the left and look at the text: you will see that :) represents two eyes and a smiling mouth.

For a list of the smilies currently used by this forum, click here.

On occasions, you may want to prevent the text in your message being converted into smilies. You will see a checkbox which you can select when you make a new post, which will allow you to 'Disable Smilies'.

Code Buttons and Clickable Smilies

These controls allow you to quickly and easily enter vBcode into your posts and messages. To use them, simply click the appropriate buttons or select items from the lists to enter vBcode.

There are two modes available: normal and enhanced mode.

When using normal mode, pressing a button will pop-up a dialog for you to fill with text. It will then enter the text with the appropriate vB Code tags at the end of your message.

When using enhanced mode, pressing a button will insert the appropriate STARTING tag for the code, leaving you to enter text into the message area. When you have finished the text and want to close the tag, simply press the Close Current Tag button (alt+c). You may also nest tags in enhanced mode, and then use the Close All Tags button (alt+x) to close all open markup. Please note that the 'close tag' buttons only close tags that have been entered using the code buttons.

To use the clickable smilies, simply click the smiley that you want to insert into your message, or click the Show All Smilies link (if available) to access the full list of smilies.

How do I create and vote in polls?

You may notice that some threads on this forum also include a section where you can vote on an issue or question. These threads are called 'polls' and this is how to create them:

Creating a new poll

When you post a new thread, you may have the option to also create a poll.

This function allows you to ask a question and specify a number of possible responses. Other members will then be able to vote for the response they wish, and the results of the voting will be displayed in the thread.

An example poll might be:

What is your favorite color?

  1. Red
  2. Blue
  3. Yellow
  4. Green
  5. Sky-blue pink with yellow spots

To create a poll when you post a new thread, simply click the 'Yes! post a poll' checkbox at the bottom of the page, and set the number of possible responses you want to include.

When you click the submit button, you will be taken to the poll creation page, where you can specify the question and the list of responses you want to include.

You may also want to specify a time limit for the poll, so that (for example) it only stays open for voting for a week.

Voting in and viewing a poll

To vote in a poll, simply select which option you want to vote for, and click the [Vote!] button. You may view the current results for a poll before you vote by clicking the 'View Results' link. Voting in a poll is entirely optional. You may vote for any of the available options, or cast no vote at all.

Generally, once you have voted in a poll, you will not be able to change your vote later, so place your vote carefully!

What Are Attachments?

The administrator may allow you to use the attachment feature of this forum, which gives you the ability to attach files of certain types to your posts. This could be an image, a text document, a zip file etc. There will be a limit to the file size of any attachments you make.

To attach a file to a new post, simply click the [Manage Attachments] button at the bottom of the post composition page, and locate the file that you want to attach from your local hard drive.

Only certain types of files may be attached: these are the valid file extensions for files to be attached to this forum: .

After posting, the image attachments may display a thumbnail, depending on the forum settings. To view the contents of the attachment (if it is not already displayed) simply click the filename link that appears next to the attachment icon.

How can I resize a picture so I can attach it to my post?
There are dozens of different ways you can resize a picture, each with it's own advantages and disadvantages. For your convenience, we've compiled some of the most popular methods here:

Using Microsoft Paint (included with all versions of Windows)
  • Open Paint (usually found here: Start > Programs > Accessories)
  • Click: File > Open
  • Browse your computer to find the picture you want to resize. Highlight it and click: Open
  • Click: Image > Stretch/Skew
  • Adjust the Horizontal and Vertical Stretch values to enlarge or reduce the size of your picture. We recommend using the same percentage in both the Horizontal and Vertical fields, otherwise the picture will get distorted. We also recommend not using the skew fields because that will also distort the picture.
    If you enter 50% in both Stretch fields, it will reduce your picture to 1/4 it's original size (half as wide and half as tall). Or if you enter 200% in both Stretch fields, it will enlarge your picture to 4 times it's original size (twice as wide and twice as tall).
  • Once you have your percentages entered in the two Stretch fields, click: OK to apply your changes.
  • You can repeat the last three steps until your picture is the desired size.
  • Now save your resized picture to your computer but clicking: File > Save As...
  • We recommend changing the filename before you click: Save
The new file you just saved is your picture at it's new size.

Using Irfanview (Free image editing software you can download here)
  • Open Irfanview
  • Click: File > Open
  • Browse your computer to find the picture you want to resize. Highlight it and click: Open
  • Click: Image > Resize/Resample
  • On the window that opens up, there are a number of ways to resize your picture. Use whatever method you like best. However, the easiest method seems to be to choose one of the Standard Dimensions in the upper right corner. We also recommend always leaving the Preserve Aspect Ratio box checked or your picture might get distorted.
  • Once you have your new size chosen, click: OK to apply your changes.
  • You can repeat the last three steps until your picture is the desired size.
  • Now save your resized picture to your computer but clicking: File > Save As...
  • We recommend changing the filename before you click: Save
The new file you just saved is your picture at it's new size.

Using Microsoft Image Resizer (A part of Microsoft's Power Toys for Windows XP. Download it here for Free)
  • Open up My Computer (or any other utility that lets you look at the files on your computer) and browser until you find the picture that you want to resize.
  • Highlight the file(s) you want to resize, Right Click and choose Resize Pictures from the list that appears.
  • A small window will open with a list of standard sizes for you to choose from. Choose the size that works best for you and Click: OK
It just created a new file with your picture at the new size.

Using Software provided with your Computer or Digital Camara
Fairly often, a computer or Digital Camara will come with picture editing software and that software will have the ability to resize your pictures for you.

Because there are so many different pieces of software that might be available to you, we can't go into detail for each one. If you are trying to use software that came with your Computer or Digital Camara, we recommend you read the documantation that came with it or just play around with it for a little while. Just remember to always save any changes you've made to a new file so you don't overwrite the original picture (and loose the original quality of the picture).

For additional help resizing pictures, you can also do a search of the PY Forums for topics that other members have already started. There are already lots of topics on the subject of resizing pictures and can probably find the help you need from them.

Don't forget that you can always start your own topic and ask the other members for help.

What are message icons?

The administrator may have enabled message icons for new threads, posts and private messages. Message icons allow you to specify a small icon to accompany your posting, which is used to convey the emotion or content of a post at a glance. If you do not see a list of message icons when you are composing your message or post, the administrator has disabled the option.

Can I edit my own posts?

If you have registered, you will be able to edit and delete your posts during the first hour after it is posted. After that first hour, you will not be able to edit the post yourself.

To edit or delete your posts, click the button by the post you want to edit. If your post was the first in the thread, then deleting the post may result in the removal of the entire thread.

After you have made your modifications, a note may appear, which notifies other users that you have edited your post. Administrators and moderators may also edit your messages and this note will appear when they do so.

What Are Moderators?

Moderators oversee the PY forums by helping to organize Topics and enforce Forums Rules. They have the ability to edit and delete posts, move threads, hand out warnings for rule breaking and perform various other manipulations. If you have a PY Forums related problem or question, you should first contact one of the Moderators for help.

Why have some of the words in my post been blanked

Certain words may have been censored by the administrator. If your posts contain any censored words, they will be blanked-out like this: *****.

The same words are censored for all users, and censoring is done by a computer simply searching and replacing words. It is in no way 'intelligent'.

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