FAQ: REPLYING to an earlier post


There is no need to create a new thread in order to answer a question posed earlier or to add a comment thereto. Not that this is all that big a deal, but it does have the virtue of keeping things in a nice neat package for further comments and those searching for information on any given topic at a later date.

At the top and bottom of every page in a thread, there are two boxed links: “new topic” and “post reply.” To add to an existing topic, all you need do is to click on the “new reply” link and it will bring up a new window, into which you can put whatever you wish to add - text, photos, links to other sites - virtually anything. With both “new topic” and “post reply,” the very first open field is the “Subject” . . . . For the purposes of replying, [u]IGNORE[/u] it! Put whatever you want in the “Message body,” preview it if you wish (always a good idea) and hit “Submit.”

OK, so perhaps in this case you selected the wrong button? No biggie! There was a good reason to ignore that open “Subject” field. If you selected “new topic” in error, you will be prompted to enter a subject heading. Oops . . . I meant that to be a reply, not a “new topic.” What to do? Now it it is a simple fix.

Click on the “Back” icon / command in the tool bar of your browser, which brings you back to the point before you submitted your comments (or whatever). Put the cursor in the message window, hold down the “Control” button on your keyboard and hit the “A” key. Everything in the message body window will be selected (Ctrl+A = “select all”). Now, still holding the Control key down, hit either the “C” key (Ctrl+C = “copy”) or the “X” key (Ctrl+X = “cut”). You will have your entire reply in memory (a.k.a., “the clipboard”).

Next, again, click the “Back” icon / command in the tool bar of your browser, which should bring you back to the point where the error occurred (unless you are using a browser other than FireFox or MicroSoft’s junk). Choose the “post reply” button this time. When the next window opens, put your cursor in the “Message Body” field, hold the Control key down and hit the “V” key (Ctrl+V = “insert”). Voila, Shazaam, you have what you wanted to say in the message body window and need only hit “Submit” to post the reply. No sweat.

This works the other way as well; i.e., if you make a reply when you really meant to start a new thread. But rarely does one intend to do this, unless they wish to avoid hi-jacking a thread with an entirely new train of discussion.

If you get in the habit of not putting anything in the “Subject” field unless you [b]really[/b] feel there is a need (perhaps 1% of the time if one is not creating a new topic), the system will not allow you to create a new thread when your intention is to reply.