Hints and tips for making your first post/posting your first question

Dear @team,

The most frequent reply on questions of first-time posters might be “Please post a representative image” followed by “Please post an annotated version of this, indicating what solution you are after”.

It would save a lot of people a lot of time if there were a pinned topic of this nature, just below the pinned general introduction and description of the forum’s purpose.

What is the general opinion on this?

Kind regards,


Hey @eljonco,

you are sooo right! Maybe we can combine efforts - I recently suggested changing the welcome page for similar reasons.

Would you have a kind, short and concise way of telling the users how to formulate questions and what to provide?

Again :heart: for your initiative!


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One potential thing we may want to consider is that in general, we disallow posters from posting images on their first post- this a bot/spam/troll deterrent primarily.

We could consider changing that policy - it’s a setting, so it can be changed. Otherwise, we should definitely instruct people to make initial posts a 2 part thread- the first with the description of their issue, the second with the pictures.


I updated the Welcome page post to reflect this:


I’d be hesitant to change the settings at the moment… things have been working pretty well thus far. If a major issue arises - we can definitely adapt the settings and our policy. For now - perhaps it’s best as-is?


I agree, not advocating, just raising the idea!

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Hi @eljonco, thanks for your initiative!

There also was this discussion in the past (where you participated):

and the topic template suggestion here:

Unfortunately, nobody follow up on this so far, likely because none of the @admins had time to make this a priority :slightly_frowning_face:

Do we? As far as I can see, the newuser max images setting is set to 5:

If it’s true that newly registered users cannot post images in their very first post, we definitely should change that, in my opinion.


To help motivate us, I added a rather poor topic template for the Image Analysis category, which everyone will see now when they click “New Topic” for that category. You (yes, you, fellow admin! :wink:) can edit it by going to https://forum.image.sc/c/6 and clicking the Edit button then the Topic Template tab. Please make it better! We should also make one for Usage & Issues, since good bug reports help a lot.


Awesome! Templates make so much sense :exploding_head:

Thanks @ctrueden :star_struck:

I don’t remember that being set to 5, and it’s flagged as an overridden setting, but whether someone changed it today, last week, last year, I’m not sure.

I actually think we don’t want people to be able to post images on their very first posts, again for spam/bot/troll reasons, I would say this should be set back to 0.

Thanks for this post @eljonco.
@imagejan, or anyone else editing the topic template, two suggestions:

  • Reminding the posters that it is worth searching the forum for similar topics, I know there is one already in the Challenges section, but I think it should be highlighted at the start. Something like: Have you searched for your problem within the ImageJ forum? It is likely someone has asked a similar question before.

  • Include a link to BISE, Bioimage Informatics search engine either in this template or perhaps somewhere else as it gives users an opportunity to search and/or try different tools.

Hello Beth -

But if were set to 5 last year and nobody noticed, then maybe it’s
not really a problem, and we don’t need to make new users jump
through hoops.

Thanks, mm


Thanks all for the warm responses. The welcome message as updated by @etadobson reflects most of what I had hoped for. Concise and inviting to read more before posting.

A few things make me hesitant to tick its Solution box.
-The no-image-on-first-post limit (which gave me big frustrations on my first post)
-A ‘missing link’ in the text on the text original image file to a page that describes what we expect to be a useful sample (image) file.
-The use of the name tag in the html, so one can link to /18727#TipsForFirstPosting.

In support of @imagejan and @bcimini, to sort of convince @etadobson, and on my first point of hesitation, maybe the reward system of the forum software could reward new posters who have read the welcome instructions AND followed the suggested missing link above on what is ment with an original image, by allowing them to post an image in their first question. Alternatively, and this connects to my second point, maybe the system could allow to post only ‘best practices’ files on the first post. I doubt if bots are smart enough to in their first attempt both tag ImageJ/FIJI AND post a tiff format image…

The missing linked page would then describe the best practices of sample files for the application that was tagged. For example, to counter the often upcoming discussion on poor jpgs when using ImageJ/FIJI while tiffs are best practice, maybe workflow files in other apps, the use of the preformatted text tool on a macro tag. But I digress.

Pointing first time posters to the Welcome message, to the tips specifically, would alleviate my third hesitation.

Thanks again, all, for your opinions and help.

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