A tip/shortcut thread to make navigation easier on the new forum


I want to start a thread for tips/shortcuts etc. to make navigation easier on the new forum. if you see a shortcut please add below. let us keep this positive; no complaints please.

i was looking for a way to jump to the top. they have a jump to but if you click the title of the thread it takes you too the first thread.

hope it helps

How do I underline a word and how do I indent a paragraph here?
What do you think of the forum redesign?
Anyone confused by the new layout?
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New Forum...ideas
New Forum...ideas
What do you think of the forum redesign?

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~courtesy of @discobot


Hi! To find out what I can do, say @discobot display help.


Great idea for a thread. :+1:

I am seeing there are several ways to sort of navigate the forum, depending on your preferences. I’ll outline a few I’ve discovered.

If you miss the main CAF page that listed all the different forums, you may like looking at the Categories view. You can get there through the link or by clicking the “Categories” tab from the main page. This lists all the categories on the left side with the most recent posts (regardless of category) on the right side. This is probably the closest approximation of the old look.

If (like me) you made heavy use of the thread subscription page on the old CAF to follow the threads you were participating in, you can go to the Unread page. You can get there either through the link or else by clicking on the menu button at the top right (the icon with three lines) and selecting the “unread” option from that popup menu. Clicking on a thread in your unread queue will bring you to the first unread post. It’s kind of handy that it actually tells you how many unread posts there are.


Quoting other posts

I think this is one of the bigger adjustments for long time users. It was for me from the outset. I was accustomed to hitting “reply” by a post or else hitting the little “plus” button by several posts and then having the compose post screen pop up with those posts already included. With the new setup, when you hit reply, you don’t immediately see what you are replying to. So initially I wondered if we lost that functionality.

Ultimately, though, the more I play around with it, the more I realize the quoting system is a lot more versatile.

When you hit “reply” to a post, you can choose not to include the text of the post you are replying to. People will see that you are posting a reply by seeing something like this Reply to in the upper right corner of your post. They can then just click on that and the message you are replying to will expand upwards for reading. [Note: I’m still playing around with this to try to figure out what are the cases where this does and does not happen.]

To actually include a quote from the post you are replying to, you can do this in a few ways.

  1. Hit reply as usual.
  2. Then simply click the “Quote Whole Post” button on the left side of the compose post tool bar.
  3. The entire contents of the post you are replying to will appear.

If you’re the type that likes to break up the quote so that you can reply point by point, this is actually much easier to do than it ever was before.

  1. Simply highlight the first bit of text you wish to quote.
    1.a. You will then see a box pop up above the highlighted text that says “Quote”.
  2. Click or tap that button
    2.a. The compose post box will pop up with that portion quoted.
  3. Since you can still scroll through the thread at the top portion of the screen while you compose a post, you can go back to the post and do this as many times as you want! You can even do this to respond to multiple posts from multiple people all in one post.
    3.a. Note, if you are on mobile, you can click the little down arrow in the upper right corner and the post you are composing will minimize. You can then find another part of the post to reply to, highlight, and hit “Quote” again.

So there are a couple of ways to insert quotes. I really like being able to easily scroll through the thread and insert more quotations while I’m in the middle of typing a reply. I will use that feature a lot.

Sandbox thread!
What do you think of the forum redesign?
Sandbox thread!


As you compose a post, you will see the little gear icon (Icon_Options) to the right side of your compose post toolbar. This is labeled “Options”. If you click or tap on that, the Options Box will pop up.


This gives you three fun options to add a little extra to your posts.

1. Hide Details

This option allows you to insert text that will be hidden from view unless clicked upon. This is a great option to have if you are posting something you think may be of interest to only a few people, if it is something interesting but tangential, or even just a lengthy quote.


I will use this a lot for posting quotations from the Catechism or Church documents! I can post longer quotes without feeling like the point I’m trying to draw out of the quotation is getting lost.

2. Blur Spoiler

Do you want to talk about a plot point of a recently released book or movie? Designate some text as a spoiler and you can spoil away! Just click or tap to un-blur and re-blur the text.

This will be very handy in the #catholic-living:popular-media category!

Interestingly, it did not blur the category tag I inserted.

3. Build Poll

Not only can you insert a poll into threads you created (as in the old CAF), now you can insert a poll into every post! Of course, if you inserted a poll into every post, people might get annoyed at you. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Who thinks polls are fun?

  • I do!
  • Me!

0 voters

A few notes

Be sure to utilize the preview screen to make sure these options are displaying as you intended. Some of them require the “code” to be on a separate line. So if you find that it isn’t displaying properly, that could be the issue. For example.
Who thinks polls are fun?[poll type=regular]* I do! * Me![/poll]
When you type it all on one line, it won’t display properly.


Is there some way to make this preview area larger? You can make the left side area larger by hiding the preview, but don’t see a button to make the preview larger.

Of course, one could just post it on the thread and then delete it if needed, I suppose. Then it is full size.


While composing a post, you can see two horizontal lines right at the top in the center of the compose screen. You can click and vertically adjust the size of the post/preview window . There doesn’t appear to be a way to move the dividing line left or right, though (so that the compose box is smaller and the preview box is larger).

So you can make it bigger vertically, but not horizontally.


This is VERY helpful. Thanks!


I never knew that.

Yes, it is. That’s amazing!

Me too.


How easy is that!!! Thanks for the tips!



So far so good.

Me too! Thanks for the primer!


Something else I noticed with the new forum.

As you are replying to a post, it will tell you if someone else is also in the process of composing a reply.

On the right side of the top bar of the compose post box, you will see a little avatar of the user with the word “replying”.

That’s a neat little feature. So I can see if someone is replying who is likely to say the same thing that I would, I can just hold off and like their post once it is finished. :slight_smile:


Viewing all threads you are “tracking” and “watching”

Another big adjustment for me from the old forum is the different ways of following threads/topics.

In the old forum, this was chiefly accomplished through “subscribing”. The settings could be changed, but by default you “subscribed” to every thread you posted on. You could also opt to subscribe to a thread without posting on it. Then, in your profile screen, you could view the threads you had subscribed to that had new posts. But you could also choose to “view all subscribed threads” which would allow you to view all of those threads regardless of whether or not they had new posts.

The new forum includes two ways of “subscribing” to a thread: Tracking and Watching.

  • Watching — “You will be notified of every new reply in this topic, and a count of new replies will be shown.” By default, you are “watching” any topics/threads that you create.
  • Tracking — “A count of new replies will be shown for this topic. You will be notified if someone mentions your @name or replies to you.” By default, you are “tracking” any topics/threads you reply to, or any topics/threads that you read for more than 4 minutes.

Now, when you go to the Unread page, it will show you all of the threads you are watching or tracking that have new posts. This is similar to the old site’s ability to show your subscribed threads that have new posts.

However, if you want to view all the threads you are tracking, it’s a little trickier. Credit goes to @Usige for pointing this out in another thread. There is no way to view all the threads you are tracking and watching simultaneously, but you can view them each in turn. You can go to @Usige’s post to see how he got there, but these are the links he uncovered.

I thought it was worth reposting in this “tips” thread as this is a feature I will use a lot, but which is not one that would be easy to stumble across on your own.


How to read through a topic

One of the other big differences many are encountering is the general look and feel of reading through a thread. Seeing the different icons and replies can lead some to wonder exactly how best to navigate a thread.

If you really liked the sequential order of the old forum, there is good news: You don’t have to do or click on anything! The individual posts appear in chronological order. If you just want to read through threads like you did before, simply keep scrolling.

There are, however, some neat features for following the conversation in different ways. This is because the forum uses a hybrid model of displaying threads. So the conversation can be viewed both chronologically and with replies grouped together).

So you might notice while scrolling through a thread that a particular post has a “# replies” in the bottom left corner.

If you do not click on this, you are not missing anything. Those posts still appear below in the order in which they were posted. However, if you are eager to find out exactly what other posters have to say about this specific comment, you can click on the downward facing chevron to view the replies now.

When you are done, you can click on the upward facing chevron to go back to the previous view, or else just keep scrolling.

If you want, you might even choose to click the down arrow in the upper right corner of one of the replies. If you do this, you will “jump” directly to that reply, which will allow you to like, flag, or reply to that reply.

When you do encounter the reply further down the thread, you will notice that the top bar of the post indicates that the post is a reply to a previous post, whether or not the reply actually quoted the user they were replying to.

If you want a reminder of what post is being replied to, you can simply click on that portion of the post and the original comment will pop up right above the reply.

If you want to jump back up to the original comment in order to interact with it (i.e. to like, flag, or reply yourself), simply click on the up arrow at the top right of that post and you will jump up to the original comment.

So all the posts are always there in chronological order. These extra tools are here to help us jump quickly back and forth in order to follow a single conversation within a larger topic.

Also, the sidebar is very helpful as well.

You can click and hold on the bar to move in up or down quickly. You can also click on the time stamp at the top or bottom of the bar to jump immediately to the top or bottom of the thread. Further, you can click the reply button (it looks a little different depending on which display theme you are using) if you want to reply to the thread without necessarily replying to a specific post.


Formatting options that are NOT in the tool bar

A question in another thread about underlining prompted me to investigate whether it is possible to do that in Discourse. It is! There are a number of other things you can do as well that are not in the toolbar. You just have to know the right code to type in. Here is what I have been able to find so far. I will update if I find anything else. If you know of any other options, let me know and I will add it.

  • Type in [u]Underline Text/u] to get Underline Text

  • Type in [s]Strikethrough Text[/s] to get Strikethrough Text

  • Type in Text with <sup>superscript</sup> to get Text with superscript

  • Type in Text with <sub>subscript</sub> to get Text with subscript

  • Type in <kbd>Keyboard Letters</kbd> to get Keyboard Letters

  • Type in <small>Small Text</small> to get Small Text

  • Type in <big>Big Text</big> to get Big Text

  • Type in <ins>Inserted Text</ins> to get Inserted Text

  • Type in <del>Deleted Text</del> to get Deleted Text

  • Type in <abbr title="Alternate Text">Main Text</abbr> to get Main Text (hover your cursor over “Main Text” to view the “Alternate Text”)

  • Type in <h1>Heading 1</h> or # Heading 1 to get

    Heading 1

  • Type in <h2>Heading 2</h> or ## Heading 2 to get

    Heading 2

  • Type in <h3>Heading 3</h> or ### Heading 3 to get

    Heading 3

  • Type in <h4>Heading 4</h> or #### Heading 4 to get

    Heading 4

  • Type in <h5>Heading 5</h> or ##### Heading 5 to get

    Heading 5
  • Type in <h6>Heading 6</h> or ###### Heading 6 to get

    Heading 6
You can even insert tables using the html code (click on the arrow to expand and view)
<table style="width:100%">
    <th>Table Heading 1</th>
     <th>Table Heading 2</th> 
    <th>Table Heading 3</th>
    <td>Row 1, Column 1</td>
     <td>Row 1, Column 2</td> 
    <td>Row 1, Column 3</td>
    <td>Row 2, Column 1</td>
     <td>Row 2, Column 2</td> 
    <td>Row 2, Column 3</td>


Table Heading 1 Table Heading 2 Table Heading 3
Row 1, Column 1 Row 1, Column 2 Row 1, Column 3
Row 2, Column 1 Row 2, Column 2 Row 2, Column 3

Let me know if you can think of any to add. As far as I can tell, it’s not possible to change font colors or align text to the center or to the right. If anyone learns differently, let me know!

How do I underline a word and how do I indent a paragraph here?
Who wants the forums to be changed back to the old design and colors?
Please create an "underline" button and an "indent" function and button

Discobot — Our friendly bot companion

Perhaps you have seen a bunch of people mentioning @discobot in various threads. Discobot is an automated bot user that appears whenever you @ mention him. I use the Preformatted text in my posts in order to avoid summoning him, but still show you what to type in.

Discobot currently has six tricks up his robotic sleeves:

  1. @discobot display help — Typing this into any post brings up the list of the other 5 things he can do.

  2. @discobot start new user — This starts up the basic tutorial where he walks you through basic things such as posting links, using emoji, tagging other users, using bold and italics, quoting, inserting pictures, flagging and liking, etc. This is best done by sending a private message to Discobot.

  3. @discobot start advanced user — This starts the advanced tutorial where he walks you through editing, deleting, tagging, tracking, polls, etc. This is also best done by sending a private message to Discobot.

  4. @discobot roll #d# — Here, Discobot will roll dice where the first number is the number of dice (up to 20) and the second number is the number of sides (up to 120). So you would say “roll 20d120” for him to roll twenty 120-sided dice.

  5. @discobot quote — He will respond with a random quote from a famous person.

  6. @discobot fortune — He will reply with something such as would come out of a fortune cookie or a magic 8 ball.

I would encourage anyone to send Discobot a PM and work through both tutorials. You will learn a few tricks and also gain a badge for each one. :slight_smile:


how about adding color?


As far as I can tell, font colors are not native to Discourse. Discourse seems to allow for a mix of different codes. BB code (which the old forum used), html, and Markdown are the three that seem to be used in some capacity. But not all BB Code or html code works in the forum. I tried the code for colored fonts from both of those and neither worked.

According to this thread on the Discourse forums, colored fonts are not a core feature of Discourse but may be available as a plugin. That would be up to CAF to install the plugin on their end. From my (limited) experience helping a friend with his website, I know that plugins can sometimes get a little wonky depending upon who developed it and how often they update it. It would be a good suggestion for the future, but it would probably be far down the list of priorities at present. Maybe wait a few months and let things settle and then bring it up again. :slight_smile:


Can we indent a whole paragraph like before? I couldn’t figure out how to do that, and I used to use that all the time in scripture/CCC quote-fests.

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