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SMF User Help: Introduction

So you've arrived at this Simple Machines Forum (SMF)! Perhaps you've been looking at the board index or a screen telling you that you need to register before you can read it and you're wondering what to do next?

Well, some forums permit guests to read and post, some permit guests to read only and some are restricted to registered members. We'd recommend registering at any forum that you see yourself using regularly because many of the most useful features will only become available to you when you do so. Since SMF is such a flexible system that few forums are likely to share identical feature lists, however, we will start by describing four key areas that we'd normally expect to be there for you:

  1. The Main Menu
  2. The Board Index
  3. The Message Index
  4. The Topic

The Main Menu

Supposing you're arrived here as a guest (or have registered but are currently logged out), the main menu (which appears on every page) should normally comprise five or six buttons or text links:

Once you've registered and logged in, however, the main menu should look a little different:

Forum administrators should also note the presence of an additional Admin button.

The Board Index

While the board index (forum home page) is packed with all kinds of information and links, the core of the interface (at least in the SMF default theme) normally looks something like this:

+ Forum Name
- Category Name
New Posts Board Name
Board Description
Number of topics and posts in this board Date, time, subject and author of last post

New Posts No New Posts Mark ALL messages as read

The Message Index

Like the board index, the message index interface is quite straightforward when reduced to its essential components:

+ Forum Name
|-+ Category Name
| |-+ Board Name
Pages: [1] Mark Topics as Read for this BoardNotify of RepliesStart new topicPost New Poll
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Topic SubjectNew Topic Starter 0 0 Date, time and author of last post
Pages: [1] Mark Topics as Read for this BoardNotify of RepliesStart new topicPost New Poll
Topic you have posted in
Normal Topic
Hot Topic (More than 15 Replies)
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies)
Locked Topic
Sticky Topic

The Topic

Sometimes referred to as threads, topics are where you find the actual messages:

+ Forum Name
|-+ Category Name
| |-+ Board Name
| | |-+ Topic Subject
Pages: [1] ReplyNotify of RepliesSend this topicPrint
Author Topic: Topic Subject (Read x times)
Member Group
Post Rank Group
Post Count

View ProfileEmailPersonal Message (Offline)
Topic Subject
Date and Time of Post
Reply with quote

Here is the text of the message, which is ultimately what we're all here for!Smiley
Report to moderator Logged
Pages: [1] ReplyNotify of RepliesSend this topicPrint