Share your handy tips

(Sarah Hawk) #1

Community platforms are becoming so complex these days that sometimes I wonder what I don’t know. It’s a bit like teaching yourself Photoshop – you use about 5% of the functionality.

I thought it might be useful to share Discourse tips and tricks with each other.

My no 1 tip for productivity – if I spot a post that I want to answer but don’t have time right now, I bookmark it.

They show up like this in my list view:

(Travis King) #2

One of the most confusing tools, and potentially the most helpful, is Discourse’s flagging system. The whole agree, disagree, defer and delete thing is pretty hard to get your head around. And since most of options will send a pre-packaged message to the user, you don’t have much wiggle room to experiment :smiley:

I mostly use Defer and Delete. Defer sends the user a message that you understand why they flagged the post and you will either look into it or not later. It’s my way of saying “Thanks…maybe I’ll do something about this…but probably not” :stuck_out_tongue:

The Delete function allows you to just remove the post entirely with the option to Delete the user if they are a spammer. I find this more useful than the Agree option as you usually still have to go into the post to deal with it after you uphold the flag.

The Agree option is good if you want to send the user a message that they need to edit their post, but I often find that if the post has been flagged as inappropriate or off-topic then giving the user the ability to edit the post is not really a great outcome as a lot of the time they will just leave the post as it is. And then you’re back to square one again.

(purldator) #3

I can see why Discourse may be daunting. At first.

Once you use it in earnest, aye. Addicting. I give Jeff Atwood, Sam Saffron and all of the Discourse team, contributors and testers a lot of respect for managing that feat within my otherwise stubborn habits.

Aye, I use bookmarking a lot. Highly helpful to bookmark then use the in:bookmarks search option for future reference.

Hah. All those search options. Check it: click the (currently orange) search glass icon in the upper right then click “options”.

Welcome to a collector’s bliss.

I have a memory like a goldfish with dementia. I remember one small thing from the topic I want to find, and those search options work my cognitive flow the rest of the way.

My brain be so pleasantly overloaded with the endless array of possible queries to build. Enjoy this awe with me.

Another tip manifested when I was being my usual scrupulous self; this time for making my profile all neat and presentable.

A bit of Shappin’ and a lot of pathological attention to detail by the pixel to the naked eye afforded me a pretty darn good resolution to save my profile’s user background.

Logically, I could have guessed the Discourse devs used a well-known res for that header.

They did.


I suggest using twitter’s default, suggested resolution for any Discourse profile’s header image (AKA, user background). 1500px x 500px or change that 500px to 421px if you wanna go by twitter’s in-practice resolution someone found and was nice enough to mention it for all; updated for 2016.

I use the 1500 x 500 over at Discourse Meta. Perfect presentation at any screen resolution (that I so far checked).

I even uploaded something nice for my profile over here too. The 421px works well, as I used that height to test. Passed. Nice.

My user card’s hairy tweed stockinette background be at the size 600px x 300px. It centers neatly. Also good presentation.

I hope these numbers aid any and all who wanna make their profile as pretty as mine. *grin*

Twitter: black rectangles for some Discourse pages
(Sarah Hawk) #4

It’s purl stitch, yeah?

(purldator) #5

Purl and knit.

Knit one row.
Purl the next.

A calming mantra.

Until I realize I made a mistake.

(Steve Combs) #6

Discourse now has features to set up a private support portal via a group:

This allows you to set up a Contact Us topic with FAQs and the different contact options.

You can then reply to users via Discourse group inbox even for users without accounts. The email sent to staged users doesn’t include a link to visit the site. It only invites them to reply by email.

Be sure to set your account preferences to include “prior replies” so the original support request is included in your response to the user.

Also set group inbox to Watching if you want email notifications.

(David McClure) #7

I’ve been on for a few years and have almost never done this there… but I have started doing this on the forum I admin and it definitely helps! (In gmail, I usually mark as unread instead, but you can’t do that on Discourse).

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #8

The /raw/ trick

Here’s a trick most people probably don’t know – primarily because it’s only useful to power users.

Let’s say I see someone are giving instructions using this kind of fancy keyboard styling: ctrl + alt + del

I wanna know how they did that formatting! But unless I’m a moderator, I can’t edit their post to have a look. But there’s a workaround. I’ll use my own post here as an example.

  1. Click the link button to reveal the post’s URL (excluding the attribution suffix), in my case

  2. Replace this part /t/share-your-handy-tips/ with this: /raw/. Your URL should now look like this:

  3. Paste that into your browser’s address bar, press enter and bam! You get plain text formatting:

(Alessio Fattorini) #9

That’s a recursive tip, reading the first lines I thought exactly the same thing! How can he do that? :slight_smile:

(Alessio Fattorini) #10

Do you know that it’s possible to filter searches using some advanced options? I use it every day

(Travis King) #11

Another one from me :smiley:

If you want to link to any page in the user’s profile preferences page use the “my” link option. Example will send them to their Notifications page.

(Steve Combs) #12

If you want visitors to have home page options for categories vs. latest, try this:

  • redirect your main/vanity URL ( to the categories view (
  • Visit Settings/Basic Setup/Top Menu to set “latest” as the first item.
  • You can now direct new users to the main/vanity URL to see the categories view, but when anyone clicks the header logo, they will see Latest.
  • Credit: This setup was referred to as “Jeff Atwood’s idea” on, but I couldn’t find the related posts.
  • Bonus Tip: Use Settings/Customize/Text Content/js.filters.categories.title to change “Categories” to “Home”. Your Top Menu now has a Home link.

Appearance and descriptions of categories at a Discourse site: thoughts please