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The User Control Panel For Dummies


nerner
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What is the User Control Panel?

 

The user control panel is a blanket term for all of the actions that you as a user can perform. It controls all of your board preferences, what is in your signature, what your avatar is, and even what is written below your avatar. In this guide I am going to be showing you the ins and outs of this control panel, so that you avoid the common pitfalls that many members fall into on a day to day basis. A command of the user control panel may not be essential if you want to get on here at GTAF but it undoubtedly helps.

 

Where can I find it then?

 

The control panel is accessible from all pages on the board. The following screenshots tell you where to click.

 

user posted image

 

Clicking on the "My Controls" link will bring you to a summary of your account, but more of that later. There are also other links there which take you to your message inbox, help you view all new posts since your last visit, and there is also a link to something called "My Assistant." This opens a new popup, much like clicking on your warn log link in your profile. Contained inside are the following helpful links:

  • The moderating team
  • Today's active topics
  • Today's top 10 posters
  • Overall top 10 posters
  • My last 10 posts

Your assistant also tells you how many posts have been made since your last visit and, perhaps more importantly, how many of those were direct replies to a topic which you have created. You can also access your control panel from your own user profile:

 

user posted image

 

Clicking on the "Edit my profile" link will bring you to your control panel. While you can also edit your signature and avatar, search through your own posts, and edit your contact list from the comfort of your own profile.

 

And now lets get down to the nitty gritty:

 

Index:

Click on a link below to go to the relevant part of the post.

 

Your account summary

Messenger

Subscriptions

Personal Info

Signature

Avatar Options

Personal Photo

Board Options

Table of all board skins, with example pics

 

Your account summary:

 

 

Text Explanation
Your registered email address. Displays the email address which is currently associated with your account. Useful if you want to change emails, or if you just have multiple accounts and want to know which one is in use here.
Total posts to date. Displays the number of posts that you have made since.
You registered on. Tells you exactly when you registered, date and time.
Average no. of posts per day. Displays the average no. of posts that you have made since joining the forums.
Total messages. Shows you how many messages you have in all PM folders as a percentage of the total allowed.
Message space left. Shows you how many more messages you can store.
Notepad. "You may store post snippets, or any other information you need to hand here." You can choose between a small medium or large sized pad. I personally don't use it but I know people who do.

Messenger:

 

 

Text Explanation
Compose new message Makes a new blank message form. You need to enter the recipients name, a brief title and then just type your message like you would a post. Afterwards you can choose to check the length, which displays a popup showing how many characters you have used. Then you can either choose to add a copy to your sent message folder, track the message, send the message, preview it, or save it for sending later.
Go to inbox Provides a shortcut to your inbox folder.
Sent items Provides a shortcut to your sent items folder.
Empty PM folders To remove your stored personal messages - simply choose which folders you wish to empty and click on the continue button. Although there is no undo button so be careful. By default all unread PMs are set to be kept.
Edit storage folders Allows you to change the names of your existing folders, e.g: inbox and sent items folders, and to add your own separate folders. Useful for archiving selected messages only. Just type in your changes and press "submit changes".
PM buddies/block list Add members to your contacts. Enter a member name, a short description and choose if you want them to message you or not. Then click the big button underneath and Bob's your uncle! Job done.
Archive messages Allows you to select messages from a variety of criteria to be downloaded as either an importable MS Excel datafile or as html documents. Select the folder you want to archive from, how many you want to archive, what timeframe you want to archive them from, and if you want them to be deleted afterwards. Click process, and download the created file when it pops up.
Saved messages Shows you all of the messages that you saved, but haven't got around to sending yet.
Message tracker If you selected message tracking in the PM compiler, this is where they end up. Shows you if the messages that you have sent have been read by the recipient, and lets you end tracking. Also allows you to delete messages which you have sent that haven't been read by their receiver yet.

Subscriptions:

 

 

Text Explanation
View Topic Allows you to manage your topic subscriptions. Shows all of the topic info that you would find on the main forum page. Think of it as your own private forum, but with only topics that you care about! Plus if you get bored, you can easily prune them off using the "unsubscribe" button.
View Forums Exactly the same as above. Provides alerts of the latest posts in forums which you have chosen to subscribe to. Like a forum index of your favourite places on the forums. An "unsubscribe" button is also present.

Personal info:

 

 

Text Explanation
Custom member title As you may have noticed your member title changes in stages as your post count rises. The full list can be found here but did you also know that you can change your title? You need over 10 posts to do so, but just type whatever in here and it will change.
Date of birth Choose your date of birth from the drop downs provided. In the DD/MM/YYYY format.
Website URL If you have a site and want to advertise it on your profile, put the URL in here. Some people post log out links disguised by tinyurl in here. That is not very funny at all to be honest.
IRC nickname If you want others to know your IRC nickname. Post it here.
ICQ UIN Your ICQ identification number goes here if you have one.
AOL Identity Post your AOL address here.
Yahoo! Identity Post your Yahoo! identity here.
Windows Live ID Windows Live ID should be typed in here.

NB: All of these things regarding IDs and UINs should only be posted if you want them to be known. These are available beneath your signature and other users can see and access them. Don't feel obliged to share them.

Xbox Live Gamertag Your XBL gamertag fits in here.
Playstation Network ID Again, your PSN ID goes here.
Location Type your location in here. 80000 characters are allowed although I don't know anyone who has come close to that really.
Flag Select the flag of your country, or just any flag which looks nice, here. Look at the bottom of the list for the miscellaneous flags which some users have. They are: Pirate; Gay Pride; Anarchist; Mars and Gadsden.
Interests Here you have 80000 characters to let anyone who wants to know all about whatever you do in your time off this site.
Gender Choose your gender, or if you would rather this remained private, select the "Not Telling" option.
Favourite GTA Select your favourite Grand Theft Auto series game.
Respect list If you want to let everyone know who you respect, or disrespect, then enter it here!

Click "Amend my profile" to save the changes that you have made.

 

Signature:

 

Your signature is your own space, displayed beneath your posts it is a prime site to talk bullsh*t, link to outside sources and other sites that you like, plug stuff or display your pips if you are in an official forum gang. Follow the rules above your signature box and you will be fine.

 

user posted image

HERE are the signature size rules.

HERE is the sig reenable request thread.

And if you need help with bbcode which you may have to type out manually in your sig, look to these two threads made by GTA3ROCKSTAR and flicko respectively.

 

Avatar Options:

 

Avatars must be no larger than 64x64 pixels. 4 file extensions are allowed, they are: .gif; .jpeg; .jpg and .png. You have a choice between using a pre-installed avatar from one of the GTAF base galleries, or using one of your choice. The base galleries currently are:

    • Base Gallery
    • GTA III
    • GTA IV
    • GTA San Andreas
    • GTA Vice City
    • GTA Liberty City Stories
    • GTA Vice City Stories
    • Invision Power Board community pack
    • Rockstar Games

When you are choosing an avatar to upload, make sure that the URL of the image ends in the file extension. So /image is disallowed, but /image.png is perfectly fine.

 

The forums will by default resize your image if it is too large, however I would recommend doing it yourself or getting one of the GFX wizards over here to do it for you. As sometimes the image quality can be compromised by this automatic resizing. Update your avatar, or remove your existing one, by clicking the relevant buttons.

 

Personal Photo:

 

To change your displayed personal photo, simply upload to an imagehosting site like photobucket, tinypic or imageshack and copy and paste the direct link into te given box, click "update photo" and it's done. Once again, image scale is on by default and will resize your pic if it is bigger than 250x250 pixels in size. To remove your picture click the "remove picture" button.

 

Options:

 

 

Text Explanation
Email settings Here, through checkboxes, you can choose to hide your email address from other users, or to add yourself to the admin mailing list so that admins can email you info about forum updates.

 

You can also choose to receive an email when someone posts in one of your subscribed topics, with or without a copy of their post, or whenever you get a new private message.

 

Finally you can choose to "Enable 'Email Notification' by default." This basically autosubscribes you to all topics which you create or reply to.

Board Settings General board setting are located here. You can
  • Change your time zone
  • Check if Daylight Saving Time is in effect
  • A whole bunch of board display settings: Do you want to see signatures when viewing topics? Do you want to see user posted images? Do you wish to see avatars? Do you want popup notification of all private messages? Do you want your subscribed topics in the sidebar? Do you want to open fast reply when available? And finally, how many posts do you want per page in a topic? And how many topics per page in a forum?
Skin and Language Options Select a language from the following:

•English (That was easy tounge.gif )

 

Select a skin from the dropdown interface, the default is GTANet 2k4. Many of the official gangs have their own skin which their members use, and there are also a variety of interesting skins created by various members for various purposes. A "preview this skin" function is available which opens a new window with the selected skin. When you click: "Change my account options" you will be redirected and following this your change of skin will be in effect.

Change email address To change your email address, simply follow the instructions here. You will be sent an email outlining what you need to do to. If you can't remember your password this isn't really a good idea as it log you out.
Change password To change password, simply type your old password and your new password into the boxes provided and click the "Change my password" button.

 

NB: If you experience difficulties and have tried logging out and then logging back in, contact a staff member to help resolve the problem.

Table of skins:

 

 

Skin Image Link
Default HERE
Afterfuture HERE
Conventional HERE
Conventional Afterfuture HERE
Conventional GTANET HERE
Conventional Militant HERE
GTA3.com (Original default) HERE
LibertyCityStories.net HERE
GTANET 2k4 Lite HERE
GTANET 2k4 xmas HERE
GTASanAndreas.net HERE
GTAVice.com HERE
Hashcake HERE
Invision Power Board HERE
$outh $ide Hoodz HERE
The Connection HERE
That may be of help to some users also.

 

Thanks for reading the guide... icon14.gif

Edited by nerner
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Since I use IPB 1.3 a lot do I now how everything works I did create 5 sites wich are running under IPB 1.3. But this is great for poeple how dont know how it works! Great job! icon14.gif

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Since I use IPB 1.3 a lot do I now how everything works I did create 5 sites wich are running under IPB 1.3. But this is great for poeple how dont know how it works! Great job! icon14.gif

Thank you for your comment mate. icon14.gif

 

Here is a table with all of the skins in so you can get a rough idea.

 

 

Skin Image Link
Default HERE
Afterfuture HERE
Conventional HERE
Conventional Afterfuture HERE
Conventional GTANET HERE
Conventional Militant HERE
GTA3.com (Original default) HERE
LibertyCityStories.net HERE
GTANET 2k4 Lite HERE
GTANET 2k4 xmas HERE
GTASanAndreas.net HERE
GTAVice.com HERE
Hashcake HERE
Invision Power Board HERE
$outh $ide Hoodz HERE
The Connection HERE
That may be of help to some users also. Edited by nerner
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Can I use it at me websites for poeple how dont know it? You can PM me about it.

Yeah no problem.

 

@Otter: Thanks. Thought it would look a tad ugly with all of the links instead of images but I'm glad it helps.

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Perhaps you should make it two columns instead of 4? It stretches the page quite a bit. And it would look better if you'd put the image link next to the name, rather than below it. Just saying.

 

Good guide altogether. smile.gif

We will be the arms that lift you up oqKntbC.gifWe will be the hand that strike you down

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Perhaps you should make it two columns instead of 4? It stretches the page quite a bit. And it would look better if you'd put the image link next to the name, rather than below it. Just saying.

 

Good guide altogether. smile.gif

Thanks for your tips. That look any better?

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Tons. No more page-stretch as well. smile.gif

 

I assume you can't actually edit your first post since it would ruin the HTML anchoring, right? Or if you have to, you must also remove the anchors?

We will be the arms that lift you up oqKntbC.gifWe will be the hand that strike you down

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Tons. No more page-stretch as well. smile.gif

 

I assume you can't actually edit your first post since it would ruin the HTML anchoring, right? Or if you have to, you must also remove the anchors?

If you want I can as that's why I kept a backup of the original post. At least I think I did...

 

EDIT: Skin table added to first post. If anyone else thinks something is worthy of an addition post it here.

Edited by nerner
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  • 4 years later...

hi, let me start by saying...ima old fart ..lol

 

bin trying to make a signature...but cant figure out how to make the background transparent.

And now i have this stupid white line as one.. help?

 

Edit: this also is the first ever forum ive joined...so .... be gentle :pp

 

Edit #2: i searched harder and longer and found the right place to look...

it may take me a while, but this ol goat can still git er done...lol

Edited by Fabricator
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  • Solution

Welcome to the forums.

 

Transparent background can be done with a .PNG image. If you want a signature made or edited you can post a request in the GFX Requests & Tutorials subforum.

 

Cheers!

– overeducated wonk who fetishises compromise

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