Please read and adhere to these simple rules!
1. Use concise, accurate thread titles. Your post title should describe your problem, not your anticipated solution. Use terms appropriate to a Google search. Poor thread titles, like Please Help, Urgent, Need Help, Formula Problem, Code Problem, and Need Advice will be addressed according to the OP's experience in the forum: If you have less than 10 posts, expect (and respond to) a request to change your thread title. If you have 10 or more posts, expect your post to be locked, so you can start a new thread with an appropriate title.
To change the title of the thread, click EDIT on the original post, then click the Go Advanced button, then change the title. If two or more days have passed, the EDIT button will not appear, and you need to ask a moderator to change the title.
2. Don't post a question in the thread of another member -- start your own. If you feel it's particularly relevant, provide a link to the other thread. You may include up to 3 links to other URLs in a single post, no more, so only link to the relevant pages.
3. Use code tags around code. Posting code without them makes your code hard to read and difficult to be copied for testing. Highlight your code and click the [#] button at the top of the post window (if you are editing an existing post, press Go Advanced to see the [#] button). The result will appear like this in the post window:
[code]Please [url=http://www.excelforum.com/login.php]Login or Register [/url] to view this content.[/code]
... and appear like this when posted:
You can also type the code tags in manually if you prefer. For more information about these and other tags, click here.
4. Don't Private Message or email Excel questions to moderators or other members. (or Word, Access, etc.) The point of having a public forum is to share solutions to common (and sometimes uncommon) problems with all members.
5. Don't duplicate threads. If you have posted the question in one forum, do not post it again in another forum. You are duplicating efforts. If you feel the thread is in the wrong forum and needs to be moved to another forum, PM a mod / admin to do it for you.
6a. Feedback Rule:
- Be responsive - provide feedback to suggested solutions and take the time to thank those who took their time to help you
- If you solve a problem yourself before anyone else has responded, post your solution to complete the thread.
- Never edit a thread or post to which others have already responded
- Advice and well-intended recommendations from all users are welcome. Such recommendations appearing in random threads may be considered off-topic and as such may be moderated by deletion or movement to a separate thread.
- The current moderating staff will moderate. What's past is not always relevant to current moderation needs or decisions. Moderators too are just people. When perceived errors occur point them out politely via private message or the REPORT feature.
- Serious concerns should be brought to the moderation team privately or in the Water Cooler in threads for that purpose.
6b. Common courtesy is required in all posts public/private, at all times.
- Courteous discourse will be expected at all times
- Avoid coarse language (meaning any words you wouldn't hear in Sunday school)
- User names that are deemed offensive or in poor taste are subject to being changed or banned pending discussion between the forum leaders and the user in question.
- All advice/complaints will be evaluated in the spirit in which they are sent. Keep that in mind. A vicious delivery may result in possibly good suggestions being ignored. Don't be the cause of that.
- No matter how angry or upset you may be over any issue, courteous discourse will be expected at all times
- Sarcasm is fun but dangerous in text form. Use it with wisdom.
7a. Don't ignore requests by Administrators, Moderators, or senior members of the forum. If you are unclear about their request or instructions, then send a private message to them asking for help.
7b. Do not post a reply in a thread where a moderation request (e.g., title change, code tags) is still pending a response. - This applies to the original post and all participants within the thread.
8. Don't cross-post without a link. Cross-posting is when you post the same question in other forums on the web. You'll find people are disinclined to respond to cross-posts because they may be wasting their time solving a problem that has been solved elsewhere. We prefer that you not cross-post at all, but if you do (and it's unlikely to go unnoticed), you MUST provide a link (copy the url from the address bar in your browser) to the cross-post. Expect cross-posts without a link to be closed.
9. (rule retired to suggestion)
10. (rule retired)
11. Don't post questions regarding breaking or bypassing any security measure. Such posts will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned. This includes posting of links to sites that offer software, code or services to do this or posting of code to remove passwords.
12. Don't quote whole posts -- it's just clutter. If you are responding to a post out of sequence, limit quoted content to a few relevant lines that makes clear to whom and what you are responding.
13a. Do not put links to commercial sites or services or to competing forums in signatures and posts.
13b. Do not put links to personal sites or services as your sole contribution here on the forum.
- Cross promotion of, or links to, other forums which deal with the same subject matter as this forum is prohibited.
- Links in posts to your own blogs or code site should be directly to the relevant free material on your site that addresses the topic of that thread specifically.
- Links in signatures should be to the landing page on your site that predominantly presents your free material. Any content that advertises commercial services should be on a page that is accessed from your home page. Do not link directly to your commercial offerings from the forum.
- Random links to any commercial offering will be removed, possibly with a ban if considered spam.
- If for some reason you are convinced you should be allowed to link to your commercial services or pages directly, seek permission from the Moderation/Administration team in advance. Do not get your hopes up, but it can't hurt to ask.
13c. Do not solicit payments in your posts or signatures.
- If the only thing you have to offer, even in the Water Cooler and Tools/Tips sections, is links to your own blogs or personal sites/services, let us respectfully say, "No thank you." This is not meant personally, but the Excel Forum is a community, if you wish to participate substantively within this community, then do so.
- Posting links to your free tools and tips directly in the threads of our questioners is acceptable if it represents less than 10% of your contributions. Thus, we only expect to see you pointing people to your own free links 1 in 10 posts, if that.
- Earn your stripes helping directly the way we all do, then the linking for common tasks is natural and acceptable.
- This is a free forum, all of your free forum contributions will be offered in this spirit, both in posts and signatures.
Want to get your question answered quickly?
- Ensure your question is not too vague. Don't assume anyone is familiar with your problem. While you can upload small attachments, describe your problem in the body of the post. We are fortunate to have several Excel gurus, but few mind-readers.
- On the other hand, skip irrelevant details. Be descriptive and concise. Short, direct, and to-the-point questions with apt thread titles are almost always answered promptly.
- Keep the scope reasonably narrow. Questions like, "How do I set up an accounting system in Excel?" might be a long time waiting.
- Explain what you've already tried. ("Calculation is set to automatic, but formulas still don't compute") so helpers don't waste your time or theirs.
- Post a WORKBOOK. Nobody wants to type data from a picture or paste text from your post into a spreadsheet as a prelude to helping. To attach a file, push the button with the paperclip (or scroll down to the Manage Attachments button), browse to the required file, and then push the Upload button.
- If your question has not been answered within a day, consider adding another post with any additional information you believe is relevant. If you think your post is good as is, just reply to your own thread with the words "Bump no response", which will bring it to the top of the forum.
- Don't put your email address in a post unless you're dying for more spam in your inbox.
- Don't ever post personal or confidential data in a workbook. If you inadvertently do, then send a message to the moderators / admins to have the data immediately and permanently deleted. Include a link to the post in the message.
- No more that 3 links to other URLs are allowed in a single post. Be careful, multiple attempts to post with more than 3 links may lock your IP.
- Acknowledge the responses you receive, good or bad. If your problem is solved, please say so clearly, and mark your thread as Solved: Click Thread Tools above your first post, select "Mark your thread as Solved". Or click the Edit button on your first post in the thread, Click Go Advanced, select [SOLVED] from the Prefix dropdown, then click Save Changes. If more than two days have elapsed, the Dropdown option or Edit button will not appear -- ask a moderator to mark it.
The following is the revised level structure -
- Registered User: New users
- Forum Contributor: 60 days and 100 posts...you will be able to upload a non-animated avatar.
- Valued Forum Contributor : 120 days registered and 300 posts and 150 reputation points...you will be able to upload an animated avatar.
- Forum Expert: 360 days registered, 1200 posts and 600 reputation points...you can upload a profile picture
- Forum Guru: promoted by voting from Forum Expert level
- Forum Moderator: promoted from Forum Guru or Forum Expert level
- Forum Administrator: promoted from Forum Moderator level
Edited by Paul; 04-17-2012 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Added new method of marking thread solved. Updated "two..hours" to "two..days" in Rule 1.
Edited by JBeaucaire; 09-05-2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Updated rule #6 to underline courteous communications
Edited by FDibbins; 05-24-2013 at 01:52AM. Reason: Changed wording in rule #3 from "Select your code..." to "Highlight your code..."
Edited by Arlu1201; 05-28-2013 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Added new level structure.
Edited by JBeaucaire; 06-25-2013 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Updated rule #2 and General Suggestions to include mention of link limits.
Edited by arlu1201; 10-17-2013 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Updated rule 5.
Edited by JBeaucaire; 09-05-2014 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Updated rule 7 into two parts
Edited by JBeaucaire; 09-25-2014 at 03:40 AM. Reason: Retired rule #9 to a suggestion
Edited by JBeaucaire; 10-05-2014 at 05:22 PM. Reason: Expanded Rule #13 to cover commercial links and solicitations as well
Edited by FDibbins; 09/09/2015 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Added back details for adding avatars