Squadhelp Discussion Forum is built on a software platform designed to enable a rich level of communication within our community.
The software has some interesting features that make participation not only quick, easy and fun but deep and purposeful. You will discover many features intuitively as you start spending more time here, or recognize them from other sites you use like Facebook and Twitter.
To help jumpstart you and get you into the fun more quickly, here's a list of tips, tricks and hidden features.
Use your Squadhelp ID to login
No need to maintain a separate user ID and password. Simply sign in using your standard Squadhelp user ID and password to begin participation in the discussion forum.
Get acquainted with Categories
The forum intentionally does not have many categories. You can even start new topics without a category. Please get to know the categories!
Use Search to find topics and users
The search (look for the magnifying glass) is great! You can type in keywords and immediately start seeing results relevant to where you are in the forum.
Little known feature: You can use the following to link to search results. Replace
africa with your keyword to search for.
Use "markdown" to format your posts
If you click a link on the formatting bar when adding a post you'll see some weird codes appear in the text. Take a look at the Daring Fireball Markdown Basics2 page to learn the markdown codes you can use or, better yet, look at the Markdown source1 of that page to learn by example. You will find it's quick and easy once you get the hang of it. You can then draft your posts offline in a text editor, in email replies to notifications from the forum, or online in the forum.
Use "emoji" smileys to express your feelings
More than 100 emoji images6 can be used to embellish your posts to express your feelings! To trigger emoji autocomplete, start typing a
: colon then some characters.
Use @name to mention someone to make sure they see your post
Like on Twitter and Facebook, it is possible here to mention someone to get their attention and make sure they see your post. They will get a notification as soon as you save your post. To trigger it, type
@ and then start typing their name or username. Discourse will autocomplete. So typing
@Dan will make sure I see it. You can also mention a group in the same way and it will automagically mention everyone in the group.
Drag a file into your post or paste a URL to upload it to the forum
It is very easy to upload a picture or other attachment to embed in your post. You can drag it into your post like you would from one folder to another on your computer.
Or find the web address/URL and paste it in on its own line. It will first embed the remote link while you edit and then later will go fetch the file to keep a local, permanent copy.
Authorized filename extensions are jpg, jpeg, png, gif, ico, zip, pdf, txt and mov.
Embed a preview of another forum post
You can easily reference another post by just grabbing the URL from there (look for the link button under the post) and inserting it on a line by itself and it will automagically be presented like the example below.
Embed a video in your post.
Just stick the URL of a youtube or vimeo video on a line by itself and it will automatically be embedded in your post. This link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilMzs1UHEmw on its own line produces this:
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Select "Keyboard Shortcuts" from the menu to see a list of great keyboard shortcuts that can speed up your use of this forum. For example
g h will take you to the forum homepage,
r will reply to the topic you are looking at,
/ lets you search.
Reply privately to a post using the
Sometimes you will want to follow up with the author of a post directly and privately, not in public. The way to do this best is to select
FLAG button and then
Notify authorname. You can then send a short note to the author about the post.
The Flag feature also lets you report posts to moderators that are off-topic or spam.
Embed an anonymous poll in your post
Make your topic title start with "Poll: " and include a list in your post. The first list will be used.
- Some list
- Some list con't
Save topics to PDF for printing or offline reading
This is more of a work around than a hidden feature, since saving or printing of topics is not supported properly yet but we hope it will be soon! Here's how you do it:
- Reload the post in question and be sure to remove the trailing post# reference in the URL
This gives you a nice regular HTML view. Do Print > PDF for each page (it paginates at 20 posts)
- Open that first PDF, do View > Thumbnails then drag in each subsequent PDF for the other pages
Get a short link to any topic or post
To please the search engines, posts in the forum get long URLs like
http://discussion.squadhelp.com/t/forum-tips-tricks-and-hidden-features/723 that include the text of the topic title. You can shorten this for any post by replacing the topic title part with
- so it looks like
Get the "raw markdown" version of any post
Posts in this forum are formatted using simple markdown syntax (see above). You can get the raw markdown of any post at any time by changing the URL to
XXX is the topic id and
YY is the ID of the post in the topic.
Hide long quotes in collapsible text
Use the following syntax to create a summary that when clicked on shows longer text:
<details><summary>Click this to view the longer transcript</summary>This part could be could be a huge long text</details>
Click this to view the longer transcriptThis part could be could be a huge long text
Use the following syntax to explain an acronym or term that readers might not know, inline!
<abbr title="scientific wild donkey guess">SWAG</abbr>
Can be used like this Let me take a SWAG and say that the answer is 42.
Sort posts by likes
For likes on the Original Post append the following to the url
For all likes on the topic append the following:
Add Hidden and expanding text
[details=This is the text to click on]And here is alot of text in this example, to show how it works[/details]
Embed Google Calendar in a Post
Place a Google Calendar URL like https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?... in a post and this will show an embed Calendar.
Embed Google Spreadsheet in a Post
Place Anyone with the link shared Google Drive Spreadsheet URL like https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=xxx&usp=sharing&authkey=xxx2 in a post and this will show an embedded, editable Spreadsheet.
Check out this blog post1 for more details about embedding spreadsheets in web pages.