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Old 8th April 2011, 04:20 PM   #1
Sarah W
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Exclamation READ THIS FIRST - Welcome to the forums!

Dear forum users,

Welcome to the Serif Forums. This is a place where like-minded users help each other out with answers to Serif software queries. You may occasionally see Serif staff popping in to help out, but this is mainly a user-to-user support area.

Getting Started
Anyone can read the Serif forums, but before you can post anything you will need to register. You can do this by clicking the register link on the front page of the forums. The forums use a unique account which is not the same as the account that you use when buying or registering products on Serif.com.

After you have created an account, you will be sent an activation email. You must click the link in that email before you will be able to log in and post. If the email does not arrive, please check your Junk/Spam folder for it in case your email filters sent it there by mistake.

To help prevent spam posts, we also require that the first post from all new users is checked by moderator to ensure that the user is a genuine community member. Once your first post has been approved, it will automatically appear on the forums and all further posts from you will be accepted without any moderation requirement.

Knowledge Base
There are answers available to some common questions and problems in the Serif Knowledge Base. From Serif.com, click Support & Community, then Support Portal. This will bring you to the Support Portal area of the site. Click Knowledge Base and then search for one or two key words that relate to your problem. Add more search words if you get too many unrelated results.

Sticky Threads
Sticky threads are used to keep important informational threads visible in each forum section. Check the forum section which relates to your product and look at the threads that are at the top with a blue pin next to their thread names. These may contain information about updates or known issues which could help you.

If you can't find an answer in the Knowledge Base or the sticky forum threads, you may find that other forum users have asked the same question or experienced the same problem as you before. To save yourself the time needed to write up your question and wait for a response, try searching the forums to see if you can find any related threads.

You can click the Search link to search all forum sections or, if you are already viewing a specific forum section, click the Search This Forum link. This will open a box into which you can type your search phrase. Try not to search for too many words or you might not get enough results, search for too few words and you will get a lot of results. Balance the number of words you search for to ensure you get a relevant set of results. If you don't succeed, try again.

There is an Advanced Search which allows you to search in forum sections, for posts of a certain age, made by a known user, etc. Use this if you are looking for something very specific.

Creating A New Thread
If you've tried searching and can't find the answer to your question, create a new thread asking for help in the forum section which applies to your product. For example, if you are having trouble installing PagePlus X5, click on the PagePlus forum section, under the Design and Publishing heading on the front page of the forums. Now click the New Thread button, there is one located at both the top and the bottom of the list of recent threads when viewing any forum section.

Where it says Choose Version, choose your program version from the list. This helps other forum users support you fully because they will know what version you are using and therefore which features are available or which problems are already known about.

Type a descriptive thread title. "Please help!!!" is not very useful for other members when browsing the forums. Try something more indicative of your problem, e.g. "Error 1619 when I try to install"

In clear and concise steps, describe your query or problem. Try to include as much relevant information as you can. It often helps to include what version of Windows you're using and any other identifying features of your computer or other hardware that you're using (e.g. printer model if you have a printing problem). If appropriate, attach a screenshot showing the problem. If you're having trouble opening or importing certain files, attach one of the example files as well. You can do this by clicking the Attachments (paperclip) icon above the area where you type your post.

Once your thread is as descriptive and concise as you can make it, click the Submit New Thread button.

Steps Recorder
If other forum users are unable to reproduce the problem that you're experiencing, they may find it hard to give advice. There is a tool called Steps Recorder built into Windows 7 that you can use to document the steps you are taking when your problem occurs.

This article from Microsoft describes how to use the tool:
The result is a ZIP file which you can then attach to the forums if it is small enough. If the file is too big to attach here, you can upload it to a free file-transfer service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, or your preferred alternative - then post a link to the uploaded file in your forum post.

Inside the ZIP is a MHT file which can be viewed in any internet browser.

Email Notifications
Unless you changed your notification settings, you will get an automatic email telling you when someone has replied to your thread. Do not reply to that email. It is simply a courtesy to let you know there are new posts that you need to read, replying to it will not be seen by any forum users. In that email, click the link underneath where it says "This thread is located at:", which will open the thread in your browser. Now post your own reply using that forum window.

Replying To A Thread
If you have searched for existing threads that relate to your problem but have not found one, do not post about your problem in an existing thread that is not related to your problem. It causes confusion when trying to support several users with different problems within one thread. Unless you have exactly the same symptoms or query that was posted by the person who created the thread you are reading, you should start your own thread (see above) and describe your new issue there.

To continue a relevant discussion in an existing thread, you need to post a Reply. If you are replying to one specific post in which someone has posed a question or included important information, it is useful to use the Quote option. Next to the post you are specifically replying to, press the Quote button in the bottom right corner. This will open a reply window with all of the text from that post surrounded by QUOTE tags. Prune the quote of the other persons's post down if necessary, so that it only contains the point(s) you are replying to and then type your own text below, after the last QUOTE tag. When you press Submit, this will include the post you are replying to and then your post as well. This makes conversations within threads clearer and easier to follow.

If you aren't replying to anyone or anything in particular, you can either press the New Reply button at the top or bottom of the thread, or use the Quick Reply box at the bottom of the thread. If using Quick Reply, some of the advanced formatting controls, including adding Attachments, are not visible. Click the Go Advanced button to switch to the advanced editor, this will keep any text you have already typed into Quick Reply so that you can keep typing afterwards.

Be Patient
This is a user-to-user forum, so most of the support you will get is from Serif customers who are just like you, they have jobs to go to and their own projects to work on. They will offer what help they can, but they are doing so out of their spare time and the goodness of their hearts.

Serif Support
If you have been unable to resolve your issue with help from the Knowledge Base and the forums, then you should contact Serif. If your product and support request are covered by the support policy then you can get individual support from Serif's dedicated Support team.

You may also find it useful to read the thread on how to report software issues to Serif.

Last edited by Sarah W; 22nd November 2012 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 01:54 PM   #2
Sarah W
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Default Re: READ THIS FIRST - Welcome to the forums!

Added new information about moderation of first posts for spam prevention.
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