Using the Quote Function

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Using the Quote Function
Posted by tree68 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 11:58 PM

A lot of folks seem to have trouble using the quote function here on the forum.  This can make it hard to separate the original post from the reply.

By and large it appears the problem is that folks don't realize where the end of the material they are quoting actually is.

So, here's the hint, if you will.

If you quote a post (or a portion thereof) it will show up in the box where you are writing your reply.  You need to scroll all the way to the bottom and locate the closing "tag."  That tag will look like this:  {/quote} except that instead of {} will be [].  

You can start your reply after the ending tag (all ending tags start with a slash).

The forum software adds a number of blank lines after the last line of your quoted material.  This is what gets people into trouble.  I generally delete all the blank lines so the ending tag (/quote) is right at the end of the quoted material.  Then I add my reply.

Added value:  If you want to reply separately to each of a number of sections of a post, you can add quote and /quote tags numerous times.  Just make sure you add them in pairs.

I sometimes copy the opening quote tag, which includes the information about the original poster, then use that as the opening quote tag for each section.

So, a proper quote will look like the following before you hit the post button.  I'll again use curved brackets instead of square.

{quote}This is the line you are quoting from another post.{/quote}

And here is your reply.

This will look like this:

This is the line you are quoting from another post.

And here is your reply.

I realize that not everyone is a command line commando, but this simple fix will help reduce the confusion that occurs when someone's reply ends up within the material they quoted.  Sometimes it's not even at the end, but rather in the middle of the quoted post.

Feel free to use a portion of this post for quoting (highlight a line or two, then click on the "quote" button) and add a simple reply to see it first hand.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Monday, April 16, 2018 1:58 AM

   I wonder if part of the problem is that the Reply box is so small.   I might be a little paranoid, but I always start by going to the bottom right corner and stretching the box WAY down to be sure I see it all.

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Monday, April 16, 2018 2:05 AM

tree68
You can start your reply after the ending tag (all ending tags start with a slash).

The forum software should put the cursor in the post body box at the end of the endquote tag.  At least it does that for me.

tree68
Added value:  If you want to reply separately to each of a number of sections of a post, you can add quote and /quote tags numerous times.  Just make sure you add them in pairs.

If you select a particular part of the post you're replying to and click the "Add Quote to your Post" box, that part will be added as a separate quote with the cursor after the endquote tag.  That can be repeated as necessary, but make sure the cursor is where you want that quote inserted, I guess, because that's where the quote will be placed.

As Larry notes, some folks are quite adept at this, some not so much so, but it really is pretty easy.

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Posted by Mookie on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:04 AM

ChuckCobleigh
some folks are quite adept at this, some not so much so, but it really is pretty easy.

I'm confused.  I just click on add quote, highlight what I want to quote and then start writing after the 2nd quote indicator.  Then I do a post preview and if it looks ok - post it.  Are we on the same page?

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:55 AM

Mookie
I just click on add quote, highlight what I want to quote and then start writing after the 2nd quote indicator. Then I do a post preview and if it looks ok - post it. Are we on the same page?

   I highlight first, then hit the Add Quote.

   I remembered the preview function from many years ago and thought we had lost it, so I was going to ask you about it, but I started checking the icons and found it.   Who'd a thunk it would be a magnifying glass?   It's always been a problem with me when it comes to computers that I seem to be iconically illiterate.   All those little pictures just don't mean anything to me.

   Looks like I'm not the only insomniac wandering the forums.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:04 AM

Normally, I will write my response. Move my cursor to the top of my response and then hit the QUOTE button to bring in the material I am responding to.

The forum software adds lines to quoted items when they are brought into the new resulting post.  I normally go back and delete the added lines to make the entire post more readable. 

         

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, April 16, 2018 7:50 AM

It used to be that when you selected a part, or all, of the post you are replying to; and clicked "Add Quote nto your Post"; the quoted text would fully appear in the post composition box; and your cursor would be parked at the end of that quoted text.  Then you just type your reply without a need to relocate the cursor, and the reply naturally follows the quote and is desplayed as distinct from the quote when you post.

However, now, at times, when you select the portion of the post you are replying to and "Add Quote to you Post", only the cursor appears in the composition box.  As I recall, the word quote in quote brackets also appears with the cursor; just above the cursor; so it appears to be the normal function; except the quoted text is not displayed.  

So, it is natural to assume that your cursor is sitting below the quote and ready for your new text, just as it normally is. 

But actually the cursor is parked after the first quote marker rather than after the last quote marker.  So it is parked inside of the quoted text.  But you cannot recognize that because the quote is not shown in the composition box.

This has happened to me several times lately, and I only discovered it after making the post and seeing the whole thing displayed.  So I had to go back and edit it to correct the quote structure.

There was a time when I had concluded that this was happening only when I selected a portion of the text I was replying to for a quote.  So I got into the habbit of always selection the entire text, and then deleteing the parts I did not want to quote as it was displayed in the composition box.  This always avoid the problem, but it is probably due to the fact that you see the entire quote in the composition box, and where your cursor is located before you being the reply.

So I conclude that this quote behavior is due to the system radomly misplacing the cursor when quoted material appears in the post compostion box.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, April 16, 2018 7:54 AM

Mookie
Are we on the same page?

You're on exactly the right page - start after the second quote indicator...

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, April 16, 2018 7:55 AM

Paul of Covington
Looks like I'm not the only insomniac wandering the forums.

Actually, I was "checking in" after getting home from volunteering at the local PBS station.  At that hour I'm normally fast asleep...

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, April 16, 2018 8:59 AM

tree68

A lot of folks seem to have trouble using the quote function here on the forum.  This can make it hard to separate the original post from the reply.

By and large it appears the problem is that folks don't realize where the end of the material they are quoting actually is.

So, here's the hint, if you will.

If you quote a post (or a portion thereof) it will show up in the box where you are writing your reply.  You need to scroll all the way to the bottom and locate the closing "tag."  That tag will look like this:  {/quote} except that instead of {} will be [].  

You can start your reply after the ending tag (all ending tags start with a slash).

The forum software adds a number of blank lines after the last line of your quoted material.  This is what gets people into trouble.  I generally delete all the blank lines so the ending tag (/quote) is right at the end of the quoted material.  Then I add my reply.

Added value:  If you want to reply separately to each of a number of sections of a post, you can add quote and /quote tags numerous times.  Just make sure you add them in pairs.

I sometimes copy the opening quote tag, which includes the information about the original poster, then use that as the opening quote tag for each section.

So, a proper quote will look like the following before you hit the post button.  I'll again use curved brackets instead of square.

{quote}This is the line you are quoting from another post.{/quote}

And here is your reply.

This will look like this:

 
This is the line you are quoting from another post.

 

And here is your reply.

I realize that not everyone is a command line commando, but this simple fix will help reduce the confusion that occurs when someone's reply ends up within the material they quoted.  Sometimes it's not even at the end, but rather in the middle of the quoted post.

Feel free to use a portion of this post for quoting (highlight a line or two, then click on the "quote" button) and add a simple reply to see it first hand.

 



     It took forever and a lot of coaching from other members to teach me how to quote things. I still screw up about 1 in 10 and have to go back and fix them. Dunce

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Posted by gregc on Monday, April 16, 2018 10:25 AM

Paul of Covington
I highlight first, then hit the Add Quote.

sometimes this doesn't include all of the selected text and the end {/quote}

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, April 16, 2018 11:46 AM

It is unclear what the problem is.  But, I suspect it is quoting out of thin air.

Let’s say a thread has 20 posts, and the post you want to quote is post No. 13.  Press REPLY FROM THAT 13TH POST, not just a new one anywhere else.  That should solve the problem.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, April 16, 2018 11:50 AM

Euclid
But you cannot recognize that because the quote is not shown in the composition box.

If the quoted text is not visible in the composition box, highlight everything in the box (including what you can't see) and change the font and/or the color.  I've had the same problem and that solution always works for me.

So I conclude that this quote behavior is due to the system radomly misplacing the cursor when quoted material appears in the post compostion box.

Could be - I think there's a hiccup in the forum software that turns portions of the text into unreadable characters.  I've had a similar phenomenon without including a quote - nothing I type shows up in the composition box.  So I keep typing, highlight it all, and make my usual changes in typeface and color.  Voila!  My entry appears!  Then I get to fix my typos...

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, April 16, 2018 11:54 AM

Murphy Siding
It took forever and a lot of coaching from other members to teach me how to quote things. I still screw up about 1 in 10 and have to go back and fix them.

That (in general - not picking on any one person) is why I posted this.  Everyone wants to make good posts - sometimes it's just a matter of not understanding how the coding works.   The blank lines are an issue in many, if not most, cases. 

I've done computer programming and written web pages.  That doesn't make me any better then anyone else - it just means I understand how it works.  Much like someone asking their mechanic neighbor how to fix something.

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, April 16, 2018 12:32 PM

tree68
 
Euclid
But you cannot recognize that because the quote is not shown in the composition box.

 

If the quoted text is not visible in the composition box, highlight everything in the box (including what you can't see) and change the font and/or the color.  I've had the same problem and that solution always works for me.

 

 

 

Regarding my comment as follows:

“But actually the cursor is parked after the first quote marker rather than after the last quote marker.  So it is parked inside of the quoted text.  But you cannot recognize that because the quote is not shown in the composition box.”

When I say the quote is not shown in the composition box, I don’t mean that it is invisible.  I mean the quote is there in the box, but it is not scrolled into position to show in the viewing window.  So if you just arrow down, it will reveal the quote by bringing it into the view window.

But the normal operation is for the system to park the quote at the top of the composition box and leave your cursor sitting below that quote and ready for your response.  

In the malfunction that I am talking about, the system parks the quote below the viewing window of the composition box, and only leaves the word “quote” visible as an indicator that your quote has been place. 

The fact that the quote is not actually visible should signal that something is wrong, but a person can overlook that because they see the word “quote” indicating that the quote has been placed.  But the word “quote” that they see is the quote start marker; whereas they assume that it is the end marker, which would be normal operation.

So then a person just starts writing their text, thinking they are below the quote (as they type below a “quote” marker), but they are actually typing below the top quote marker instead of the bottom quote marker.  And because they don’t see the actual quote text, they don’t realize that they are adding their message to appear as being a part of the quote.

This problem would be easy to overcome if a person just scrolled the post composition box to make sure they know where the quote text is hiding.  But that should not be necessary if the quote function were working normally.  When it is, the quote is plainly displayed automatically in the text composition box.  But when that does not happen, it becomes a natural trap to cause a person to inadvertently add their text to the quote instead of posting their message independent of the quote. 

As I mentioned, this seems to be a random malfunction of the system software.  I think it began generally, approximately 4-5 months ago.  Perhaps it corresponds to a significant number of changes that seem to have been made starting about that same time.  I don’t recall this quote problem ever happening prior to that time.

I have not seen the problem you are referring to where the text is actually invisible such as typing and seeing nothing show.  But I have had some other variations of quote problems.  Generally, they result in quoted text showing, but without the identification of the author.  But these things get very complicated to even observe and document in their full detail. 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, April 16, 2018 2:12 PM

tree68

 

 
Murphy Siding
It took forever and a lot of coaching from other members to teach me how to quote things. I still screw up about 1 in 10 and have to go back and fix them.

 

That (in general - not picking on any one person) is why I posted this.  Everyone wants to make good posts - sometimes it's just a matter of not understanding how the coding works.   The blank lines are an issue in many, if not most, cases. 

I've done computer programming and written web pages.  That doesn't make me any better then anyone else - it just means I understand how it works.  Much like someone asking their mechanic neighbor how to fix something.

VERY HELPFUL, Information,  ! Thumbs UpThumbs Up Thanks for posting!  Yeah

 

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:22 PM

Something else that I noticed starting at about the same time, a few months ago, was a change in formatting 'nested' quotes in the text that is pasted in using the 'quote' function.  This may be related to the quirk which fails to render 'smiley' emoticons correctly in quoted text.

In BBcode, nested quotes are each delimited by quote and /quote tags, but the 'streamlined' version simply uses fixed indent ... the problem being that attempting to type text in the 'indented' sections screws up the autoformatting that renders them as nested. 

Where this becomes a specific issue for me is that, when I quote a whole section or prior post, I carefully remove all the excess space and lines that the forum software worthlessly injects.  If I delete one too many spaces toward the indented part, the indent formatting becomes lost and I have to use the 'undo' function to get back and try again.  On a phone, where there is no 'forward delete' key and the formatting is, to put things bluntly, primitive, it can be tedious at best to edit quote layout coherently, but I think it is still well worthwhile to try.

The alternative is to go in and insert quote and /quote tags manually for the "indented" sections (and, not incidentally, 'snip' the quoted sections for best context) to get things to read correctly.  That may mean repeated use of the 'edit' function to get things to read coherently or as intended.  Note that there is special syntax involved in getting the "author" to display; not everyone here has realized that any text can be typed in, not just a username or 'handle'. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:27 PM

Note that here is Euclid's previous post, edited as it 'should be' to remove the misformatting if it were to be quoted in full:

Euclid
tree68
Euclid

If the quoted text is not visible in the composition box, highlight everything in the box (including what you can't see) and change the font and/or the color.  I've had the same problem and that solution always works for me.

Regarding my comment as follows:

“But actually the cursor is parked after the first quote marker rather than after the last quote marker.  So it is parked inside of the quoted text.  But you cannot recognize that because the quote is not shown in the composition box.”

When I say the quote is not shown in the composition box, I don’t mean that it is invisible.  I mean the quote is there in the box, but it is not scrolled into position to show in the viewing window.  So if you just arrow down, it will reveal the quote by bringing it into the view window.

But the normal operation is for the system to park the quote at the top of the composition box and leave your cursor sitting below that quote and ready for your response.  

In the malfunction that I am talking about, the system parks the quote below the viewing window of the composition box, and only leaves the word “quote” visible as an indicator that your quote has been place. 

The fact that the quote is not actually visible should signal that something is wrong, but a person can overlook that because they see the word “quote” indicating that the quote has been placed.  But the word “quote” that they see is the quote start marker; whereas they assume that it is the end marker, which would be normal operation.

So then a person just starts writing their text, thinking they are below the quote (as they type below a “quote” marker), but they are actually typing below the top quote marker instead of the bottom quote marker.  And because they don’t see the actual quote text, they don’t realize that they are adding their message to appear as being a part of the quote.

This problem would be easy to overcome if a person just scrolled the post composition box to make sure they know where the quote text is hiding.  But that should not be necessary if the quote function were working normally.  When it is, the quote is plainly displayed automatically in the text composition box.  But when that does not happen, it becomes a natural trap to cause a person to inadvertently add their text to the quote instead of posting their message independent of the quote. 

As I mentioned, this seems to be a random malfunction of the system software.  I think it began generally, approximately 4-5 months ago.  Perhaps it corresponds to a significant number of changes that seem to have been made starting about that same time.  I don’t recall this quote problem ever happening prior to that time.

I have not seen the problem you are referring to where the text is actually invisible such as typing and seeing nothing show.  But I have had some other variations of quote problems.  Generally, they result in quoted text showing, but without the identification of the author.  But these things get very complicated to even observe and document in their full detail.

In order to get the nesting to work correctly, I had to delete exactly three 'spaces' between the end of each tag and the beginning of the 'nested' entry underneath.  Fewer and there remained too much space; more, and the nesting is destroyed (with all the text running together in the "quoted" box).

Finicky experimentation, and liberal use of the 'undo' function as soon as a problem is noted, are necessary.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:32 PM

And here is Sam's most recent, as I would have prepared it for quoting, similarly reformatted for 'sense' (but without doing any tinkering with the varying fonts different posters used).  Note that Sam started typing his reply within the block of text tree68 was using, so his reply did not come out separate from the inline quote even though he had a correct /quote inserted for him several lines down...

samfp1943
tree68
Murphy Siding

That (in general - not picking on any one person) is why I posted this.  Everyone wants to make good posts - sometimes it's just a matter of not understanding how the coding works.   The blank lines are an issue in many, if not most, cases. 

I've done computer programming and written web pages.  That doesn't make me any better then anyone else - it just means I understand how it works.  Much like someone asking their mechanic neighbor how to fix something.

VERY HELPFUL, Information Thanks for posting! Thumbs UpThumbs Up Yeah

Note also that I had to manually insert the correct BBcode for the three emoticons at the end, as the forum software helpfully converted them to links.  (The sense of which escapes me...)

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:56 PM

Paul of Covington
I might be a little paranoid, but I always start by going to the bottom right corner and stretching the box WAY down to be sure I see it all. Add Quote to your Po

+1

 

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:57 PM

tree68
tree68 wrote the following post 4 hours ago: EuclidBut you cannot recognize that because the quote is not shown in the composition box. If the quoted text is not visible in the composition box, highlight everything in the box (including what you can't see) and change the font and/or the color. I've had the same problem and that solution always works for me.

This is an experiment.  The above quote is of Tree68 replying to me by quoting me.  I made this test by selecting a part of his complete comment in his orginal post.  So this is a partial selection of his post, not the entire text.

You can see that when selecting my quote together with his reply to it, it comes through combined so that it appears as one quote by Tree rather than a statement by me and a reply by Tree. 

At first, I had this happen when I made an above post of the same quote.  But I saw that it was setting up wrongly, so I quoted his entire text of the post as the quote, and they went back and deleted all but the part I wanted to keep.  That correctly separated my comment from his reply.  But you can see that there is still a formatting issue as Overmod pointed out. 

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Posted by LithoniaOperator on Monday, April 16, 2018 5:14 PM

It helps, IMO, to delete from the quote everything that is not precisely what you are responding to. Now, would some say, "Hey, you are taking things out of context?" Yeah, probably. But in most cases, a lot of the context is not needed.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, April 16, 2018 5:34 PM

Paul of Covington

   I wonder if part of the problem is that the Reply box is so small.   I might be a little paranoid, but I always start by going to the bottom right corner and stretching the box WAY down to be sure I see it all.

 

You can enlarge the Reply box to full page.  The icon with the four arrows.  When you're done writing, minimize it back to normal to post.  At least I have to do that.

I discovered it by accident a while back.   

Jeff

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:08 PM

Paul of Covington

   ......I might be a little paranoid, but I always start by going to the bottom right corner and stretching the box WAY down to be sure I see it all.

 

   Not me by gosh! I just start typing with the ol' brain on autopilot and then hit submit your post. Then, because I might be a little paranoid, I try to remember to check what I have posted. Then, I go back and fix it. It's not the best system, but it's a system.Blindfold

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:12 PM

Mookie

 

 
ChuckCobleigh
some folks are quite adept at this, some not so much so, but it really is pretty easy.

 

I'm confused.  I just click on add quote, highlight what I want to quote and then start writing after the 2nd quote indicator.  Then I do a post preview and if it looks ok - post it.  Are we on the same page?

 

Well, that depends. What page are you on? What does your comment above that I highlighted in red mean?Confused

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Posted by Mookie on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:51 PM

Murphy Siding
highlight what I want to quote

See - I did it again.  

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Posted by Mookie on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:52 PM

Murphy - it is simple copy and paste.  I am not sure what all the feather flapping is about.  

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Monday, April 16, 2018 7:09 PM

Murphy Siding
I'm confused. I just click on add quote, highlight what I want to quote and then start writing after the 2nd quote indicator. Then I do a post preview and if it looks ok - post it. Are we on the same page?

Mookie... I think it has to do with the order of the instructions in your post... you say you click on the button, then you say you highlight what you want to quote... that is backwards.  First you click the mouse (and hold the mouse button down) at the beginning of what you want to quote in your reply, and move the mouse to the end of what you want to quote and then let up on the button (i.e.: you Hightlight it).  Then you click the "Add Quote to your Post" button.  This then copies just the text you highlighted to the reply box with the appropriate tags to make it show as a quoted text from a post by someone else.

Also there is an overload of the use of the word Highlight... for some that means marking a section of text to be in a color other than the normal black or to make it Bold or Italic or Underlined or any combination of "other than normal".  For others it means what I described above to select a section of text by a "click and drag" of the mouse.

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, April 16, 2018 7:59 PM

A Magic Pixie
This is an experiment. The above quote is of Tree68 replying to me by quoting me. I made this test by selecting a part of his complete comment in his orginal post. So this is a partial selection of his post, not the entire text. You can see that when selecting my quote together with his reply to it, it comes through combined so that it appears as one quote by Tree rather than a statement by me and a reply by Tree. At first, I had this happen when I made an above post of the same quote. But I saw that it was setting up wrongly, so I quoted his entire text of the post as the quote, and they went back and deleted all but the part I wanted to keep. That correctly separated my comment from his reply. But you can see that there is still a formatting issue as Overmod pointed out.

 

You still have to pay attention to formatting.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    June, 2001
  • From: US
  • 13,488 posts
Posted by Mookie on Monday, April 16, 2018 8:53 PM

Actually, I hit reply to post first.  Then hold down left button and highlight what I want to quote.  

Semper Vaporo
First you click the mouse (and hold the mouse button down) at the beginning of what you want to quote in your reply,
as I did here.  Then I go up to the magnifier and check the looks and spelling in the new post.  Next step is to hit submit reply.  

She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

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