Getting Started: New User Tips and Tricks

Welcome to the Green Your Lab Network!

We’re so happy to have you join our initiative

Here’s a quick start video to get you started:

More tips:


Selecting a title from the topic list will always take you to your last read post in the topic. To enter at the top or bottom instead, select the reply count or last reply date.

Topics above the light red line are new or updated since your last visit. If you have read all the way to the end of a topic, its title will be light grey instead of black.


For search, the menu, or your user page, use the icon buttons at the upper right .

search, menu, and notifications in Discourse

While reading a topic, use the timeline on the right side to jump to the top, bottom, or your last read position. On smaller screens, select the bottom progress bar to expand it.

(If you have a physical keyboard, you can also press ? for a list of keyboard shortcuts.)

Starting a New Topic

Starting a new thread is easy. Just click
In some categories or if you are a new user, your new topic might need to be aproved by Admins. This is just to ensure we keep everything clean.


In some categories, you might see that there’s a template already outlined when you click the “New Topic” button. If possible, please keep to the template for easy viewing.


Press any Reply button to open the editor panel at the bottom of your browser. Continue reading (and even navigate to different topics) while you compose your reply; minimize the editor for more room. Drafts will automatically be saved as you write.

collapsing and expanding the editor in Discourse


To insert a quote, select the text you wish to quote, then press the Quote button that pops up. Repeat for multiple quotes.

selecting a quote in Discourse


To notify someone about your reply, mention their name. Type @ to begin selecting a username.

mentioning a username in Discourse


Your reply can be formatted using simple HTML, BBCode, or Markdown:

This is <b>bold</b>.
This is [b]bold[/b].
This is **bold**.

For more formatting tips, try our 10 minute tutorial.


To use standard Emoji, just type : to match by name, or traditional smileys ;)

completing Emoji in Discourse


To generate a summary for a link, paste it on a line by itself. To start a topic with a link, paste the link into the title field.

pasting link to onebox in Discourse


The toolbar has a date/time function image . Please try to use it whenever possible. We have members from all over the world in various time zones. Using this allows all dates and times to appear in the correct timezone for each user.



To add links, highlight the key words and then press image in the editing bar. Then put the URL it should link to.


We do
We allow files up to 5MB. Most papers fit, but in some rare instances where they dont, use the Official Adobe PDF Compressor. Just drag and drop the file where you want it to go in your post.


There are action buttons at the bottom of each post:

  • To let someone know that you enjoyed and appreciated their post, use the like button. Share the love!
  • Grab a copy-pasteable link to any reply or topic via the link button.
  • Use the button to reveal more actions. Flag to privately let the author, or the site staff, know about a problem. Bookmark to find this post later on your profile page.


When someone is talking directly to you – by replying to you, quoting your post, mentioning your @username , or even linking to your post, a number will immediately appear over your profile picture at the top right. Select it to access your notifications .

notification in Discourse

Don’t worry about missing a reply – you’ll be emailed any notifications that arrive when you are away.


All topics less than two days old are considered new, and will show a new indicator.

Any topic you’ve actively participated in – by creating it, replying to it, or reading it for an extended period – will be automatically tracked on your behalf, and will show an unread post count indicator.

You can change your notification level for any topic via the notification control at the bottom, and right hand side, of each topic. (Notification level can also be set per category, look for the notification control on the upper right of each category page.)


You can adapt your experience by going to the “Preferences” section.

This is where you can update your profile (and tell us more about you), reset your password, chance your notification and email frequencies, and even change the text size for easier reading.

Inviting New Users

Feel free to invite people you think would be a great part of our community. Got to your profile image in the top right corner → Profile icon imageimage


Click image.

You can either copy and send the link to your invitee, or your can choose “Invite just one email address” and type in the person’s email. You have the option to add a personal message in the advanced options.


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