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1. General Info
10. Creating New FAQs
20. Writing New Entries
25. How to include Links
30. Editing Users Submissions
45. Bulleted Lists
46. Horizontal Rule Tags
60. Using Colors
80. Using Images
back)A new feature has been added which automatically reduces the largest FAQs on the site to a Table of Contents display ... for example, the Site FAQ.
1. General Info
This was done to reduce the initial display of these larger FAQs, and make it easier for others, especially new users, to locate the subject they are seeking without having to scroll through a huge page of entries.
A new link has been placed at the FAQ head to automatically expand the FAQ to its full length when activated: Expand TOC and question shuffling
Smaller FAQs do not appear condensed in this manner.
got feedback?back)In a word no.
10. Creating New FAQs
The guidelines for a good FAQ here should be that the FAQ sections and questions are all highly specific to the FAQ, and on-topic.
It's not really useful to have a FAQ explain what the term NID means, or how to get a gold star, unless the FAQ is, in the first case, a FAQ on network equipment terms, and in the second case, the site FAQ.
(The above is from a post by Justin)
got feedback?back)Any registered BBR/DSLR member can start a new FAQ ... however, considering that the FAQ must be approved before it is made "public", or viewable, it is a good idea to ask someone before doing so. There may in fact already be a similar FAQ in progress, and so on.
That hurdle crossed, you will need to go to the All FAQs page to get started. At the very bottom of that page, you will see this box:
In the box, enter the short name for your FAQ. If it was for the Acme Widget forum, you might call it "acme". Then click on the "Create/Retrieve" button, and your FAQ will be started.
Next, enter the following URL into your browser address bar:
/faq/ and at the end, add the short name that you entered above. This will be the address for your FAQ.
On your new FAQ page, you will see these items:
Clicking on "Edit FAQ Properties" will take you to a page where you can start entering your headers. Pay close attention to the info in the section of this FAQ entitled Starting Out, because it's far easier to set these up correctly than to try to re-arrange them later.
If you get stuck, just get in touch with a mod.
got feedback?back)It is highly recommended that before you start creating entries in your new FAQ, you go to the "edit properties" page, and create your individual topics, or headings.
Once these have been created, changing them involves a lot of tedious work, so it's far better to get them right before you proceed with the "meat" of your FAQ.
It is also recommended that you utilize a proven numbering system which will allow you or others to add sections later. To do this, skip numbers as you make topic headings, as in:
This makes it relatively easy for you or another FAQ owner to add a new topic at a later date, and still have room for more.
1. StartYou can still squeeze a topic header in by using decimals, such as 1.1 or even 1.11.
got feedback?back)A recent change to the basic FAQ structure has created an automatic Table of Contents in all FAQs. It's automatic because it picks up each and every topic by number and creates the TOC based upon them.
It's a good idea, when building a new FAQ, to keep this in mind as you number and name your topics and their sub-topics. Topics are indented based upon their numbering; a major whole number like 3 or 3.0 is at the margin; sub-topics like 3.1 are indented. A further "child" like 3.12 will be indented once again.
Careful consideration while naming your topics will result in a useful and orderly Table of Contents in the finished FAQ.
got feedback?back)Certain moderators have the ability to make a new FAQ public. Just contact any mod and ask ... they will get in touch with those who can do it.
In general the FAQ should not be made public until such time as it is substantially complete and ready for approval.
got feedback?back)Occasionally, when a user creates a new FAQ on the New FAQ page, a problem will develop where that user cannot access the FAQ for editing.
If this happens, notify a mod, who will contact one of the mods who can repair the problem. It may take a little time.
got feedback?back)When you are creating new topic headers in your FAQ ... that is, the items that have the numbers such as 1.0, 5.0 etc. ... do not use any punctuation, such as apostrophes in contractions (won't, can't, etc.).
Doing so will cause your FAQ to crash, and a site superuser will have to revive it.
Also, NEVER leave off the decimal after a topic number! Doing so will cause that topic to disappear and/or not be editable.
I don't get you people, I get this systemwide review and I've said nothing rude or untrue. Please look into this.
20. Writing New Entries
The difference is, when you as a FAQ owner preview and then submit, the entry immediately becomes part of the finished FAQ, if the FAQ has been made public.
By default, all new entries will go into the first topic in your FAQ if not changed. You make this selection in the box at the top of the screen.
got feedback?back)One of the common problems that crops up in the FAQs is failure to close HTML tags. This can cause all sorts of little irritating glitches, chief among which is failure to format your text properly.
If you use a tag such as <small> or <strong> it's important to include the closing tag at the end of the formatted text: </small>
One trick to remembering this is to type both tags at the same time: <small></small> ... then type your text in between the tags. It's helped me.
Cascading Style Sheet properties can be used with HTML to bring life to your FAQ entries.
Please remember that FAQs are for concisely sharing information -- don't get carried away.
A good use for CSS is to create notes, or warnings. Here is the code for a very simple warning box:
This is its result:
Warning: Don't cut the BLUE wire!
That is pretty effective as is, but by using some additional properties, it's possible to create a more sophisticated one. Here is the code:
This is the result:
If you're not already familiar with CSS and HTML, you can copy and paste the above code to use in your own FAQ entries. It's easy to change the colors and text.
All the above code has been tested in Internet Explorer, Opera, and Firefox, and is viewable with the "printable all-text format" feature associated with a FAQ. This means it should work in all modern browsers. If you decide to experiment, other CSS code may not--test it.
CSS doesn't work the same in all browsers.
If you'd like to learn more about CSS properties, here's a reference link:
SPAN tags can be used in FAQ entries for emphasis.
<span style="background-color:lightyellow"><b><font color="000000"
Results in this:
Click thumbnail to see full-size.
Unlike the techniques given here /faq/9301 the SPAN tags can easily be used inline to highlight a word or phrase.
<span style="background-color:lightyellow "><font color="000000"> <b>Don't</b>
Results in this:
Don't press the red button!
got feedback?back)Whenever you either create or edit a FAQ entry now, there are tools along the top of the editing window to make the job of formatting much easier. These can be seen in this image:
Here is a brief description of the buttons and their uses:
First two insert heading styles in two font sizes.
The best way to get familiar with these new tools is to experiment.
25. How to include Links
You may still wish to use HTML to display your URLs if, for instance, the title of the thread you're linking to is not descriptive enough. In that case, be sure to remove the domain info from the URL.
Any HTML in the faq QUESTION is now stripped out when saved, however, just as it is for forum topics.
got feedback?back)The easiest way to do this is to substitute ASCII code for every beginning bracket, like this:
You must pay close attention though ... as soon as you preview this, it will be converted to normal HTML; that means when you hit "submit", your ASCII will now be HTML brackets, and the result will be the actual table.
To avoid that you must enter the ASCII, then preview it, and while in preview mode, re-enter the ASCII in the preview window, then submit. It takes practice to get the hang of it, and is work-intensive enough to prevent you from doing it very often.
Another method, submitted by one of our FAQ owners:
"I use an alternate method for doing what's described in this entry, that some other folks might like. Type a FAQ entry that has raw HTML. Preview, and then if it needs edits, press the browser back button. Repeat this preview/back button process until your entry is complete. After the final preview, press the back button one more time, and then submit."
got feedback?back)Raw HTML can easily be embedded in your entries by putting it in code blocks.
Code blocks begin with the [code]
tag, and end with a
[/code] tag, which you may be familiar with from posting to the BBR forums. After the system processes the code block, the raw HTML will be in a blue box with a dotted red outline which sets it off from the rest of your text.
It's very important that the tags be on their own lines, with the raw HTML between them. This:
results in this:
There can be spaces and multiple lines of raw HTML between the code tags.
results in this:
got feedback?back)It depends on how you do them:
If you type in an address, and let the site autoconstruct them for you, like this:
which generates this: http://www.google.com
you can only have 30 per entry.
If you build them yourself, like this:
which generates this: www.google.com
there doesn't seem to be a limit.
You can mix both in an entry, but the limit is still 30 for the autogenerated kind.
And remember that if your HTML links (as in the second example) are links inside DSLR, you must remove the domain name: the »:www.dslreports.com part.
got feedback?back)When creating internal links for the FAQ (or for other site links), is there a preference for using so called "relative" links, in order to keep the user from being logged out if he/she is logged in under the other domain?
Internal links, such as a link to a forum thread, must have the domain removed IF THEY ARE WRITTEN WITH HTML TAGS. If they are not, any user logged in under the other domain will be logged out upon clicking the link. If the link contains www.broadbandreports.com, a user logged in under dslreports.com will be logged out, and vice versa.
The solution is to write the URL in the same way it would be on an HTML page ... using the full URL, but removing the section.
So becomes and looks like this:
back)When a FAQ entry is submitted to a FAQ that you "own", you will receive a system message (flashing red icon). Opening it will display a message like this one:
30. Editing Users Submissions
(Thanks to Optimized for the graphic)
Going to your FAQ, you will see the new entry at the bottom of the page.
The entry is in small letters, and you can examine it by clicking on "edit". It may or may not be accompanied by a user's name ... if not, it is just a question with no answer.
If when you examine the entry, you find it is acceptable as is, check the topic that it is going under, and if satisfactory, hit "submit". Otherwise, edit as needed, preview and submit. If you wish to delete the entry, just hit the delete key.
New: If a FAQ owner does work on the FAQ, no other owners are notified. This is a recent change.
got feedback?back)If this is an entry that has been submitted, but not yet added to the FAQ, you can simply click on "del" visible at the end of the proposed entry.
If you would like to delete a FAQ subject that has expired or is no longer accurate, you can do it by clicking on "del" at the bottom of the entry when viewing it.
back)When viewing an individual FAQ entry, you will see a revision history link at the bottom.
This allows you to view revisions that have been made to that entry, as in the following images:
The date shows the last revision, with the time. The first link, diff to current when clicked yields the information in the second image:
The second, diff to 0, will permit reversing the revision to the original form, but this is not functional yet.
Note: The date you will see in the revision history won't necessarily be the date of the most recent change, but reflects the previous version and the date it first appeared. Most of these are now showing 12/28/03.
Multiple changes to the FAQ by the same person, to the same entry, during an eight hour time period are squashed and only the last one made shows.
got feedback?back)At the top of your FAQ you will see a link called show hit count - trailing 7 day period. The purpose of this is to change the view to show you the number of hits your FAQ topics have had in the past seven days. The hits are not unique ... so if you've been working on one entry, for instance, and making numerous changes to it, each of those will constitute a hit.
In the image above, the bold numbers are the hits. While viewing these, the link will have changed to back to regular display. Or just refreshing the page will cause it to revert to normal view.
back)To include a table in your FAQ, you should have at least a cursory knowledge of HTML.
Basically, every HTML tag in a table requires a closing tag. Table can quickly grow to unmanageable proportions simply due to the large number of tags involved. Add in some align="center" and other coding, and it becomes really complex.
A simple table to create some columns looks like this, for example:
<table align="center" width="90%" border="1" bgcolor="#CC0000"><tr><td align="center"><font color="white" face="garamond" size="+3">ONE</font></td><td align="center"><font color="white" face="garamond" size="+3">TWO</font></td><td align="center"><font color="white" face="garamond" size="+3">THREE</font></td><td align="center"><font color="white" face="garamond" size="+3">FOUR</font></td></tr></table>
That's a whole lot of coding to dress up one line with four cells in it.
got feedback?back)So, you've just tediously written a nice table into your FAQ in order to show your info nicely set apart, but when you submit it, there's this massive "white space" between your regular text and your table. You've tried everything, and it just won't go away. What to do?
This is a result of spaces and line returns between table elements. Where that normally does not have any effect on a table, here on the site it is a no-no.
To fix the problem, edit your entry, and remove all spaces between table elements ... they should look like this:
<TABLE><TR><TD>some text information here</TD></TR> and so on. The only exception is that as you write your entry, some line breaks will occur naturally, put there by the site's software. Do not interfere with these; doing so will delete part of your text.
got feedback?back)If you would like to use bullets beside your lists, there is only one method now:
< LI> First line
< LI> Second line
The above is an example of a bulleted list.
It is important to open and close your list with the appropriate HTML tags, or your list will move out to the left margin.
got feedback?back)This tag is used frequently in HTML to divide a section of the page from another. It can be used for the same purpose in your FAQ, for example to create a break between an image and the body of text.
Simply including the <HR> tag will create a solid line from left margin to right margin like this:
You may adjust the width of your tag by including a width statement:
<HR width="75%"> results in a horizontal rule that looks like this:
The ability to include a color statement has been discontinued.
got feedback?back)Colors can be used to good advantage in your FAQ, if you are selective about where you use them. Generally colors should be used for emphasis, or to set certain text apart from the rest. It is important to keep in mind that many site users have selected their own themes for viewing pages on the site, and this may conflict with the way they see your color selections.
The HTML for that colored text is: <font color="green"> and the closing </font>.
You can use color with text, backgrounds, or table borders, or a combination such as this:
The tag that makes this possible is the bgcolor tag, as in: <TABLE bgcolor="yellow">
got feedback?back)The method of including an image in your FAQ entry has changed, and is much simpler to use now.
When editing (or authoring) a FAQ entry, you will find an area at the bottom of the window to upload images:
Once you have browsed to the image on your machine and hit "upload", you will see this:
Hitting the "next" button takes you to the next page, where you will see your uploaded image:
Right below the uploaded image you see a reference number, in this case "attachment=1102246". Simply place "att=1102246" within brackets ... [ ] ... wherever you want the image to appear in your entry, like this:
Also note that there are useful links included during the process which allow you to show attachments that have been uploaded, and to show the upload screen when it isn't readily available.
Be advised that images larger than 600px will be automatically re-sized, and will look like this:
got feedback?back)I became an editor for a FAQ without proper numbering. How do I fix it?
Many of the FAQs on the site were not properly numbered as they were developed, and for that reason they can be difficult to work with.
To correct the numbering of topics, create a properly numbered category to take the place of the old one, and then edit each entry in the incorrectly numbered one selecting the new topic in the drop-down menu.
When you've completed "moving" all entries, the old topic will disappear.
(Suggested by Sidis)
got feedback?back)I have no answer for this one.
I do. You cannot. Only a Site Superuser can make a FAQ go away.
got feedback?back)I have duplicate numbered sections displayed in the FAQ, one is blank, but I don't see the duplicate when I'm editing it so I can't fix it.
How can I get rid of the duplicate?
• Copy over entries (copy/paste is easiest, but you'll lose the crediting of the submitter, so you'll need to put it in manually)
• Delete the original entry
• Delete category in the TOC
got feedback?back)Yes, you can re-order FAQ sections.
First, you need to change the title number of the section you want to move or create your new topic via "edit FAQ properties".
Next, you must edit each individual FAQ entry from the old section and change its location to the newly numbered section via "This question is for FAQ Section:".
got feedback?back)Previously, to include a site user's name in a FAQ, such as giving credit to them for information, etc. it was necessary to use the long version HTML tags.
This has been eliminated, and you can now enter user names exactly as done in forum posts, using the xxxxxx7 format.
got feedback?back)Because this is not an automatic process. Every so often, an update is initiated, and ownerships will appear on the appropriate user pages.