In order to reply to a message, you must be viewing the message details. (See the Viewing a Message help file for more information.) To reply to the message, click the "Reply" link in the Utility Bar. Figure 1 shows the form for replying to a message.

Reply to an Existing Message
Figure 1: Reply to an Existing Message

As with the form for Starting a New Thread, users who are not logged in will be required to enter their first name, last name, and email address (if the forum is open to users who are not logged in). The Subject field will default to the subject of the message that is being replied to prefixed by "Re:" to show that the message is a reply. If the default subject is not suitable, it can be changed to whatever the user wishes.

The Body field will contain the body of the message. This way, you can insert your reply between various segments of the message so that it is clear that you are replying to certain parts of the message. Also, if the entire body of the message is not needed, you can delete whichever parts are not needed, leaving only the relevant parts of the message. This also helps to keep your reply shorter, which makes it easier for other users to read and to see what new comments you have added and what parts of the message they relate to.

If you are logged in, you will notice that there is an additional option below the "Body" field. If you leave the "Monitor this thread" checkbox checked, an email will be sent to you whenever a new message is added to this thread. This way, you don't have to continuously come back to the Forums tool to see if there has been a response; you can simply check your email.

Note: Some forums are moderated. This means that after a message is added, it will not be visible until the Section Owner or one of the section's Tool Managers has read the message and made it visible within the forum. If you are starting a new thread or replying to an existing message and the forum is moderated, a notice will be displayed at the bottom of the form.