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Forum Tips

Anyone can read, only members can post
By entering the forums as a Guest, you can read messages but you are not able to post. To post messages, log in using your member name. If youíve forgotten your name or password, retrieve it here. If you donít have a member name, join now. Membership is free, and it just takes a minute to sign up. (*Note: A few forums allow guest posting, but membership is required to post on most forums.)

Please review our Forum Guidelines.

Log in for a better user experience.
By joining About.com and logging in with your member name, you can:

  • Post messages
  • Sort messages to display messages you havenít yet read
  • Create a personal signature line
  • Track conversations that interest you by marking them as high interest
  • Receive email notifications about discussions that interest you
  • Adjust the text size to make it easier to read messages
  • Most important Ė set your preferences to display up to 20 messages per page

Reading and replying
The newest posts are displayed at the top of the message list. If you enter the forum as a Guest, you will see all messages that have been posted to the forum. If you logged in with your member name, the message list will display only messages that you havenít yet read. Use the Show Discussions box to change the display options.

To open a message, click on the title of the message. To return to the page that lists the titles of all the messages on the forum, click the Return to Message List link in the shaded bar above the message.

To post a message, you need to log in using a member name. If youíre starting a new discussion, select the folder where you want the message to appear, and click the Post New Message link to the right of the folderís title. When replying to a specific message youíve read, make sure to click the reply button at the bottom of that message so the person to whom you are replying will receive an email notification.

There are two ways to insert hyperlinks in your posts. When posting a message, look at the bottom of the message box where you enter text. You'll see tabs for Design and HTML. On the Design tab, highlight the words you want to hyperlink, click the link icon in the tool bar at the top of the message and enter the URL for the link in the popup box. (Note: The link icon looks like a small chain.) On the HTML tab, use standard HTML formatting to create the link.

Composing messages in Word or other text editing programs and then copy/pasting the message into the "compose message" box may cause errors. Using Notepad or other plain text editors will not cause errors.

See more messages
Log in using your member name. Click on the Forum Settings link, and then scroll down to the My Preferences section. Go to Maximum # of Messages to change your settings to display up to 20 messages per page.

Once you set your preferences to display more than one message per page, you will be able to adjust the text size on the page. You can also mark discussions as "high interest" or "ignore", so itís easier to find discussions that interest you. The option to change font size and set interest levels is listed below the messages you are reading.

Add personality to your posts
Create a signature line to add personality to your messages. Log in using your member name. Click on the Forum Settings link above your member name. On the Forum Settings page, scroll down to the My Preferences area. In the My Preferences area, youíll see the option to add a Personal Signature. Click the Change link. Create your personal signature line, and then click Update to save your signature. When you are posting a message, your signature will be displayed in the field below the message. In order to prevent your signature file from being cut off or displaying a horizontal scroll bar, it should be no larger than 450 pixels tall and 375 pixels wide.

Please remember that large sig lines can slow page loading times, so donít upload more than one animated graphic or three photos into your signature line. (Some forums have specific policies about sig lines that take precedence over this recommendation.)

You can also upload a profile photo to appear on your messages. Click on the Forum Profile link, and then click on the Change Profile link. On the Edit Your Profile page, click Upload Photo. Use the Browse button to locate a photo you have stored on your computer, and then click Upload.

Report violations
Commercial messages and offensive messages are prohibited. If you see a violation, please report it. Click on the Report Abuse button at the bottom of the message to send your report.

Attach a file or photo
To attach a file or photo to your message, log in using your member name. Post or reply to a message on the forum. At the bottom of your message, you will see the option to attach a file. Use the Browse button to find the file on your computer that you would like to attach to your message, then click Upload.

Keep up with conversations on the forum via email notifications.

  • Replies to your messages: Email notifications about replies to a message you have posted will be sent to the email address associated with your account. To update your email address, click on the Member Center link at the top of the forum. To discontinue these notifications, go to Forum Settings and change your preferences.
  • Discussion Subscriptions: To follow an individual discussion thread, click on the Subscribe link at the top of the message. Note: You must be logged in as a member to see this option.
  • Forum Subscription: Receive notifications about all new conversations that are started on the forum by clicking the Subscribe link below the list of messages on the Message List page. Note: You must be logged in as a member to see this option.

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