How to use this forum

Thanks for visiting The STEP Forums, and welcome!

You can change your name by visiting your user profile.

To log in again later:

  1. Always use the same email address from your original registration/invitation when logging in. Otherwise we won’t be able to tell it’s you!

  2. Create a unique password for your user profile, and use it to log in.

Here are a few quick tips to get you started.


To read more, just keep scrolling down!

As new replies or new topics arrive, they will appear automatically – no need to refresh the page.


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

  • Selecting a topic title will always take you to the next unread reply in the topic. To enter at the top or bottom, select the reply count or last reply date instead.

  • While reading a topic, select the progress bar at the bottom right for full navigation controls. Quickly jump back to the top by selecting the topic title. Press ? for a list of super-speedy keyboard shortcuts.


  • To reply to the topic in general, use at the very bottom of the topic.

  • To reply to a specific person, use on their post.

  • To reply with a new topic, use to the right of the post. Both old and new topics will be automatically linked together.

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

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

Want to learn Markdown? Take our fun 10 minute interactive tutorial!

To insert a quote, select the text you wish to quote, then press any Reply button. Repeat for multiple quotes.

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

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

To generate a summary for a link, paste it on a line by itself:

Post a new topic by email

To post a new topic via email to a category use the relevant category email address listed below.

(Please make sure you post using the email address that you have registered to your account otherwise the post can’t be validated and wont get through).

NB: Please REMOVE your email Signature images and and text before posting!


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!

If you see a problem with someone’s post, privately let them, or our staff, know about it with the flag button. You can also share a link to a post, or bookmark it for later reference on your user page.


When someone replies to you, quotes your post, or mentions your @username, a number will immediately appear at the top right of the page. Use it to access your notifications.

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

Opting in to receive email alerts

You are not automatically opted-in to receiving email alerts for the Forums upon registering. Thus to manage your preferences and opt-in to receiving alerts you need to go to:

  • Forum homepage
  • Click on the letter in the top right of the screen (the letter starts with the first letter of your email address/name)
  • Then click on the setting cog in the menu:

-This will then take you to the ‘Preferences’ menu (or url shortcut:
-Then click on the sidebar menu entitled ‘Emails

  • From here scroll down to the bottom

If ‘Enable mailing list mode’ is unticked, then you won’t receive email alerts from the Forum

Tick it to receive alerts and select from two options:

Then click ‘Save changes

Your Preferences

  • All topics less than two days old are considered new.

  • Any topic you’ve actively participated in (by creating, replying, or reading for an extended period) will be automatically tracked.

You will see the blue new and unread number indicators next to these topics:

You can change your notifications for any topic via the notification control at the bottom of the topic.

You can also set notification state per category, if you want to watch every new topic in a specific category.

To change any of these settings, see your user preferences.

Community Trust

As you participate here, over time you’ll gain the trust of the community, become a full citizen, and new user limitations will be lifted. At a high enough trust level, you’ll gain new abilities to help us manage our community together.

We believe in civilized community behavior at all times.

Enjoy your stay!

(If you need to communicate with staff members as a new user, just send a message to one of the Moderators listed on the staff members page.)