Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
Navigating around Writing.Com can be intimidating at first, based on the sheer number of items, activities, users, and features all available at your fingertips. This handy reference guide will help break down the site into some key areas of navigation.
Top Header Bar
In Full Site view: The right side of the header bar at the top of every page provides you with links to some key Writing.Com features:
Get Started: Link to the Writing.Com new member tutorial page with relevant links and instructions about how to quickly customize your account.
Writing.Com 101: Link to the comprehensive Writing.Com help guide (which you're reading right now)
News: Link to Writing.Com's official News & Announcements blog. An indicator shows whether new entries have been posted since you last viewed the blog.
Need Help?: Direct link to the site's Technical Support Forum.
Logout: Logs you out of your Writing.Com account.
In Mobile View: The small WDC logo and three-bar icon at the left edge of the header bar open the left navigation menu. The right side of the header bar contains icons for Email, Personal Newsfeed, Notifications, Messenger, and your colored Portfolio icon or Costumicon, which opens the right navigation menu.
Skin & Themes: Full Site View only. Behind the links along the top header bar, you will see a graphic image called a "Skin". These are dynamic images that you can change at any point during your visit to Writing.Com. Simply move your mouse to the left edge of this graphic in the header and you will see a small "SKINS" button pop out. Click this to open a menu which allows you to page through available Skins & Themes for your WdC pages. This is a fun way to decorate your space while you're on Writing.Com.
Left Column or Left Navigation Menu
The left column or the left navigation menu with the Writing.Com logo includes the following features:
The Writing.Com logo A graphic which can be set as a link to the Hub, which is the main site page, or to either the Community Newsfeed or your Personal Newsfeed. The Logo Link To: option is set in My Account/Account Settings under Site Display Options.
Search: A search form for quickly searching Writing.Com for items (content) by using keywords, genres and item types. The form has options to search your own portfolio, the portfolio of the current page, or the whole site. Select the search target area before setting the search options, since each option has its own settings. The default for searching the whole site is to search only reading-material items, so if you're looking a non-reading type of item, you must change the default setting. Searching a portfolio shows results in a fly-out area. Searching the whole site opens the main site Search All Items page in the current window to show the results.
Your Personal Links: Your portfolio cover and your primary account information are displayed. Your portfolio cover, your colored portfolio icon or Costumicon, and your handle each function as links to your Writing.Com Portfolio page. Edit Bio links to your Portfolio page with the manage tab area open. Your Community Recognition number is displayed in parentheses and it links to your Community tab. Your current membership status and expiration date (if you have a paid membership) link to the Writing.Com Shop page for paid memberships.
When viewing Blog items, an area is shown to display the Blog item's calendar and, if the item is assigned to the Blog tab, any Blog links.
The links in the following sections of the left menu have shaded icons to their left. Clicking the icon or the link title will take you to the indicated areas or open a submenu (indicated by a right arrow) with additional links for that topic.
Your links and menus:
Portfolio (a fly-out menu) with your item count in parentheses: The menu contains links to your main Portfolio tabs, manage pages, and some Portfolio tools. More tools can be found on the main Portfolio tab.
My Account (a fly-out menu): This menu contains links to your Account page tabs and all of the various features of your account, divided into sections for My Activity, such as Reviews & Feedback, Group Memberships, cNotes History, and Product Reviews; Favorites; and manage pages for such things as My AutoRewards, My PassKey Ring, My Summary Stats, etc. Some options may not be available at your membership level. A manage area for updating your Handle is included in the submenu. A Logout link is at the bottom of the submenu.
Email opens your Email page to your Inbox tab. An indicator shows whether you have new email since you last viewed an email page.
Personal Newsfeed opens the Newsfeed page to your Personal Newsfeed. On that page you can toggle to the Community Newsfeed and your Saved Notes listings. An indicator shows whether you have new notes in your Newsfeed since you viewed it last.
Notifications opens a pop-up window with a listing of recent notifications. An indicator shows whether you have new notifications since you viewed it last.
Points (a fly-out menu) with your Gift Point count in parentheses, contains links to your Gift Points Log page, manage pages for Bid-Click advertising and AutoRewards, pages related to spending Gift Points, informational pages, the Thank Anonymous forum, and pages for Merit Badges, AwardIcons, and Trinkets.
Messenger opens Scroll and the Instant Message Console or Extended Console in a pop-up window, depending on membership level. An indicator shows whether you have received new instant messages that have not been opened.
Notepad opens the last modified Notepad page. Click the + button at the right to open the Quick Note fly-out area for adding content to your existing Notepad page(s). The dropmenu in the Quick Note area can also be used to go directly to a specific Notepad page.
Blog opens your Blog tab.
Other links and menus:
Create New Item, which opens the create item menu area of your Portfolio tab. This area contains links to the create pages of each type of new Item, which are grouped by membership level. You can use the links in your own membership level and all levels below that. Your membership level may not allow you to create all item types. The beta drag & drop form for Static items is shown above the links. (The beta drag & drop form for Book entries is shown above the create entry form accessed within the Book item.) Each create item page has tutorial links in the upper right corner.
Read & Review opens a random item chosen by the system, with a Gift Point offer for a qualified review submitted within a set time period. See "Finding Items To Read" for details. At the right side, your reviews count in parentheses links to your Reviews tab.
Shop (a fly-out menu): The menu lists links to shopping and shopping information, such as the Writing.Com Shop, the listing of Member Shops, the Authors In Print listing, Product Reviews, and offsite links to WDC branded merchandise and Amazon.Com. Many offerings can be bought with either Gift Points or online with a credit card or PayPal account. You can also use Gift Points to purchase Merit Badges, C-notes, or AwardIcons.
Site links and menus, which will take you anywhere you need to go on the site:
Community (a fly-out menu): Links to all the available items and recommended activities on WdC, including the Community Newsfeed, The Hub, Activities, Contests, Newsletters, Blog Board, Plug Page, etc. The main site search page, Search All Items, is linked at the bottom of the menu.
Authors: The searchable Authors listing and related subpages.
Reviewers: The searchable Public Reviews listing and related subpages.
Bloggers: The searchable Blogs listing and related subpages.
Browse By Type (a fly-out menu): Browse through Writing.Com items by their type: Static Items, Books, Blogs, Forums, Groups, Interactive Stories, etc. This site search option is intended for reviewers.
Browse By Genre (a fly-out menu): Browse through Writing.Com items (of any type) by the genre options. Over 90 genre options are available, from Self Help to Sci-Fi, from Educational to Erotica, and everything in between. This site search option is intended for reviewers.
Writing Resources (a fly-out menu): The top half of this menu has general resources for writers, such as information about Copyrights, Editing, Literary Agents, Marketing, etc. The bottom half has Writing.Com-specific resources for writers such as About Us, Contact Us, F.A.Q., Getting Started, Tell A Friend, Testimonials, etc.
Writing.Com Tools (a fly-out menu): This menu has links to all site-specific information such as the site handbook Writing.Com 101, WritingML and emoticon documentation, a list of member Account Anniversaries, the Ideanary, Virtual Dice, Sitewide Statistics, and the main Help forums, etc.
Additional menus appear here for applicable members only:
Custom Links (a fly-out menu): A menu of personalized links to the pages you visit most.
Premium Plus (a fly-out menu): Allows you to manage your domain names, additional emails, websites and more.
Writing.Com Time: The current day, date, and time according to Writing.Com's official clock (U.S. Eastern Time Zone). This time is updated continuously.
Who's Online: A tally of the total number of users currently online, broken down by Members, Guests, and Total Online. This tally is refreshed every time a page is loaded.
Mobile View has these additional links:
Use Full Site. To toggle back to Mobile View from Full Site View, click the Mobile View link in the Bottom menu. (This link appears only on mobile devices.)
Zoom: Disabled/Enabled. The default is Disabled.
Logout. Logs you out of your Writing.Com account.
Sponsored Links: Three links from the Sponsored Links listing are displayed. These selections are refreshed with each page load.
The center space on each page is where the content of the viewed page appears. This is where you'll read the text of a story, the content of a message forum, the instructions for a contest, or your email inbox. The sidebars and header bar remain constant on each page; this center space is what changes with every page you visit.
Item pages have links in their header areas and below the item.
In Full Site View, the area above the header shows the owner's portfolio tabs from the left and at the right end, the gear icon which opens the Item Tools menu. Within the header, the top right corner shows the four icons for Reading mode, Print View, Favorites/Fans for that item, and Tell-A-Friend. The second or third line has a toggle switch Details/Hide Details for opening the bottom half of the header, which has additional information and links. At the left, next to the item's cover (or default cover icon) and AwardIcon (if any), the title of the item can be clicked to reload the (main) item page. The second line contains the item owner's userlink with left-click and right-click handle menus, and their Community Recognition number and Portfolio, Email and Favorite/Fan icons for the member. The content ratings can be clicked to open a pop-up with brief content rating information and links to the content rating documentation and "Content Rating Support" . The item type and genre open the respective Browse By pages. Below the item are the Review area (if it's not your own item) and additional links, along with a drop menu for setting your own content rating filter.
In Mobile View, item pages are streamlined. The portfolio tabs are not shown. The left side of the header area includes the cover, Awardicon, title, owner's userlink, and a Favorite/Fan icon for the item. The right side of the header area includes the gear icon, the content rating, and a toggle switch Item Info that displays header details about the item. Below the item are the Review area and additional links without descriptive information, along with the drop menu for setting your own content rating filter.
Right Column or Right Navigation Menu
The right column includes the following features:
My Favorites: A list of your most recently modified favorite items, which is updated with each page load or by using the adjacent refresh button. Clicking this header opens your Favorites. Your favorites open in a pop-up window if that account setting is enabled. If the right column is closed, clicking the Favorites icon opens your Favorites.
Icons at the right of the My Favorites title bar: Click the small refresh button to refresh your favorites without interrupting your current page. Click the clock icon (also shown when the column is closed) to toggle the site time display on or off. Click the >> button to collapse the entire right column and open up your center column workspace, or the << button to restore the right column.
Recent Items: A short list of the most recent items you've visited. Click Clear Recent to reset this area. Click the down arrow icon at the right of the header to open or close this area.
Sponsored Items: Displays two Sponsored items. The items are refreshed every time a page loads. Clicking on the header opens the Sponsored Items listing. Sponsored items are items that members have paid to have featured in this and other areas on Writing.Com.
Read a Newbie: Displays two items from new members' portfolios. The items are refreshed every time a page loads. Clicking on the header opens the Read A Newbie listing.
By Online Authors: Displays two items by authors who are currently online. The items are refreshed every time a page loads. Clicking on the header opens the listing of items by authors who currently online.
Bottom Footer Menu
Full Site View only. This menu includes links such as Refer a Member, Close An Account, the site policy pages, resources, documentation and help forums, and the site. The page load and server information are shown at the very bottom.
Emergency Links: Older browsers don't support the navigation submenus, but places like public libraries often still use those browsers. In addition, using an older computer with a significantly smaller screen or using zoom can move parts of the site pages off screen. If you find yourself stuck in such a situation, these links in the bottom right-hand corner are provided to allow you to access and use essential functions, and to logout safely. You might need to use a bottom horizontal scroll bar to see them.
Your username is a link to your main Portfolio tab.
My Account is a link to your main Account tab.
Logout logs you out of your account on that machine.
Writing.Com offers an incredible variety of activities, tools and ways to read and write. The site also offers an easy-to-use interface that may seem overwhelming at first, but becomes incredibly convenient and functional, once you know where to look.
When you are looking for site information about Can I or How do I do something, post the question in "Technical Support Forum" , or check these locations:
1. The navigation menus and point-of-use information, including ? buttons.
2. "Writing.Com 101" , linked at the top right, which has its own search bar.
3. The site announcement venues, each with their own search bar: the Site News blog (News at the upper right), the Support Notebook, and StoryMaster's Notebook.
4. Site forums, each with their own search bar: "Technical Support Forum" , "Non-Technical Support Forum" , "Writing.Com General Discussion" , "Suggestion Box" .1