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HOW TO: a UNIQUE "news" or "topic sentence" display for any thread

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  • HOW TO: a UNIQUE "news" or "topic sentence" display for any thread

    Here is a simple way to create a UNIQUE "news" or "topic sentence" display for any thread.

    Basically, it is just a matter of publiclydisplaying the "Moderator Notes" found in the "Edit Thread" tool. You or your designated moderators can change this at any time for the thread in question. You will, of course, sacrifice the ability to privately display these "notes" to moderators only but you gain a "news" or "topic sentence" capability. Your choice...

    Here's how:

    GO TO: CPadmin --> Styles&Templates --> Style Manager --> select "Edit templates" from the desired style (or "Default" style) --> scroll down to "Showthread templates" and click on the << >> link. Then select "Customize" for the SHOWTHREAD template (or "Edit" if you have already tinkered with this.)

    Find this:
    <!-- / controls above postbits -->
    Just BELOW it add this bit of code:
    That's it! Of course, you can play with the location, fonts, formatting, etc. The key element is the $thread[notes] variable. (I have mine centered and use <smallfont>)


    1. Is there a way to make displaying the $thread[notes] field recognize vBcodes by changing something in a template (rather that asking someone at to create a hack)?

    2. Is there a simple (non-hack) way to expand the number of allowable characters in the $thread[notes]to more than 250? (Can one change the allowable characters for the "notes" field in the "thread" table using phpmyadmin without messing things up? How?)


  • #2
    How do you get stuff into $thread[notes] ? I don't get it.

    One can set an announcement (globally or per forum) to have a unique news above the threadlist.


    • #3
      Originally posted by floris
      How do you get stuff into $thread[notes] ? I don't get it.
      Just go to any thread, click on the "Thread Tools" drop-down menu and select "Edit Thread". Whatever you enter in the "Moderator Notes" text box is what appears in the $thread[notes] field.

      Originally posted by floris
      One can set an announcement (globally or per forum) to have a unique news above the threadlist.
      This is very different!

      In a sense, this is like a "sticky post" that can only be created by Admins & Moderators.

      Announcements are not displayed at the individual thread level. They are only displayed at the Forum or Thread List level. For example, if there were an announcement for this forum, you would not see any reference to at the top of the page you are reading now because this is at the posting level.

      You also cannot have a unique announcement for any one thread. Announcements can only be installed at a Forum or Sub-forum.

      The final difference is that announcements are "optional" viewing for users. The result is that many people simply miss announcements altogether. In many cases that is fine but there are some times when an admin wants to be sure that everyone sees some short message such as a "topic sentence", etc. Obviously, this should not be abused or over used but it does give Admins this option if their editorial needs or styles require it.

      Here is an example: I have a large sub-forum where people discuss various merchants. There is a separate thread for each one. I want to use this "thread news" ability to conspicuoulsy display a link to the particular merchant's website at the top of it's respective thread as well as some street addresses, telephone numbers, etc. The idea is that my users will quickly leanr they can easily find a link to the merchant by going to the top of the thread. It's also the first thing they would see when they go to that thread. This could not be done with an annoucement because they are not displayed at this level.

      (This linking idea does not quite work yet because the Moderator Notes field does not recognize vBcode so I am currently unable to create the hyperlinks. That's why I asked for help on that.)

      I can think of many other kinds of uses for this, as well.
      Last edited by ataraxia; Sun 31 Oct '04, 9:03am.


      • #4
        I understand what you mean now - nice idea!


        • #5
          Can anyone help with how to make this field recognize vBBcode?



          • #6
            Originally posted by ataraxia
            Can anyone help with how to make the $thread[notes] field recognize vBcode?



            • #7
              This requires modifying the code which we don't support. You can try asking for help with this over at
              Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
              Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

              Steve Machol Photography

              Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


              widgetinstance 262 (Related Topics) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.