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Forum Summary & Sub-Forums

A great feature of Community Forums is the ability to create sub-forums within the forum. This allows the user to create separate sub-forums by type or subject matter. It facilitates different teams to have their own sub-forum to discuss topics, but have it within a single forum.

You can use the Forum Summary macro to list pages under the current forum that contain a forum. The summary macro creates an easy to use and navigate table with information about each forum.

 

Topic Summary

Another great tool is the Topic Summary Macro which gives you a snapshot of all topics across all forums in a space. This is a great way to get an overview of the conversations happening across an entire space and see what people are interested in, whilst giving you an easy way to jump into topics from all across the boards. There should be just enough information here to pull your teams into different conversations.

Forum Menu and Directory

The Forum Menu makes it easier to visit your regularly used forums, as well as find new forums under the Forum directory. You can configure this in the Forum administration section, under the administration console and set the number of recent forums to display for your users or disable the menu from the admin page too.

Search,Sort and Filter

Community Forums now provide the ability to Search, Sort and Filter topics within a forum. 

Search, sort and filter functionality are not permanent and causes no changes to Confluence. These parameters are reset to default on any subsequent visit to the forum.

You can now search for topics within the forum using the Search bar and button. You can use multiple search criteria  to search for topics.

Searching tips

CriteriaUsageExample
Specific keywordsUse quotes ("") to return only topics that match the search term exactly."Topic"
AND operatorUsing AND will return matches for topics that contain both the keywords.x AND y
OR operatorUsing OR will return matches for topics that contain either the keywords.x OR y
NOT operatorUsing NOT will return matches for topics that contain first keyword but not the second keywords.x NOT y
Group operatorsYou can use a combination of the operators by grouping them together for your Search by using ( ).x NOT (y OR z)
Partial word searchIt can be used to complete the current word.top*
Single character placeholderIt is useful for searching topics when you have an unknown letter. top?c

Sort and Filter

Community Forums provide filters which can be used separately or together to identify topics that match the required filtering criteria. Filtering also works in conjunction with the search function, simplifying the process of identifying topics of interest.

We've additionally added an easy to use Sort function which will arrange topics in the order required. 

Filter by Type

The Filter by Type lets you display only topics that are of the same type(s) defined. You can decide to show only: Locked Topics, Unlocked Topics, Watched Topics (topics you are following), or Hot Topics (which meet the activity score threshold). You can choose to apply one or more of these filters. For Example Hot Topics and Watched Topics would display only topics that the user is currently watching AND have an activity score higher than the threshold.


Filter by Author

The filter by author option lets you filter the topics that were created by a specific user. Simply start typing the username, or the name of the person that created the topic, and a list with suggestions will appear. Once the author field has been completed the topics filter instantly. The author filter can work in conjunction with the other filters and search. Only one author can be filtered per time.


Created Filter

The created date filter allows you to narrow down topics based on when they were created. You can use the predefined filters ranging from the last 24 hours to within the last year, or use the custom date option and specify any two dates.


Last Activity Filter

Similar to the Created Filter, the Last Activity Filter allows you to filter topics based on when the last activity on the topic was. The last activity can be the last page edit, comment or attachment, or any other last activity on the topic. You can use the same pre-defined filter periods as Created Filter (from the last 24 hours to within the last year, or use the custom date option)

Sort By Function

The "sort by" feature allow users to readily change the order of topics, so topics can be arrange by several criteria shown in the image below. It's a great way to quickly and easily navigate the forum. Sticky topics appear on top by default, but this can be changed too with the "Sticky topics on top" checkbox at the top of the forum table.

Clear Search

The "Clear Search" button  removes any search, sorting and filtering that's been applied to the forum. It's a simple and effective way to reset the state of the forum features to default, without reloading the page.

Any changes that have been applied through Search, Sorting or Filtering will be reset to their original default value. The "sticky topics on top" if unchecked will also be returned to its original value, unless the Forum Macro has been customised otherwise.

Pagination

Pagination splits the forum topics across several pages in the forum table. You can use pagination at the bottom of the forum table to navigate between pages facilitating easy navigation of the forum. Pagination can be configured to a value of 1-100 by editing the Forum Macro. By default pagination is set to 20 topics per page.

New Topic Button

The New Topic button creates a page in Confluence as a child page for the given forum root page. This button is added to the page by default.

Topic Template

The topic template feature allows the forum administrator to specify a Confluence global or space template page, which will be used each time a new topic is created. Edit the Forum Macro to specify the template. More information on confluence templates can be found here.

Sticky Topics

Sticky Topics are represented in the forum with a sticky topic icon and are positioned at the top of the forum table, regardless of the last activity in the forum. Sticky topics are useful for topics that should appear permanently at the top of the forum table, such as rules or introductions. The sticky topic property can be applied by clicking on a topic, going to page tools, and selecting "Make Sticky" or "Remove Sticky".

By default, sticky topics are displayed on top, however this can be updated by editing the Forum Macro. Alternatively users can check/uncheck the "Sticky Topics on Top" button at the top of the forum table, which overrides the default behavior temporarily for the current user only.

Locked Topics, Forums and Sub-Forums

The topic locking feature  allows you to stop all activity on a topic, freezing and saving the topic in that state. Similar to sticky topics, you can add or remove locked topics from a topic and decide when you want to make it locked or not.

This feature can be applied to forums and sub-forums, allowing you to close off larger discussions but never losing the information or the chronological order.

Locked Topic Reply Removal

The locked topic reply removal feature removes the ability to post, edit and delete a comment for the topic, only displaying the timestamp of the comment. 

Unmark as Topic

This feature enables the user to maintain a page within a Forum Tree but unmark it as a topic, so that it will not appear as a topic on the Forum Page. 

Mark as Topic

This feature enables the user to mark a specific page as a Topic.

Configurable Forum Columns

The administrator can decide which columns to show by editing the Forum Macro and removing or adding forum column macros to the Forum Macro body. This allows targeted configuration for many use cases. We've provided a default configuration in our blueprint setup wizard for creating forums with just a few clicks. Alternatively the advanced setup provides a more custom configuration.

Topic Status Indicators

To quickly distinguish between topics which the user has and has not viewed, we added some indicators:

  • Blue topic text: this indicates that the topic has had some new activity since last viewed.
  • Blue topic text with “new” written in red: this indicates that the topic is new (less than 7 days old) and has not yet been viewed by the user.
  • Purple topic text: this indicates that the user has viewed the topic.

Once the user views the forum there will be a brief status update window which appears at the top right of the screen. This will inform the user of any new or updated topics since their last visit.

Color Palette

The color palette option allows the color customization of the Forum headings and text. This can be useful to help users distinguish between different forums, improve aesthetics or match the company color scheme. The color scheme will be applied to the forum and the forum summary located on the same page.

To use this feature simply edit the page, then edit the Forum Macro.

Navigate to the "Color Options" tab, select the colors desired from the pop up color palette (by clicking the color blocks), or add the HEX color values directly. Ensure the check boxes are selected and click save. Remember to save the page to lock in the changes.



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