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Frequently Asked Questions

This is the FAQ for our discussion forums.

Login and Registration Issues

Why can’t I login?

The first thing to check is that your username and password are correct. You will not be able to login if you are suspended or banned, but you will have been informed of this at the time. Occasionally, the forums need to be closed for maintenance, at which point no logins will work.

Why do I need to register at all?

You do not need to register in order to read the on-topic discussions on roads. However, registration gives you access to additional features not available to guest users such as definable avatar images, private messaging, emailing of fellow users, usergroup subscription, and access to the off-topic forums. It only takes a few moments to register so it is recommended you do so.

Why do I get logged off automatically?

If you do not check the "Log me in automatically" box when you login, the board will only keep you logged in for a pre-set time. This prevents misuse of your account by anyone else. To stay logged in, check the box during login. This is not recommended if you access the board from a shared computer, e.g. library, internet cafe, university computer lab, etc.

How do I prevent my username appearing in the online user listings?

Within your User Control Panel, under “Board preferences”, you will find the option Hide your online status. Enable this option with Yes and you will only appear to the administrators, moderators and yourself. You will be counted as a hidden user.

I’ve lost my password!

Don’t panic! While your password cannot be retrieved, it can easily be reset. Visit the login page and click I’ve forgotten my password. Follow the instructions and you should be able to log in again shortly.

I registered but cannot log in!

The forums require new registrations to be activated by the Site Management Team before you can log in; this requires a brief check of details. If you have been unable to log in for over 24 hours after registering, email us using our contact form.

Why can’t I register?

It is possible the Site Management Team has banned your IP address or disallowed the username you are attempting to register. Please use our contact form.

What does the “Delete all board cookies” do?

“Delete all board cookies” deletes the cookies created by the forum software (phpBB) which keep you authenticated and logged in. It also provides functions such as marking posts that have been read. If you are having login or logout problems, deleting board cookies may help.

User Preferences and settings

How do I change my settings?

If you are a registered user, all your settings are stored in the board database. To alter them, visit your User Control Panel; a link can be found on the left hand menu. This system will allow you to change all your settings and preferences.

The times are not correct!

The forums attempt to display posts in your local time zone, but this is not always possible for all users. It is possible the time displayed is from a timezone different from the one you are in. If this is the case, visit your User Control Panel and change your timezone to match your particular area, e.g. London, Paris, New York, Sydney, etc. Please note that changing the timezone, like most settings, can only be done by registered users. If you are not registered, this is a good time to do so.

I changed the timezone and the time is still wrong

If you are sure you have set the timezone and Summer Time/DST correctly and the time is still incorrect, then the time stored on the server clock is incorrect. Please use our contact form to alert the problem.

My language is not in the list!

The SABRE forums are only available in English; we don't have the development resources to translate the site into other languages such as Welsh or Gaelic. Sorry.

How do I show an image along with my username

Each user can have a unique or personal image known as an avatar. Click on the "User Control Panel" menu, followed by "Profile" and "Edit Avatar"

What is my rank and how do I change it?

Ranks, which appear below your username, indicate the number of posts you have made or identify certain users, e.g. President and Site Manager. In general, you cannot directly change the wording of any board ranks as they are set by the board administrator. Please do not abuse the board by posting unnecessarily just to increase your post count; this behaviour is likely to result in a suspension.

When I click the e-mail link for a user it asks me to login?

Only registered users can send e-mail to other users via the built-in e-mail form. This is to prevent malicious use of the e-mail system by anonymous users.

Posting Issues

How do I post a topic in a forum?

To post a new topic in a forum, click the relevant button on either the forum or topic screens. You will need to register before you can post a message. A list of your permissions in each forum is available at the bottom of the forum and topic screens. Example: You can post new topics, You can vote in polls, etc.

How do I edit or delete a post?

You can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post by clicking the edit button for the relevant post, sometimes for only a limited time after the post was made. If someone has already replied to the post, you will find a small piece of text output below the post when you return to the topic which lists the number of times you edited it along with the date and time. This will only appear if someone has made a reply; it will not appear if a member of the Site Management Team edited the post, though they may leave a note as to why they’ve edited it at their own discretion. Please note that you cannot delete a post once someone has replied.

How do I add a signature to my post?

To add a signature to a post you must first create one via your User Control Panel. Once created, you can check the Attach a signature box on the posting form to add your signature. You can also add a signature by default to all your posts by checking the appropriate radio button in your profile. If you do so, you can still prevent a signature being added to individual posts by un-checking the add signature box within the posting form.

How do I create a poll?

When posting a new topic or editing the first post of a topic, click the “Poll creation” tab below the main posting form; if you cannot see this, you do not have appropriate permissions to create polls. Enter a title and at least two options in the appropriate fields, making sure each option is on a separate line in the textarea. You can also set the number of options users may select during voting under “Options per user”, a time limit in days for the poll (0 for infinite duration) and lastly the option to allow users to amend their votes.

Why can’t I add more poll options?

The limit for poll options is set by the Site Management Team. If you feel you need to add more options to your poll than the allowed amount, contact us using our contact form.

How do I edit or delete a poll?

As with posts, polls can only be edited by the original poster or the Site Management Team. To edit a poll, click to edit the first post in the topic; this always has the poll associated with it. If no one has cast a vote, users can delete the poll or edit any poll option. However, if members have already placed votes, only the Site Management Team can edit or delete it. This prevents the poll’s options from being changed mid-way through a poll.

Why can’t I access a forum?

Some forums may be limited to certain users or groups. To view, read, post or perform another action you may need special permissions. You cannot post new topics on the "The Lay-by" unless you are an Active Member; please read this thread.

Why can’t I add attachments?

Attachment permissions are granted on a per forum, per group, or per user basis. There is a restriction on the size of image, to avoid degrading the user experience when browsing on a smartphone or tablet.

Why did I receive a warning?

You may receive a warning if you post material that the Site Management Team have discretion to act on, including grossly offensive material or obvious spam. Full details are in our statements of practice. The Site Management Team will explain the reason for the warning, usually by Private Message, and you will be given the opportunity to reply.

How can I report posts to a moderator?

You should see a button for reporting posts next to the post you wish to report. Clicking this will walk you through the steps necessary to report the post. There are a number of different categories to report posts, including off-topic, spam, or offensive material. Please use the report button and do not complain about a post directly in a forum thread - it degrades the experience for other users and can result in action taken against you instead.

What is the “Save” button for in topic posting?

This allows you to save passages to be completed and submitted at a later date. To reload a saved passage, visit the User Control Panel.

How do I bump my topic?

You cannot automatically "bump" topics. The forums sort posts by the time of the most recent message, so simply replying to a thread allows it to be automatically bumped. However, you should not do this simply to bump a topic without adding anything else.

Formatting and Topic Types

What is BBCode?

BBCode is a special implementation of HTML, offering great formatting control on particular objects in a post. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML, but tags are enclosed in square brackets [ and ] rather than < and >. For more information on BBCode see the guide which can be accessed from the posting page. Please see the Quick Start Guide for more information

Can I use HTML?

No. It is not possible to post HTML on this board and have it rendered as HTML. Most formatting which can be carried out using HTML can be applied using BBCode instead.

What are Smilies?

Smilies, or Emoticons, are small images which can be used to express a feeling using a short code, e.g. :) denotes happy, while :( denotes sad. The full list of emoticons can be seen in the posting form. Try not to overuse smilies, however, as they can quickly render a post unreadable and a moderator may edit them out or remove the post altogether.

Can I post images?

Yes, images can be shown in your posts and you can upload the image to the board. You can also link to an image stored on a publicly accessible web server, e.g. You cannot link to pictures stored on your own PC (unless it is a publicly accessible server) nor images stored behind authentication mechanisms, e.g. hotmail or yahoo mailboxes, password protected sites, etc. To display the image use the BBCode [img] tag. To display an image stored on the Wiki, use the BBCode [gallery] tag.

What are global announcements?

Global announcements contain important information and you should read them whenever possible. They will appear at the top of every forum and within your User Control Panel. Possible reasons for global announcements are planned server downtime or a change in management.

What are announcements?

Announcements often contain important information for the forum you are currently reading and you should read them whenever possible. Announcements appear at the top of every page in the forum to which they are posted.

What are sticky topics?

Sticky topics within the forum appear below announcements and only on the first page. They are often quite important so you should read them whenever possible. If a sticky topic has been present at the top of the forum for some time with no replies, it may be worth asking the Site Management Team to "unsticky" it

What are locked topics?

Locked topics are topics where users can no longer reply and any poll it contained was automatically ended. Topics are usually locked to prevent a debate descending to personal attacks and to give posters time to calm down. If you want to appeal a locked topic, please contact the Site Management Team privately via our contact form. Do not start another thread on the same topic as one that is locked, or publicly complain that a topic is locked - this is considered disruptive.

User Levels and Groups

What are Administrators?

Administrators are members assigned with the highest level of control over the entire board. These members can control all facets of board operation, including setting permissions, creating usergroups or moderators, etc. The President and Site Management Team are all Administrators, in addition to a number of software developers who carry out low-level board maintenance.

What is the Site Management Team?

The Site Management Team look after the forums (and the rest of the SABRE website) from day to day. They have the authority to edit or delete posts and lock, unlock, move, delete and split topics in the forum they moderate. Generally, the Site Management Team are present to prevent users from going off-topic or posting abusive or offensive material. They can be contacted via our contact form

What are usergroups?

Usergroups are groups of users that divide the community into manageable sections board administrators can work with. Each user can belong to several groups and each group can be assigned individual permissions. Most user groups have special meanings on SABRE (eg: membership of the "Active Member" usergroup automatically allows you to vote in the annual SABRE elections) and are only changed by Administrators following a strong consensus to do so.

You can view all usergroups via the “Usergroups” link within your User Control Panel. You cannot join groups or become a usergroup leader, aside from a number of specific circumstances, such as being elected for a management post at the annual SABRE elections.

Why do some usergroups appear in a different colour?

The Site Management team appear in red; the President appears in purple and the Secretary appears in blue. This is to make it easy to identify who is in each role, so they can be easily contacted.

What is “The team” link?

This page provides you with a list of the SABRE Management, including all elected and appointed officers.

Private Messaging

I cannot send private messages!

There are three reasons for this; you are not registered and/or not logged on, the Site Management Team has disabled private messaging for the entire board, or the board administrator has prevented you from sending messages. Contact the Site Management Team for more information.

I keep getting unwanted private messages!

You can block a user from sending you private messages by using message rules within your User Control Panel. If you are receiving abusive private messages from a particular user, inform the Site Management Team; they have the power to prevent a user from sending private messages.

I have received a spamming or abusive e-mail from someone on this board!

We are sorry to hear that. The e-mail form feature of this board includes safeguards to try and track users who send such posts. In the email, expand it to show all headers and paste the entire email into our contact form - if you run out of space, please tell us and we will give you our SMT email address to send the full email to. It is very important that you includes the headers that contain the details of the user that sent the e-mail. The Site Management Team can then take action.

Friends and Foes

What are my Friends and Foes lists?

You can use these lists to organise other members of the board. Members added to your friends list will be listed within your User Control Panel for quick access to see their online status and to send them private messages. Subject to template support, posts from these users may also be highlighted. If you add a user to your foes list, any posts they make will be hidden by default.

How can I add / remove users to my Friends or Foes list?

You can add users to your list in two ways. Within each user’s profile, there is a link to add them to either your Friend or Foe list. Alternatively, from your User Control Panel, you can directly add users by entering their member name. You may also remove users from your list using the same page.

Searching the Forums

How can I search a forum or forums?

Enter a search term in the search box located on the index, forum or topic pages. Advanced search can be accessed by clicking the “Advance Search” link which is available on all pages on the forum. How to access the search may depend on the style used.

Why does my search return no results?

Your search may have been too vague and included many common terms which are not indexed by the forum software. You may need to be more specific and use the options available within Advanced search. Alternatively, you may wish to search the Wiki.

Why does my search return a blank page!?

Your search returned too many results for the webserver to handle. Use “Advanced search” and be more specific in the terms used and forums that are to be searched.

How do I search for members?

Visit to the “Members” page and click the “Find a member” link.

How can I find my own posts and topics?

Your own posts can be retrieved either by clicking the “Search user’s posts” within the User Control Panel or via your own profile page. To search for your topics, use the Advanced search page and fill in the various options appropriately.

Topic Subscriptions and Bookmarks

What is the difference between bookmarking and subscribing?

Bookmarking on the forums is much like bookmarking in your web browser. You aren’t alerted when there’s an update, but you can come back to the topic later. Subscribing, however, will notify you when there is an update to the topic or forum on the board via your preferred method or methods.

How do I subscribe to specific forums or topics?

To subscribe to a specific forum, click the “Subscribe forum” link upon entering the forum. To subscribe to a topic, reply to the topic with the subscribe checkbox checked or click the “Subscribe topic” link within the topic itself.

How do I remove my subscriptions?

To remove your subscriptions, go to your User Control Panel and follow the links to your subscriptions.


What attachments are allowed on this board?

You can attach images (such as files ending in .GIF, .JPG. PNG) up to a certain size; larger files can be uploaded to the Wiki via the "Upload file" link. If you are unsure what is allowed to be uploaded, contact the Site Management Team for assistance.

How do I find all my attachments?

To find your list of attachments that you have uploaded, go to your User Control Panel and follow the links to the attachments section.

Software Issues

Who wrote this bulletin board?

This software (in its unmodified form) is produced, released and is copyright phpBB Group. It is made available under the GNU General Public License and may be freely distributed. See the link for more details.

Why isn’t X feature available?

This software was written by and licensed through phpBB Group. If you believe a feature needs to be added, or you want to report a bug, try searching the "Society" section of the forum to see if it has already been suggested, and if not, try starting a thread requesting the feature. Please note that the SABRE management are volunteers and may not have time to action your request. Alternatively, you could visit the phpBB Area51 website, where you will find resources to contact the phpBB development team.

Who do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to this board?

The Site Management Team (via our contact form) should be an appropriate point of contact for your complaints. If this still gets no response then you should contact the President at Please note that the phpBB Group has absolutely no jurisdiction and cannot in any way be held liable over how, where or by whom this board is used. Do not contact the phpBB Group in relation to any legal (cease and desist, liable, defamatory comment, etc.) matter not directly related to the website or the discrete software of phpBB itself. If you do e-mail phpBB Group about any third party use of this software then you should expect a terse response or no response at all.

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