Create, customize, and moderate a discussion board

Discussion boards provide forums for site participants to discuss important and useful 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.

By default, a discussion board shows the most recent discussion first, as well as the number of replies for each discussion. That way, you can quickly see which discussions have the most recent activity and which ones are the most popular. However, a moderator can modfy and add views to customize the discussion board. Participants can also customize their own views of the discussion board. If a site is set up to receive e-mail, participants can add items to the discussion board from their e-mail application.

Note    To manage a discussion board, you must have permission to change the design of lists on your site.

What do you want to do?

Learn more about a discussion board

Customizing the settings of a discussion board

Customizing the views of a discussion board

Moderating a discussion board

Set up a discussion board

Customize the default Team Discussion board

Create a new discussion board

Set up a discussion board to receive e-mail

Start a discussion

Specify the default public view

Moderate a discussion board

Reply, edit, or delete a discussion

Reply, edit, or delete a post

Learn more about a discussion board

Discussion boards provide forums for site participants to discuss important and useful 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.

By default, a discussion board shows the most recent discussion first, as well as the number of replies for each discussion. That way, you can quickly see which discussions have the most recent activity and which ones are the most popular. However, a moderator can modfy and add views to customize the discussion board. Participants can also customize their own views of the discussion board. If a site is set up to receive e-mail, participants can add items to the discussion board from their e-mail application.

A typical discussion board

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Customizing the settings of a discussion board

By default, a team site already has one discussion board set up, called Team Discussion. If you like the name of the discussion board and the way it is set up, you and your team can start creating discussions right away by posting items for discussion and replying to those posts. But you can also customize the Team Discussion board by changing its name or other settings. You can also create a new discussion board if you want to have multiple discussion boards on your site, or if you deleted the Team Discussion board and want to create another one.

If an administrator has enabled lists on your site to receive e-mail, you can set up a discussion board so that its participants can post messages to it by sending e-mail. The participants create their messages as they would any e-mail message and then include the name of the discussion board in the To or Cc box of the e-mail message. If the participants belong to a SharePoint group that has an e-mail distribution list, a discussion board can be a part of the e-mail list. Then, when the participants send e-mail to members of the group, their discussions are automatically added to and archived in the discussion board on the site.

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Customizing the views of a discussion board

As a site owner, you can customize discussion boards. Several options are available for customizing the views and behaviors that are specific to discussion boards. You can also specify a default view for discussions and a separate default view for replies. 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 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.

Find more information about creating and editing views in the See Also section.

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Moderating a discussion board

On a regular basis, site owners often need to maintain the relevance and usefulness of a discussion board. For example, you may need to:

  • Change the name of a discussion to make it more meaningful.

  • Edit a post to delete inappropriate language, make corrections to technical content, or provide updated information.

  • Attach a file to supplement a discussion.

  • Delete a post if it is inappropriate for the discussion. Optionally, you may want to copy the post and paste it into a new discussion if it is otherwise useful for your discussion board.

  • Delete a discussion (a post and all its replies) if it is not relevant or if it is out-of-date.

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Set up a discussion board

The following sections show you how to set up a discussion board and start a discussion.

Customize the default Team Discussion board

  1. Navigate to the site for which you want to customize the Team Discussion board.

  2. Click the name of the Team Discussion board in Quick Launch, or click Site Actions, click View All Site Content, and then in the Discussion Boards section, click the name of the Team Discussion board.

    Note    A SharePoint site can be significantly modified in appearance and navigation. If you cannot locate an option, such as a command, button, or link, contact your administrator.

  3. To change the settings for this discussion board, in the ribbon, click the List tab, and then in the Settings group, click List Settings.

  4. To change the title and description, under General Settings, click Title, description and navigation, and then type a different title and description.

  5. Change any other settings that you want, and then click Save.

  6. Return to your discussion board by clicking its new name in the navigation bar.

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Create a new discussion board

  1. Click Site Actions, click View All Site Content, and then click Create on the All Site Content page.

  2. Under Filter By, click List, click Discussion Board, and then click More Options.

  3. In the Name box, type a name for the discussion board. The name is required.

  4. In the Description box, type a description of the discussion board. The description is optional.

  5. If you plan to enable the discussion board to receive content by e-mail, you could add its e-mail address to the description, so people can readily find it.

  6. In the Navigation section, specify whether you want the discussion board to appear on the Quick Launch.

  7. To enable the discussion board to receive e-mail, under Enable this list to receive e-mail, click Yes. This option will not be available if your server is not set up to receive e-mail.

  8. Under E-mail address, type a unique name to use as part of the e-mail address for the discussion board.

  9. Click Create.

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Set up a discussion board to receive e-mail

Note    If someone set up your SharePoint group to receive e-mail, your discussion board may already have its own e-mail address. If so, you should make a note of the address and then confirm with your site owner or administrator.

  1. Navigate to the site for which you want to customize the Team Discussion board.

  2. Click the name of the Team Discussion board in Quick Launch, or click Site Actions, click View All Site Content, and then in the Discussion Boards section, click the name of the Team Discussion board.

    Note    A SharePoint site can be significantly modified in appearance and navigation. If you cannot locate an option, such as a command, button, or link, contact your administrator.

  3. To change the settings for this discussion board, in the ribbon, click the List tab, and then in the Settings group, click List Settings.

  4. Under Communications, click Incoming e-mail settings.

    Note    If you do not see Incoming e-mail settings, your site may not be set up so that lists can receive e-mail. For more information, see your administrator.

  5. Under Enable this list to receive e-mail, click Yes.

  6. In the E-mail address box, type a unique name to use as part of the e-mail address for the discussion board.

  7. Choose any other settings that you want, such as whether messages sent in e-mail should keep their attachments (such as pictures or documents) or whether the original e-mail message should be saved in the discussion board as an attachment.

  8. Click OK.

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Start a discussion

It’s a good idea to provide a message to welcome new members to the discussion board or to describe some guidelines for using the board.

  1. Navigate to the site for which you want to customize the Team Discussion board.

  2. Click the name of the Team Discussion board in Quick Launch, or click Site Actions, click View All Site Content, and then in the Discussion Boards section, click the name of the Team Discussion board.

    Note    A SharePoint site can be significantly modified in appearance and navigation. If you cannot locate an option, such as a command, button, or link, contact your administrator.

  3. In the ribbon, in the New group, click New.

  4. Type the text that you want for the subject and body of the message, and apply any formatting that you want.

  5. Click OK.

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Specify the default public view

  1. Navigate to the site for which you want to customize the Team Discussion board.

  2. Click the name of the Team Discussion board in Quick Launch, or click Site Actions, click View All Site Content, and then in the Discussion Boards section, click the name of the Team Discussion board.

    Note    A SharePoint site can be significantly modified in appearance and navigation. If you cannot locate an option, such as a command, button, or link, contact your administrator.

  3. To change the settings for this discussion board, in the ribbon, click the List tab, and then in the Settings group, click List Settings.

  4. 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.

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

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Moderate a discussion board

The following sections show how to do the various tasks required for moderating a discussion board.

Reply, edit, or delete a discussion

  1. Navigate to the site for which you want to moderate the discussion board.

  2. Click the name of the discussion board in Quick Launch, or click Site Actions, click View All Site Content, and then in the Discussion Boards section, click the name of the discussion board.

    Note    A SharePoint site can be significantly modified in appearance and navigation. If you cannot locate an option, such as a command, button, or link, contact your administrator.

  3. Do one of the following:

    To reply :

    1. Select the discussion, click the arrow that appears, and then click View Item.

    2. Click Reply.

    3. Type your reply in the Body section.

    4. Click OK.

      To edit :

    5. Select the discussion, click the arrow that appears, and then click e Edit Item.

    6. Make the changes that you want.

    7. Click OK.

      To delete :

    8. Select the discussion, click the arrow that appears, and then click Delete Item.

    9. Click OK to confirm.

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Reply, edit, or delete a post

  1. Navigate to the site for which you want to moderate the discussion board.

  2. Click the name of the discussion board in Quick Launch, or click Site Actions, click View All Site Content, and then in the Discussion Boards section, click the name of the discussion board.

    Note    A SharePoint site can be significantly modified in appearance and navigation. If you cannot locate an option, such as a command, button, or link, contact your administrator.

  3. Do one of the following:

    To reply :

    1. Click the discussion that contains the post to which you want to reply.

    2. In the row of the post to which you want to reply, click Reply.

    3. Type your reply in the Body section, and then click OK.

      To edit :

    4. Click the discussion that contains the post that you want to edit.

    5. In the row of the post that you want to edit, click View Properties.

    6. Click Edit Item, make the changes that you want, and then click OK.

      To delete :

Note   You can delete a post only if you have adequate permissions to also delete any replies to that post.

  1. Click the discussion that contains the post that you want to delete.

  2. In the row of the post that you want to delete, click View Properties.

  3. Click Delete Item and then click OK to confirm.

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Applies To: SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010



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