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Two interesting feature requests have recently been posted in the suggestions forum. They are not only interesting from the point of view of the functionality itself, but also from the point of view of finding an interim solution while waiting for the functionality to become available on the S(D)N site.

Auto signature

The first one is the request for an auto signature functionality within the forums. As Rich indicates, typing “Regards, Rich Heilman” over 12000 times is rather tedious. Therefore a signature – as long as it doesn’t contain any commercial messages – is a more than welcome addition to the forums. Having this same problem myself I’ve been searching for possible solutions. The easiest way is to create a file with e.g. notepad containing your signature. Save that file on you desktop and open it every time you start your computer (this can be done automatically). All you need to do then is to copy and paste it each time you answer a forum thread.

This is indeed a poor man’s solution and – since I’m in a good mood – I won’t charge you for that advice either.

The second option is to go for external software which can keep text that can be retrieved with the fewest keystrokes possible. Examples of that are the Clipboard recorder and the free ArsClip . Both work on the same principle of having a permanent clipboard which can be retrieved via a hotkey. These solutions may be out of the question if you aren’t allowed to install any software on you corporate PC.

I therefore fall back on a methodology I usually rely on when I need extra functionality in a site: bookmarklets. I’ve used this for the S(D)N site in the past for customised The Power of Print of web logs and forum threads. Bookmarklets are very useful for the auto signature functionality. 

Let’s have a look at the code.

We know that the forums reside in the isolatedWorkArea frame

var id=document.getElementById(%22isolatedWorkArea%22).contentWindow;

The textarea for posting an answer in the thread is called body01

var ta=id.document.getElementById(%22body01%22);

All we need to do now is to add our signature to the textarea, without of course deleting the answer that’s already been typed in

ta.value =

ta.value + ‘
Discover the new S(D)N search plugin for Internet

Explorer 7 AND Firefox 2 in

this The beloved in sweet harmonyweb


This is all that we need to do as such. There is a hidden catch though. If you execute this code as a bookmarklet, you will notice that the page will be refreshed. That can be fixed by using the back button. That isn’t a nice solution though, so we need to do something in the code.

First of all, you need to make a self calling function of the code. After that, you pass everything as parameters to the void function.

So the whole code looks like this.



ta=id.document.getElementById(%22body01%22);ta.value = ta.value +

Discover the new S(D)N search plugin for Internet Explorer 7

AND Firefox 2 in

this The beloved in sweet harmonyweb


Create a bookmark and copy the above code as

one line

in the location field.

Check it all

A second feature New forum feature is the ability to select all the watches in the Control Panel of the forums. If, like me,  you have a lot of items in the watch list, it might be interesting to be able to select all of them. It’s a bit unclear to me whether Roberto wants something for the delete and the save functionality. If so, I wonder if he wants to select both at the same time or separately.

  As you can see, there isn’t much code or effort needed in order to add some functionality. As with the print bookmarklets, it would be nice if the features were included as standard. Meanwhile, these bookmarklets can be handy as surrogate.

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