Frequently Asked Questions


A collection of frequently asked questions that we’ll add to as we get questions posted in the Site Feedback forum.

How to get back to the home page

Clicking the Empire link at the top left will take you back to the home page no matter where you are.

Formatting your posts

You can either use the buttons at the top of the editing window or you can use Markdown, the formatting language that Discourse uses, directly. There’s a full Markdown cheat sheet here.

Inserting an image

Once you reach Trust Level 1 you will be able to insert images using:

  • drag & drop (it even works for multiple images at once )
  • the upload button in the composer toolbar (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+G)
  • a link to the image (on a line by itself)
  • copy & paste (Chrome only)

Smilies / Emoticons / Emoji / Runes

Discourse uses the Emoji set of emoticons. Hover over the one you want to see its code. Each begins and ends with a colon, with the name between (no spaces). So, for example, if you want to add a smiley face to your post :smiley: , you can just type :smiley: or use the emoji picker in the composer window by pressing the :slight_smile: icon.

Also we’ve added an icon set for Runes so if you want to add :jotra: to your post just type :jotra: or select it in the emoji picker.

Subscribing to categories and topics

Some key definitions to understand are:

  • Watching - You will be notified of every new post in the topic. The count of unread and new posts will also appear next to the topic’s listing.

  • Tracking - You will be notified only if someone mentions your @name or replies to your post. The count of unread and new posts will also appear next to the topic’s listing.

  • Regular - You will be notified only if someone mentions your @name or replies to your post.

  • Muted - You will never be notified of anything about this topic, and it will not appear on your unread tab.

To subscribe to a Category (or forum) go to your preferences (via your Profile page) and scroll to the bottom of the page. You can add Categories by beginning to type and then selecting from the dropdown.

To subscribe to a Topic (or thread) go to the topic in question and scroll to the bottom. Just above the Suggested Topics table is a notifications drop-down, from which you select the appropriate option.

How to reply with a quote

To do a reply with quote, highlight the text you want to quote and a pop-up will appear saying "quote reply. Click it and that text will be copied to a new post. To reply to multiple posts in the same thread, repeat the process again until you get all your quotes.

Reply as new topic

Sometimes a topic may be closed, but you want to add to the conversation. Or you may want to start a new discussion based on an existing one.

In this case, go any post in the old topic and click on the timestamp.

Then click on which will enable you to create a new topic that references the old one.


We don’t have signatures in Discourse, the new forum software, because spammers often sign up to forums looking to abuse them. If you’d like people to know the link to your personal sites just set up your profile once you’re at Trust Level 1 and people will be able to find it there.

Keyboard navigation

The Keyboard Shortcut menu can be accessed by “?”

Known keyboard issues

“p” and “=” open the Profile and “Hamburger” menus respectively, but if you have interacted with the page in any way - even simple j/k navigation - focus will not move to the open menu without refreshing the page.

The Profile and “Hamburger” drop-down menus can only be navigated by tabbing; j/k and up/down arrow keys do not work.

j/k navigation does not work on the Categories page, or Profile pages (except for Messages).


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