FAQ - Comments

» What are comments?

Comments are replies to entries in a journal or community. Journal owners can choose whether to allow people to make comments. Entries with comments allowed will have links you can use to add a comment, and to read the comments other people have already made. You can follow the entry subject link, or the cut-text link if there is one, to view the full entry with its comments attached.

Last Activity:
April 21st, 2009 (liv)

» How do I post a comment?

You can use the Leave a comment link to add a comment to an entry. The exact text label for this link may be different in different journals. This link opens a form with a text box where you can enter your comment. In some journals, the reply form will open on the same page, but in others, the link will take you to a new reply page.

As well as adding new comments directly to an entry, you can reply directly to someone else's comment by following the appropriate link in the comment. This link is labelled Reply by default. Dreamwidth comments are threaded, so replies to comments will display immediately below the relevant comment.

You can preview your comment to check for errors, and when you are satisfied you can post the comment using the buttons at the bottom of the form.

You can give your comment a subject if you wish by entering text in the Subject box. To choose which icon you want to use with your comment, select it from the dropdown menu, or use the Browse button to display a gallery of your icons so you can pick one.

Users who receive emailed notifications of new comments may reply to that comment by replying to the notification email.

Last Activity:
April 28th, 2013 (misskat)

» How do I identify myself when I comment?

If you're logged in to Dreamwidth, your comments will be posted with your journal name by default. If you aren't logged in or do not have an account, your comment will be posted as anonymous by default. This means you can only comment if the entry allows anonymous commenting. When you comment anonymously, you can choose to write a name or nickname in the text of your comment, but only if you want to.

The comment form has several options to change the defaults. If anonymous comments are allowed, you can check the option to comment without including your journal name, even if you're logged in. To comment with a different account from the one you are logged in with, or with OpenID, use the Other link, and enter your alternative account name (and password if required).

If you don't have these options, use the More Options button to move to the full reply page.

Last Activity:
May 9th, 2009 (liv)

» How do I reply to comments from email notifications?

To reply to a comment from your email notification of the comment, hit "reply" in your email client and write the comment as though you were writing an email.

Your reply must be the first thing to appear in the response email. You can leave the quoted material in the email if you want — it will be stripped when we receive the email so it won't appear in your comment — but your reply must come before it.

The comment must come from the email address you've confirmed for your account. If your email client is set up to send emails from a different address than the exact email address you've confirmed for your account, you can set additional authorized emails. For instance, if your confirmed email forwards to a different email address, you'll need to authorize the second email address in order to be able to reply by email.

To change the subject of the comment, change the subject line of the email. If you leave it as-is, the comment will have the same subject as the comment you're replying to, or no subject if the original comment had no subject.

To specify an icon other than your default icon, set it the same way you do for posting by email, as the first line of the email. For instance, if you want to use your icon with a keyword of 'happy', the first line of your reply should be:

post-icon: happy

Each comment notification email contains a unique and secret "reply-to" address to identify the comment it's replying to and to make sure your reply will go to the right place. If you accidentally share this email address with anyone else, they may be able to reply to that comment as you under some circumstances. If you think you may have shared the secret address with someone accidentally, you can reset the secret address. This will remove the ability for you to reply by email to old comment notifications as well, but new notifications will use a new secret address.

Replying to an email notification will post the comment as the account that received the notification. For instance, if you own the accounts username and username2, both with the same confirmed email address, and you receive a comment notification email to username, replying to that email will cause your comment to be posted as username. There's no way to change which account a comment will be posted as when replying by email, so if you need to reply from a different account, you'll need to click the link to reply on the Dreamwidth website directly.

When replying to comments by email, they will be formatted using Markdown syntax. You can either use HTML tags or Markdown formatting to format your text.

Last Activity:
April 24th, 2013 (denise)

» What is Quick Reply? How do I turn Quick Reply on or off?

Quick Reply is an option in some journal styles which allows you to post comments and replies without loading a new page. When Quick Reply is active, the commenting link creates a box where you can enter your comment, choose the icon, and preview and post the comment using the appropriate buttons. If you want to open the full comment reply page with extra features, use the More options... button.

You can turn off Quick Reply using the console. Enter the command set disable_quickreply 1 and then click the Execute button. This option can be useful if your browser does not handle JavaScript correctly, or if you simply prefer to open a separate page to enter your comments. To turn Quick Reply on again, enter the command set disable_quickreply 0 at the console. Console settings apply wherever you are on the site, as long as you are logged in.

Last Activity:
April 21st, 2009 (liv)

» How does comment threading work?

Each reply to an entry starts a new thread, which may contain one comment or a group of them. If you reply to other comments, your replies will display directly below them. This means that a large collection of comments will appear as a tree, with several different branches indicating different parts of the conversation.

The Thread function on each comment lets you view all the replies starting from that comment. The Parent function on each comment lets you move up the thread to see what is being replied to. A comment directly to an entry will not have any Parent function. The Link function gives a direct link to a specific comment, instead of the whole discussion. Journal owners may give these functions different names.

Last Activity:
April 21st, 2009 (liv)

» How can I tell which comments belong to which thread? What is the "Comment Hierarchy" setting?

When you're viewing an entry, comments are arranged visually on the page. If "comment 2" is a reply to "comment 1", comment 2 will appear beneath comment 1 and slightly indented. If "comment 2" and "comment 3" are both replies to "comment 1", they'll be indented the same amount. As the comments in a thread become more nested in reply to each other, the comments will move further across the screen as they become more and more indented.

Because this information is presented visually, it's not useful for screenreader users. It can also be confusing on entries with many comments.

The "Comment Hierarchy" setting, on the Display tab of Account Settings, labels comments on an entry with outline-style numbers and letters. This is another way of showing which comments are related.

Last Activity:
March 7th, 2013 (denise)

» What happens when there are large numbers of comments on one entry?

If there are more than 50 comments on a single entry, the threads will collapse. This means only the top comments in a thread will display, and the rest will show the title (if there is one) and the poster's name only. You can expand a collapsed thread to read the lower level comments by using the Thread link for the top comment, or by using the Expand link. The Thread link shows a particular thread on a separate page, while the Expand link loads the hidden comments without leaving the page. If the thread is very long, you may have to expand several times to read all the comments. Paid members can also use the "Expand All" link in the comment action section to expand all collapsed threads on the page.

If there are more than 25 comments posted directly to the entry, the comments will be divided into several pages. Both thread collapsing and dividing comments into multiple pages happen automatically, and you can not change this. This is because entries with very large numbers of comments use a lot of resources, so dividing them up helps the site to run reliably for all users.

To unfold and view all the comments on an entry, choose the "Flat" link in the comment action section (located between the entry and the comments in most layouts and site skins). This will show all the comments in full, but they'll display in the order they were posted, without the tree structure of the conversation threads. The comments in this view will be divided into pages with 26 comments per page.

The comment action section also includes a link to view "Top-level comments only". Selecting this will only show you the beginning comment in each thread, with all child comments hidden. Top-level comments with child comments will include a link to expand those comments inline.

Last Activity:
November 11th, 2011 (denise)

» What are the limits on comments?

The maximum number of comments for each entry is 10,000. When the comment total reaches 10,000, the link to post new comments will be replaced with a message saying that the maximum number of comments has been reached.

When one entry has 5000 comments, the human test will activate. This prevents automated posting of huge numbers of comments to an entry.

The maximum length of a comment is 16,000 characters. If your comment is longer than that, you won't be able to post it and you'll get an error message. You can copy your comment text into a text editor, and then divide it into separate comments and post it in sections.

Last Activity:
April 30th, 2009 (ivorygates)

» Can I use HTML in comments?

Yes, most HTML is allowed in comments, including the <user> tag. You have to enter the HTML codes yourself as there is no rich text editor for comments. You can also use the HTML <img> tag to add images to your comments. You can't use cut tags in comments.

Last Activity:
April 21st, 2009 (liv)

» How do I quote part of an entry I want to reply to?

Highlight the part of the entry you are replying to, and use the Quote button on the comment reply form. This automatically adds the quoted section to your reply. The quote will be contained in <q></q> tags if it's short, or <blockquote> tags if it's long. Then you can add your reply following the quoted text. The appearance of quoted text will depend on the journal style. Some old browsers do not recognize quote tags, and quoted text will not be distinguished in these browsers.

The Quote button doesn't appear in the Quick Reply comment form; use the More Options... link to access the Quote function. The Quote function requires JavaScript and doesn't work in all browsers.

Last Activity:
April 21st, 2009 (liv)

» Can I edit or delete my comment?

You can edit or delete any comments you have posted as long as you are logged in with the same account that you used to make the comment. The delete button uses a red X graphic in the site skin and some journal styles by default, and a text link in others. The edit button uses a yellow pencil icon in the site skin and some journal styles by default, and a text link in others.

If you posted the comment anonymously, or if you are not logged in, you won't be able to edit or delete the comment. If you comment to a restricted access entry on someone else's journal and they change your access so you can't view the entry any more, you won't be able to edit or delete your comments.

You can edit a comment when you are logged in with the same account that posted the comment, as long as the comment has not been replied to. Once a comment has been replied to, you can no longer edit it. Use the pencil edit button (or text edit link) on comments to edit them. Your edited comment will then show a message including the time when it was changed and the reason why you edited the comment, if you provided one.

Last Activity:
June 6th, 2012 (denise)

» How can I control comments posted to my journal?

You can delete any comment posted on your journal, whether you posted it or someone else did. The red X delete button or link on a comment allows you to delete it. If the comment is spam, check the option to report it.

You can screen comments posted on your journal by using the screen light bulb button or link on the comment. Screening hides the comment from view, but does not delete it completely. You as the journal owner, and the person who posted the comment can still view it.

You can edit your own comments on any journal, as long as the comments have not yet been replied to. You can't edit other people's comments posted on your entries, or edit comments after they've been replied to. The default graphic for the edit button is a pencil.

You can freeze a comment thread by clicking the freeze pause button or text link on the top comment. This will stop people posting any new replies to that thread, but they will still be able to reply to the entry or to other comments. Freezing doesn't prevent people from deleting their own comments.

Last Activity:
June 6th, 2012 (denise)

» How do I find my comments?

The Manage Comments page gives you a list of the last comments you posted on the site, and the last comments you received on your journal. The number of comments that will appear in the list depends on your account level; free users see the last 10 comments, paid users the last 100, and premium paid users up to 150. You can reach the Manage Comments page from any main site page by choosing the Recent Comments item from the Read menu when you are logged in.

Dreamwidth does not provide a way to search for all the comments you have ever made, and you can not search for anyone else's comments. This restriction is for privacy as well as site performance reasons.

Last Activity:
April 24th, 2010 (rainbow)

» What is comment tracking?

Comment tracking is a way to keep a note of interesting discussions. You can track an entry using the Track button or link. Tracking means you get a notification when a new comment is posted to the entry you are tracking. Paid users can also track individual comment threads.

If you're already tracking a discussion, the link or button will change to Stop tracking and you can use this to stop receiving future notifications.

Last Activity:
April 21st, 2009 (liv)

» Can I get comments sent to me by email?

Yes, you can get email copies of comments posted to your journal, and replies posted to your comments elsewhere. You can turn comment email on or off in the Notifications section on the My Account Settings page.

To get emails other than replies to your journal entries or your comments, you can use the tracking option.

If you have comment emails turned on for your journal, you can switch them off for a particular entry. Use the Allow Comments? option on the post entry form and change the setting to Don't email.

Last Activity:
April 24th, 2010 (rainbow)

» Why does my anonymous comment not display the way I want it to?

To help prevent spam, and to keep spammers from benefiting from leaving spam comments, we place certain restrictions on anonymous comments:

* Images will not display automatically in an anonymous comment. All images will be replaced by image placeholders. You will need to click the placeholder to display the image.

* HTML links will not display. They will be automatically converted into an unclickable text representation of the link. You will need to copy and paste the link into a new tab or new browser window to follow the link.

* Certain CSS properties are not allowed in anonymous comments, to prevent "page-breaking" abuses. These properties include absolute font sizing, absolute positioning, and the <blink> and <marquee> tags.

There is no way to disable these restrictions on an individual account, for the good of the service as a whole.

Last Activity:
October 31st, 2011 (zarhooie)

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