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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ | The /USERS Section [Click to see summary view]

How to use the many user-level utilities in IMC.

The USERS section in IMC is a collection of tools specifically for users. Some of these tools are repeated in other places (such as the Attributes Panel) but they are all aggregated here in one place for your convenience, and so that you don't have to enter a room to make trivial changes to things.

System Information
The System Information section contains links to Who's On. The Who's On in USERS is functionally the same as the Who's On panel in any room.

Your Account Information

This section lets you view and change information about your IMC account.

Edit User Blurb
This lets you provide a "blurb" or short descriptive phrase (max. 1000 characters) which will be displayed on your user profile page. HTML will be auto-converted.

Note: This information will be visible to everyone regardless of their Friends status.

Change the email address used to identify your account
This lets you review and edit the email address you use for your IMC account. Remember, this has to be a valid address. If an email sent to you bounces, we have no choice but to close the account.

Change your account password
This lets you review and change the password used for your IMC account. We strongly recommend passwords of at least eight characters, with a mixture of alpha and numerics.

Change your birthday
This is an optional field which lets you enter your birthday. In the future, when more community functions are implemented, you'll be able to use this feature to tell your IMC Friends (or everyone, if that's your choice) what your birthday is.

Change your homepage
Another optional field for IMC Friends, which lets you link people to your personal homepage, as opposed to homepages from any of your handles.

Edit your geographic location
You can indicate which country you are from by selecting a country from the drop-down list and clicking Change. If you don't want to specify a country, select None (which is set by default).

Change how your personal information is presented to others on IMC
This lets you change how any of your personal information is published to others. You may only want selected pieces of information available to your IMC friends, or to the public, or you may want to publish nothing at all. All of these options are set to the maximum privacy level by default.

For details about how personal information is used on IMC, please read our Privacy Policy.

Change your user tag settings (AIM/ICQ/etc)
This section allows you to add tags, or markup for your handles in a room, that contain contact information for you. This is so that people can get in touch with you without having to use your main email, or so that you can provide staff-level information for a room.

You can provide email addresses, Yahoo! Messenger handles, AIM handles, ICQ handes, IRC handles, or Jabber handles.

If you are setting a tag for a particular room, use the comment field to describe what the tag is for -- e.g., "Character applications".

See the host and room support gummis you currently have
This lets you see, at a glance, all of the gummis you hold in all rooms, public and private, throughout the site. If you have a gummi for a particular room, you can click on the link next to the drop-down to set a small verbal description that will tell people what your duties in that room are. This description is printed on the room's doorway page and will also appear in the "hover box" that appears when you hover your mouse over someone's gummi.

You can also set duty status for each gummi:

Active: Gummi is visible in room and on doorway; all admin functions available.

Off-duty: Gummi is not visible in room, but is active on doorway; all admin functions available.

LOA: Gummi is not visible in room and is marked on doorway as "LOA"; admin functions are off.


Enable/disable handles
This lets you enable or disable handles. A disabled handle is still active in your account, but is not displayed in the drop-down list of handles in a room. You can also edit a handle's attributes from here by clicking on the handle name. The thumbnail mode view allows you to show all available handles as images.

Edit handles
The Edit Handles page for a particular handle lets you change that handle's properties -- its tags (the markup that appears with it), whether or not an image or a link URL is assigned to it, and so on.

"Handle enabled in main list"
When unchecked, this option lets you hide a handle from appearing in your main handle list (the handle list that appears when you don't have a room-specific handle list set up.

Pre-handle tag
This is the text that appears before your handle in a room. This text can be up to 255 characters in length, including whatever HTML markup is permissible.

Post-handle tag
This is the text that appears after your handle in a room. This text can be up to 255 characters in length, including whatever HTML markup is permissible.

This is the parenthetical text that appears after your post-handle tag. This can be used to hold things like location identifiers, quick character stats, and so on.

Image URL
This is a URL, either local or global, for an image that will appear with your handle when it's posted in a room. If you have images uploaded to the local image hosting system, you can select from those images by choosing a filename from the dropdown directly below. (You can also assign images to handles from within the image manager.)

Please note that if you are linking to an image hosted somewhere other than IMC, that image host must support "remote linking" for images -- i.e., they need to explicitly allow you to show an image on a site that's not theirs. Some image hosts that do not allow this are pre-blocked in our system, such as GeoCities.

Handle Link URL
This is a URL, again either global or local, that is linked from this handle in rooms. Most of the time you'll use this to link a character sheet. (If you're using IMC's character sheet generator, you can link sheets to handles from within that system.)

Pre-Text Font Control Tag
This allows you to specify HTML FONT instructions for the body of your posts made from this handle. For instance, if you wanted to mark up your posts so they looked like they were modified by this FONT command:

<FONT FACE='Tahoma' SIZE='3'>

you'd enter

FACE='Tahoma' SIZE='3'

into that field. In short, you'd enter the attributes for the FONT tag without actually using the FONT tag itself.

Tag library
When editing a handle's attributes, you can copy out or paste in tags from the handle into or from what is called the Tag Library. The Tag Library lets you store and retrieve single or multiple tags, allowing you to quickly modify a handle without having to type things in or cut and paste. By unchecking or checking the appropriate boxes, you can copy tags selectively into the tag library -- for instance, if you want to create a library entry that is nothing but the handle image, uncheck everything except for "Image URL," type a descriptive name in the tag name box, and click Copy Tags. Note that you cannot yet paste tags selectively by unchecking boxes; the tags are always pasted as they were copied.

Create lists of handles for specific rooms
This feature, also known as "Handle Lists", lets you allow only certain handles to appear in your handle list when you enter a certain room. (Note that disabling a handle makes it unavailable in all handle lists as well.)

To create a new list for a room, simply select the name of the room from the dropdown and click Go. You will then be prompted to choose which handles you want to add to that list.

To delete a list permanently, click the X next to the room name.

When editing a list, if you want to temporarily disable a handle in the list (but keep it in the list, just not have it show up in your post box), check the boxes next to the handle names to hide and click "Toggle" to disable them. Do the same thing to re-enable them.

To select a given handle as your default choice for that room list, click on the number to the left of the handle in the list. If the number's not clickable, that means the handle's either disabled (if it's at the top of the form), or it hasn't actually been added to your list of useable handles yet.

Character Gallery
The Character Gallery lets you create lists of commonly-played characters for specific rooms, so that a prospective player can simply click on a link in your user profile and see them all in detail for himself.

The Gallery works by handle, rather than character sheet, since there are many rooms that might not use character sheets (and many PRs don't use them at all).

You can add handles to the gallery in a number of ways:

  • Add individually.  To do this, select a room from the dropdown at the top of the page, check off the handles to add in the left-hand column, and click Add.  This will group the selected handles by the room you've chosen.
  • Add by handle list.  If you already have a handle list built for a given room, you can select that list from the other drop-down and click Copy to add all the handles in that list en masse.  If you select a list and click Clear, all of the handles in that list that are in your gallery will be removed from the gallery.

To remove handles from the gallery individually, check them off and click Remove.

If you click the Edit button, text fields will appear for each handle in the gallery.  You can add a "blurb", a short description of up to 255 characters, that other people can read to get an understanding of your character.

To see what your gallery looks like, click "Preview Character Gallery" at the top of the page.  The Gallery is accessible from a link at the top of everyone's User Profile page.

Note that you cannot add a handle to more than one room in this view.  This is due to a number of limitations that makes this difficult to implement at this time.  However, if you want to list a given handle as being used in more than one room, you can simulate this by adding that handle to a nonexistent PR (with a name such as multi) and adding a blurb to it that describes where it's used and why.

Add handles to your account
Go here to submit a request to add handles to your account. Please remember that handle submissions have to be reviewed according to our handle processing guidelines.

Permanently remove handles from your account
This lets you hard delete a handle (and all of its tags) from your account. Note that if you've posted with a handle in the last 24 hours, there is a chance it may not be deleted. Please make sure you've waited 24 hours from posting with a handle before deleting it.

Room and Site Presentation

This section lets you control how IMC appears to you.

Custom OOC
When posts are made with the Out Of Character (OOC) checkbox enabled, they're formatted differently from regular posts. Typically, they have (( and )) marks placed in front of and behind the text of the post.

If you'd rather have a different set of OOC marks displayed for yourself, you can set them here. Note that you may not see the new choice of OOC marks until you refresh the room you're in, and that OOC marks are always displayed as (( and )) in logs for consistency.

Change your forum settings
This allows you to change how the IMC Forum, or BBS, is presented to you.

Showing threads expanded will allow you to see all of the posts attached to a top-level post (referred to as a "thread") on the message baords. This allows you to see all the messages in a thread at a glance, but can look cluttered. The "collapsed" view simply shows the top level posts for each thread.

If you want to show pinned messages as collapsed by default, check the box labeled "Show pinned messages as collapsed." This may help save some screen space on forums where there are a lot of pinned messages, or where there are pinned messages with many sub-messages.

You can select whether or not you want to be alerted in email if someone responds either to a post you've made or a thread you've started.

You can also select where you want the forum navigation controls to appear: at the top of the page, or inset at the side in a box. Some people prefer the box view as it is more compact.

Change your Who's On settings
This allows you to control the timeout interval for Who's On -- allowing you to see people who have made posts in rooms in the last five, ten or fifteen minutes.

Change your Send Panel options.
This lets you change how your Send Panel, in rooms, is presented. A number of options are available:

Place a character counter in the Send panel: This gives you an idea of how many characters you have left when typing. Since the limit for posts is 4,000 characters, this comes in handy for people who like to cut and paste posts made in an external editor. Note that the character counter has a small limitation involving pasted text: until you actually press and release a key in the text field, the character counter isn't updated.

Lock the handle list to keep handles from changing spontaneously: When engaged, this causes the handle list to "lock", or keep from being edited, until unlocked. A small icon of a lock, along with a checkbox, will appear in the Send Panel when this is engaged. To disable it, press Alt-L or click on the checkbox. Note that when you post, the lock is re-engaged.

Place OOC handles first in your handle lists: This causes all handles marked as OOC to be placed first in a handle list. This way you can find them quickly, by simply hitting the Home key or scrolling to the top of the list when the handle list drop-down is selected.

Determine which handle you most recently used in a room by checking the posts you made in the room: When this is selected, the handle list will attempt to select whichever handle you posted with last in a room whenever you re-enter a room. If you constantly get disconnected in the middle of a scene and don't want to manually re-select the handle you were just using, try this option.

Enable the "Preview" button (Alt-P) in the Send panel. This lets you place a "Preview" button in the Send panel. When clicked, it pops up a window that shows a formatted version of your post before you send it, which can help you determine if you've made a formatting or spelling mistake. You can also summon the window by pressing Alt-P, in browsers that support the Alt keybindings.

Enable "tear-offs."  This turns the post number (shown at the right-hand side of the gray bar above a post) into a clickable link.  When clicked, the post in question can be popped up as a stand-alone window -- a "tear-off".

Tear-offs have a number of other functions:

  • Check for next post.  This function lets you determine if another post has been made by the same handle since that tear-off was opened or last updated.
  • Auto: Same as "Check for next post" except that it will automatically check once every minute for another post from the same handle.
  • First post: Goes back to the first post made with that handle in the room before the room was last reset.
  • Prev. post: Goes to the previous post made with that handle in the room.
  • OOC/All / IC Only / Log: Constrains the above checks to either IC-only posts or both OOC/IC posts, or posts made to the log that is currently being used to record posts from that handle.  Note that this will only screen OOC posts if they are being made using the OOC checkbox.

These tear-off functions are only available for posts you have made:

  • Flip OOC/IC: Reverses the IC/OOC marker for a given post.  If you accidentally post something as OOC, you can switch it to IC, and vice versa.
  • Shift post to other hande: Lets you move the post in question to another handle you own.  Logs should also update automatically.
  • Yank from log [logname]: Pulls the post in question from the body of the named log.  (This action can be undone if you open the log in question in the log viewer.)

Enable post recovery. Many people have complained about being in the middle of typing a post only to have the whole thing eaten by a browser crash. When enabled, this option saves posts-in-progress to a local cookie on your browser. If the browser is closed or crashes before you can post, the next time you open the room the post will be recreated for you. Each room you visit (including PRs) gets their posts saved separately. An asterisk (*) will appear in the "Send/Update" button when the post you're typing is currently logged.

Change your streaming settings
This allows you to control a number of Streaming settings, including how aggressively Streaming attempts to keep alive the connection with your web browser. People who are behind firewalls or who use some varieties of browser may need to set this to a very aggressive setting (10 seconds) to make Streaming work correctly. Some people can get away with using the 60-second setting. For more information on problems with Streaming, see the Known Bugs section of the FAQ.

The "Print a 'heartbeat' pattern" option turns on a function originally used for debugging Streaming: in between posts, a series of dots will print periodically as a way to show that Streaming is still alive and well. If you sometimes wonder whether Streaming is still alive in a room, turn this option on; it can also be used as a way to help the sysops troubleshoot Stremaing with a particular system.

If the regular version of Streaming (and Detached Streaming) doesn't seem to be well-behaved, you can try using a different version of Streaming, called -- appropriately enough -- New Streaming.

When you enter Streaming using the new mode, you'll notice a green "LED"-style indicator in your Send Panel that occasionally flickers red. This indicates connectivity with the site. If the light turns red and stays red, that means you've lost connectivity. Don't reload the browser -- the system will re-establish contact on its own and pick up where you left off.

New Streaming works best in IE6+, Firefox 1.5+ and other comparable browsers. It has been partially tested in Opera and found to be functional, but has not been tested in anything else yet. (Note: If you are using FF 1.1, upgrade to 1.5 or better as soon as possible as there are many fixes. New Streaming does not work in 1.1.)

If you select "Start scrolling the window automatically", rooms will being scrolling automatically on load rather than on demand.

Change the alignment of images in rooms
This lets you control how images are aligned in rooms --either to the left or to the right. This is purely an aesthetic decision and doesn't affect the functionality of IMC in any way.

Change your room launchbar settings
The launchbar is the gray bar that appears in Frames and Streaming, between the area where you make your posts and the area where the posts appear. In No Frames, it appears below the post panel.

This bar can be customized to contain links to commonly-accessed parts of IMC. If you have no customization for the launchbar, a set of commonly-used links will appear there by default.

To add an item to the list, select it from the drop-down and click Go. To move the items around in the list, click "Up" or "Dn" next to each item to move it either up or down. To remove one or more items entirely, select the checkboxes next to the items in question and click on the Delete button.

Note that not all commands are available in all modes. For instance, the auto-scroll functions won't show up in Frames. Also note that you'll need to refresh any windows that are currently open to rooms before the changes will show up.

Here's a rundown of all the functions currently available from the Launchbar:

  • Scroll Back | Scroll | Scroll Fast | Stop Scrolling: Controls the scrolling behavior of the main window in Streaming mode. The (no click) versions of these controls do not require that you click on the links to work; you can simply wave the mouse over them.
  • Who's On | Who's On (Sitewide) | Who's On (Sitewide, In Rooms): Opens the Who's On window in the desired mode. You can always switch between these three modes for Who's On when the window is open, but this allows you to choose which version of the window you want to open by default.
  • RP Log: Opens the Who's On window in logging mode.
  • Jump: Opens the room-jump menu.
  • Bookmark This Link: Allows you to bookmark entry into a given room. This function is no longer really needed since it's now possible to bookmark directly into a room no matter what, but it's being maintained for the sake of backwards compatibility.
  • Logout: Log out from the site completely.
  • Room Doorway: Go back to the doorway for the current room.
  • Home: Go back to the top of the site (although remain logged in).
  • Site BBS: Opens the sitewide message board. The (Separate Window) version of this link will open themessage board in another browser.
  • Room BBS: Opens the message board for this particular room. The (Separate Window) version of this link will open the message board in another browser.
  • To Streaming | Detached Streaming | No Frames | Frames: Switches you automatically to the selected room mode. Note that if you are already in that mode, the link in question will not appear (i.e., if you add "To Streaming" to your Launchbar and you're in Streaming, you won't see it).
  • Users Section: Jumps to the Users section of the site.
  • Gummi Control: Jumps to the subsection of the Users section that lets you toggle or edit your room-gummi properties.
  • Handle Editor: Jumps to the subsection of the Users section that lets you control your handles.
  • Image Uploader: Jumps to the subsection of the Users section that lets you upload images for use with your account. The (from handle) version of this link will let you immediately upload images that are grouped with the currently-selected handle. The (thumbnail mode) version of this link lets you go directly to the Thumbnail View version of the Image Uploader (recommended).
  • Image Strip: Lets you open and close a strip right above the Launchbar where you can see all the images (uploaded through the Image Uploader) grouped to a particular handle. Click on a particular image to assign that image to the handle. The (from handle) version of this link (recommended) lets you open an Image Strip for the currently-selected handle. The "[X]" next to the Image Strip link will close the Image Strip when you don't need it. [There is a visual demonstrationof this feature available. You'll need the Flash plugin to view it.]
  • Character Sheet Editor: Opens the Character Sheet Editor function found in the Users section.
  • Notepad: Opens the Notepad function found in the Users section.
  • Hosts Panel: Jumps to the Host Panel for the current room. Note that if you are not a host, this will not show up.
  • Character List: Opens the Character List function found in the Users section, which lets you create lists of characters for the room you're in (or any other room).
  • Reopen Detached Panel: If you like to use the detached Send panel found in Detached Streaming in other room modes, you can add this link to the Launchbar. The link shows up as an "[O]". When clicked, it opens a version of the detached Send panel which functions alongside the main Send panel. You can use this to post from, say, an IC handle and an OOC handle at the same time.
  • Private Message: Click this to set the Post panel in "Private Message" mode, rather than clicking on someone's gummi to open a separate window.
  • Handle List: Opens the the Handle List function in the Users section, which lets you set custom lists of handles for each room. The currently-selected room will be the default for editing when you do this.

Enable/disable No Frills.
No Frills is a special mode which, when enabled, turns off images and makes the site easier to access on PDAs or slow computers.

Enable/disable room color themes
This allows you to control if you see color themes for rooms as assigned by the room host. If you would rather assign your own color themes to a room, you can do so through this interface.

Block Other User's Font Formatting
This option option turns off other people's font, color and formatting choices in tags and posts. (This only applies to posts in rooms.)

This setting is non-destructive. It doesn't actually rewrite other people's posts; it just changes the way they're presented to you. If you make posts yourself with formatting, they will also be suppressed unless you turn this option off.

Bold and italic markup are not affected by this option.

URL / Hotlink formatting
This lets you modify the format of hotlinks, or URLs, when shown in posts to rooms or on message boards. This will change the way all such links are presented to you only; other people may have this set differently.

User Profile Page

This link takes you to your user profile page, which is what other people will see when they click your name in the Who's On or in another part of the site. (On room doorway pages, names of staff are hotlinked to their email addresses; to see their user profiles; click the "IMC" logo next to their names.)

Note that what you see may contain more information than what other people see, based on your preferences.

User Blocking

These options let you block messages, both public and private, from a given user.

Block other users
Lets you select a user whose in-room posts you want to ignore.

Lets you once again view users who were previously blocked.

Unblock images on handles you've previously blocked
This allows you to remove blocks for specifics images that you have blocked in-room via clicking on that handle's gummi.

Character utilities / Character sheets

This subsection allows you to create and manage character sheets for rooms that support this feature. Rooms that do use character sheets will have a list of templates, or blank sheets. To create a new character based on one of those templates, click on the template name and a new sheet named "Untitled" will appear in the list of sheets you have.

Clicking the name of the sheet itself will bring you to the editing page for that sheet. As every template is different, the exact process for how to fill in the sheet will vary. Contact the host of the room in question for more details.

The Preview link for each sheet will display what the sheet looks like when it's linked to a character handle. Clicking Delete will remove the sheet entirely.

If a sheet is linked to a handle, there will be a notice of this in the entry for the sheet.

Image utilities

This article has a visual demonstration. You'll need the Flash plugin to view it.

The image utilities allow you to upload images for use on IMC as character images. Regular users can upload up to 1 megabyte of images into the image manager. Donors and people with room host privileges can upload up to 10 megabytes.

The "thumbnail mode" version of the uploader shows all the images currently uploaded in one page. The images shown have been downsampled and resized, so they may be a little blurrier than the real thing; this isn't a malfunction. Each image can be up to 64K in size.

Note that images with the same filename as a previous one may not show up correctly at first due to caching. For that reason, you may want to upload different versions of the same images with a new filename.

Once a file has been successfully uploaded, you can link it directly to a handle if you've posted with a particular handle in a room today, or manually select a handle you haven't posted with.

The "Group images with this handle" option in Thumbnail View lets you group checked images with a specific handle, so that you can see only the images for that handle in the viewer when you click on a handle name, rather than all in one view. This should improve loading time and also helps make the images easier to keep track of.

When you group images by handle, the images grouped to that handle appear first in the drop-down list of images available from that handle's Attributes panel.

If you want to select images for handles directly in a room, you can use the Image Strip feature, which is found in the Launchbar. This adds a link to your Launchbar labeled Imgstrip; click it and you'll see a list of all the available images for the last handle posted to the room (or the default handle if you posted nothing yet). The selected image will have a checkmark imposed over it. Click the "[X]" on the Launchbar to close the Image Strip.

If you want to browse images by the currently-selected handle in your handle box rather than what you've posted with, use Image Strip (from handle)

To rename pictures (in thumbnail mode only for now), type the new name for the picture you want to change in the text box directly below the image and click Rename. You can do this for more than one image at a time, and you'll receive confirmations (or warnings) about each image as they are renamed. Note that when you rename an image that is in use by a handle, the system will make a "best guess" attempt to rename the image in the handle reference as well so it doesn't break. (This is regardless of whether the image is grouped with the handle or not; just if a handle is referring to that particular image.)

If you want to upload a reference to a remotely-hosted image -- that is, an image on another server -- use the "Link in a reference to an externally-hosted image" box at the bottom of the page.  Paste the URL of the image you want to use in that box, and then click "Link".  The linked image will then be handled like an uploaded image.  Note that linked images cannot be more than 64K in runlength or they will not show up.

Download RP Logs

You can download logs of RP that you have recorded using the Record function in the Who's On panel.

Click on the name of the log to open a copy of the log in a new window. This will open a copy of the log with HTML tags intact (so it can be pasted to a message board properly), and with all OOC posts filtered out. At the top of the page with the log, there are several clickable options that let you toggle HTML and OOC views, as well as turn off the controls completely (for fast copying).

A note about the OOC filter: Right now, the filter will only remove posts that have a (( and a )) at the beginning and end of the post -- i.e., the standard OOC format generated when you select the "OOC" box from the post panel. Later, it may become possible for the OOC filter to work more intelligently, but this is still a ways off.

If you want to download multiple logs at once, check off the names of each log and click View. This will generate a report with multiple logs aggregated into a single form, along with clickable navigation links.

The "Pause", "Resume" and "Close" buttons work the same as their counterparts in the Record view of Who's On. You can check off one or more logs to perform these actions on. Also, a closed log can be put back into pause mode or restarted from this view.

Clicking on "Log name", "Date opened", "Room" or "Status" will sort the list by those criteria, respectively.

Click "Delete" to completely remove one or more selected log from the list. This action cannot be undone, so use it carefully.

All logs are closed after 14 days and deleted after 90 days. If a log is in danger of being deleted, it will be highlighted in orange, and a warning will appear at the top of the page.

Spurious posts in a log can be "yanked" out of the body of the log by clicking on the time/date stamp for the post.  These posts are then moved into a special section after the end of the log itself.  If you yank the wrong post, you can always restore it by clicking its time/date stamp again.  This is useful if you have double posts, OOC comments that didn't filter correctly, etc.

Manage Invite-Only PRs

Invite-Only PRs are private rooms that are only accessible to those who have been expressly invited to them.

You can only create one invite-only PR per user account at a time, but you can invite as many people as you like to it. (Remember to add your own name as well!)

Vote XP

Some rooms allow the "voting" of experience points, or XP, as a reward for good roleplay. XP can then be redeemed for changes to one's character sheet.

If you want to vote XP for a character, you can do so through this form by typing either part of the character or user name, clicking Go, and then following the prompts.

You can also vote for XP directly within a room by clicking on the gummi for the character and selecting Vote XP.

IMC Notepad

The IMC Notepad lets you jot down ideas, copy game logs, create impromptu character sheets, or selectively publish information for other IMC users.

By default, the Notepad opens with a blank entry. Type a title for the Notepad entry in the small text box, and the text of the entry into the large text field. Click Go to add the item to the list.

Click on the name of an item to edit it, or View to see it. If you want to make an item available to other users, edit it, check the "Public" box, click Go, then click View for the item and send people the URL from that link.

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