This guide covers our old ProBoards v4 software. Click here for the ProBoards v5 Help Guide.

Here we'll explain the process of creating a new discussion thread. Once you've logged into your account, you'll be taken to the main page of the forum and presented with a variety of boards, each defined by a unique topic of discussion. By clicking on a board, you'll be taken to the thread listing page with all of the available threads to read and reply to.

On thread listing pages, column headings will be titled Subject, Started by, Replies, Views, and Last Post. In the top right corner above the Last Post column, you will see two links labeled mark as read and, new thread.

If these links are not displayed, forum staff may have restricted regular members from creating new threads or, you aren't yet logged into your account. Also, most message boards don't allow guests to post until they become registered members. If you are logged into your account and still can't see these buttons, try revisiting the main page and choosing a different board.

New Thread

Now, let's create a new thread. Once you've navigated to the aforementioned thread listing page, click on the new thread button. You'll then be taken to the Post Message page where you'll create your new thread on the message board. Each section of the Post Message page is explained below:

Subject: First enter the Subject line. The Subject should indicate the topic of the thread and is what users see when they visit thread listing pages. Subject lines can be up to 40 characters in length and can include letters, numbers and spaces.

Message Icon: This icon will appear to the left of your thread title on the thread listing page. It should indicate at a glance what your message board thread is about. For example, if you create a thread posing a question, you could select the Question Mark option from the drop-down menu. If you don't need a message icon, keep the field set at the Standard option.

Add Tags: BBCode tags can be used to customize forum messages. BBCode allows you to format message text, add links, images or videos, and much more. Simply click the BBCode icon that represents the customization you would like to apply to your message. For a list of tag definitions, visit the BBCode area of the help guide. BBCode tags are optional.

Add Smileys: Apply smileys to your message. Click on any smiley and it will be inserted in the message at the location of the blinking cursor. Smileys are also optional.

Message: This is where you will type the content for your thread. Posts on a message board can be up to 60,000 characters in length and are measured by a character counter just below the message box.

Bookmark: Checking the Bookmark box will add the new thread to your forum account's bookmarks list. Bookmarks, also known as favorites, are an easy way to keep track of interesting message board content. You can also set up notifications for your bookmarks to either PM (personal message) or email you when someone has replied to a bookmarked topic. For more info, see the Bookmarks section of the help guide.

Disable Smileys: Check this box if you would like to prevent smileys from displaying in your post.

Additional features that may be visible in your online forum account are listed below.

Attachment: If you're creating a thread on a message board that allows attachments, Attachment will be the second option listed on the posting page. This can be used to attach files from your computer and have them display in your thread when the topic is posted. For example, if you want to attach a picture of your pet, use the attachment feature to upload the image and a thumbnail image of your pet will be displayed at the bottom of your forum post. Members can then click on the thumbnail to see an enlarged image. You can submit one attachment per post with a maximum file size of 1MB.

Lock Thread: If your account has been assigned moderation powers, you may see an option to lock the thread. With this box checked, your new topic will be locked automatically thus preventing regular forum members from replying. However, staff members with the appropriate permissions will still have the ability to reply to your topic.

Sticky Thread: If your account has moderation powers, you might also see the option to make your thread a sticky thread. Assigning your thread as a sticky makes it so your topic always appears at the top of the thread listing page. Members with no moderation powers will not see this option displayed.

Announcement: With the proper assigned moderation powers, you'll see the option to make your thread an Announcement. When assigned Announcement status, your thread will be placed at the top of all thread listing pages on all boards within the message board. Announcement threads will appear in their own section above the regular thread listing in a board.

Once you've completed your message and made your selections from the features listed above, you'll be presented with 4 buttons:

Post Message: Clicking the Post Message button will post your thread to the message board so other members can read it. If the thread isn't locked, other members will also be able to reply.

Preview: Clicking the Preview button allows you to see how the new thread will look once it's posted. If there are any changes to be made, now is the time before you post to the message board. Keep in mind, if you've attached a file to your post prior to clicking the preview button, the attachment will need to be re-attached to the topic before posting.

Spell Check: Using spell-check, you can make sure all words in the message area are spelled correctly. You'll have the option to replace a misspelled word or ignore spell-check's suggestions.

Reset: Clicking the Reset button will clear all of the changes and additions you've made to the forum posting page, returning it back to its original blank status.