This guide covers our old ProBoards v4 software. Click here for the ProBoards v5 Help Guide.

A category is an identifier used to sort boards by topic on the main page of the forum. Category titles generally attempt to define and represent the content of the boards nested beneath them. Forums are required to have at least one top level category to accommodate and contain boards. You'll find the following links in the Categories section of the admin panel:

Create Category

This is where new forum categories are created. The category creation page is only available to forum members with administrative authority and is divided into three sections with various options assigned to each.

Category Placement: If a forum has existing categories, you can place new categories above or below using the drop-downs labeled Place this category, and, This category. For example, if you have an existing board category named General, and you want to place a new category above it, select Above from the first drop-down and General from the second.

Category Information: Specify a name and ID for your new category here. The name can be anything you want and you can use BBCode to add text effects or images to make it more interesting. The Category ID is used by the forum software to identify the category and must be one word (30 characters max).

Category Settings: This is where you can select access permissions for the new category. Permissions determine who (if anyone) will be restricted from viewing the category and the boards nested inside the category.

Hide Category: This option allows you to specify whether or not a category will be hidden on the forum. Set to Yes, the category and all boards listed inside it will not be visible on the main page. The only way to access boards nested in a hidden category will be by their specific URL and ID (ie.

Limit Access: Limiting access will allow only permitted members to view a category. You can restrict category access by member type, member group, or forum posting rank. Leaving the new category in its default state, with all boxes unchecked, permits access to everyone including unregistered guests.

As an example, if you want registered members to view categories but not guests, simply check the box to the left of Members. If you only want forum users who are part of the Administrator and Moderator groups to view the category, check the boxes to the left of Administrator and Moderator.

Post Ranks: Lastly, you can limit who can view categories by each members post count. For example, lets assume an online forum has 3 Post Ranks assigned the values listed below. If you want to restrict viewing to members with 50 posts or more, simply check the boxes to the left of Junior Member and Senior Member.

Rank Name: New Member
Posts Required: 0

Rank Name: Junior Member
Posts Required: 50

Rank Name: Senior Member
Posts Required: 100

This will prevent anyone who has made 0 – 49 posts on the forum from being able to view the category.

Once the settings for the new category have been selected, click the Create Category button at the bottom of the page. The new category can then be viewed on the main page of the forum. Now you can start creating new boards or move existing boards to populate the new category with content. Use the Create Board or Move Board links in the admin panel to accomplish this.

Delete Category

This option deletes entire categories from the forum. A note of caution; if you delete a category from the forum, any boards listed within that category will be deleted as well. Be sure to move boards you wish to retain to another category prior to deleting. Once a category is deleted, its content is lost and cannot be recovered.

To do this, first click the Delete Category link. On the next page, choose the category you'd like to delete from the drop-down and click Continue. You'll then be taken to the confirmation page. If you're certain of your selection, click Delete Category. Again, be sure to move any boards you'd like to keep prior to deletion. If the category being deleted contains a board with a large number of posts, deleting it may take some time to complete; please be patient during this time.

Modify Category

Here you can change category names, user permissions, etc. First, click the Modify Category button, then select the category you'd like to modify and click continue. The Modify Category page is similar to the Create Category page with the difference being you can't change the Category ID. Once you've made your changes, click the Modify Category button at the bottom of the page to save changes. You can then visit the forums main page to confirm the changes.

Reorder Categories

This option allows you to reorder how categories display on the forums main page. On the Reorder Categories page, you'll see a box listing all category ID's on the forum. Use this area as you would a text document to reorder categories the way you would like them. When done, click the Reorder Categories button at the bottom of the page. You can then visit the main page of the forum to confirm the new display order.