Customize a discussion board

Discussion boards provide forums for site participants to discuss topics with each other. Most site templates include the ability to create discussion boards, and many sites and workspace sites have a built-in discussion board called Team Discussion. As a site owner, you can customize discussion boards.

In this article

About customizing discussion boards

Create a view

Edit a view

Delete a view

Specify the default public view

About customizing discussion boards

Several options are available for customizing the views and behaviors that are specific to discussion boards. When you create a new view for a discussion board, you must base it on an existing view. The following views are provided, by default:

  • Subject view    This view is available only at the top-level folder (the highest level of a discussion board) and is used to view the names of the discussions and other metadata on a particular discussion. The name of each discussion in the board appears as a link in the Subject column that you can click to go to a lower-level folder that displays the replies to that particular discussion.

    Note: Although it is possible to use a different view for the top-level folder, such as the flat or threaded view, we do not recommend that. Instead, use the subject view or a view that you create based on the subject view.

  • Flat view    By default, this view is available only in folders of the discussion content type. This means that it is not available to the top-level folder. In this view, the subject of the discussion, all replies to the discussion, and other replies are aligned on one side.

  • Threaded view    By default, this view is available only in folders of the discussion content type. This means that it is not available to the top-level folder. In this view, the subject of the discussion is aligned to to one side, all replies to the discussion are indented slightly, and all replies to previous replies are indented even farther. This view makes it easy to see whether a reply was made directly to the subject of the discussion or to a previous reply.

Note: When creating a view, you can specify it as either a personal or public view. Note that a personal view is available to only the person who defined it, whereas a public view is available to everyone.

The following table describes the configuration options that site owners can choose when creating a view for a discussion board. Most of these options are also available when editing existing views.

Note: To customize most list settings, you must have permission to manage or change lists.

Configuration options

Actions

Name

Set a unique name for this view, and specify whether to make it the default public view.

Note: The Make this the default view check box applies only to public views, not personal views.

Audience

Specify whether this is a personal or public view.

Note: This option is available only when creating a view.

Columns

Select the columns that you want in this view and the order in which you want them to appear.

Sort

Select the primary and secondary columns that you want to sort on and whether they are sorted in ascending or descending order.

Filter

Specify whether to show all items (discussions and replies) in this view or to filter items. To filter on more than two columns, click Show More Columns.

Note: If you choose to filter items, we recommend that that you choose a column that is indexed for the first clause for faster rendering of the page.

Group By

Specify whether to group discussions by a particular column. For example, you can choose to group all discussions that were created by a particular user or created on a particular day.

When discussions are grouped, they appear on the main page of the discussion board in a tree view that is named by using the column that they are grouped by. You can choose whether this tree view is collapsed or expanded by default and the number of groups to display on each page.

Totals

Specify the totals for any individual column in this view. Selecting the Count option for a particular column displays the number of items in that column on the main page of the discussion board. Some columns have the Maximum and Minimum options, which display the maximum and minimum values in that column, respectively.

Style

Choose one of several predefined styles for this view.

Folders

Use the options in this section to make the following choices, which can add many variations to your views:

  • Choose whether to show items inside folders or without folders.

    For the flat and threaded views, showing items inside folders displays the subject of the discussion at the top of the list for lower-level folders. Showing items without folders shows the same list of items without the subject at the top of the list.

    Note: For the subject view, showing items inside folders is the default and the recommended setting.

  • Show this view in all folders, in the top-level folder only, or in folders of a particular content type that you select.

    Note: Most views are not appropriate for both the top-level folder and the lower-level folders. For this reason, you should typically choose to make views that you create based on the subject view available only in the top-level folder and make views that you create based on the flat view or threaded view available to folders of a particular content type.

Item Limit

Specify the number of items to display in this view. You can either make this number an absolute limit or allow users to view all the items in the list in batches of the specified size.

Top of Page

Create a view

Views that you create for a particular discussion board are available to all discussions within that discussion board.

  1. On the Quick Launch, click the name of the discussion board where you want to create a view.

    If the name of your discussion board does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your discussion board.

  2. On the Settings menu, click Create View.

  3. On the Create View page, in the Start from an existing view section, click the name of the existing view on which you want to base this new view.

  4. On the Create View page, in the Name section, enter a unique name for this view and specify whether to make this the default public view.

  5. In the Audience section, specify whether this is a personal or public view.

  6. In the Columns section, select the columns and the position where you want to display them in this view.

  7. In the Sort section, select the first and second columns that you want to sort the view on.

    If you do not want to choose a column to sort on, choose None.

  8. In the Filter section, choose the filter options that you want for this view.

  9. In the Folders section, choose the folder options that you want for this view.

    See the previous table for more information about the options available on the Create View page.

  10. When you finish making your selections, click OK.

Top of Page

Edit a view

  1. On the Quick Launch, click the name of the discussion board where you want to edit a view.

    If the name of your discussion board does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your discussion board.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you want to edit a view that is shown in the top-level folder, choose the view that you want to edit from the View menu.

    • If you want to edit a view for posts, click the name of any discussion, and then select the view that you want to edit from the View menu.

  3. On the View menu, click Modify this View.

  4. On the Edit View page, make the changes that you want and then click OK.

    See the previous table for more information about the options available on the Edit View page.

Top of Page

Delete a view

  1. On the Quick Launch, click the name of the discussion board where you want to delete a view.

    If the name of your discussion board does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your discussion board.

  2. On the Settings menu, click Discussion Board Settings.

  3. On the Customize Discussion Board Name Discussion page, in the Views section, click the name of the view that you want to delete.

  4. On the Edit View page, click Delete and then click OK to confirm.

Top of Page

Specify the default public view

You can specify a default view for discussions and a separate default view for replies.

  1. On the Quick Launch, click the name of the discussion board where you want to specify the default public view.

    If the name of your discussion board does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your discussion board.

  2. On the Settings menu, click Discussion Board Settings.

  3. On the Customize Discussion Board Name Discussion page, in the Views section, click the name of the view that you want to make the default view.

  4. On the Edit View page, in the Name section, select the Make this the default view check box, and then click OK.

Top of Page

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×