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Note: The following article applies to SMF 2.* and above.
In SMF, Permission Profiles are very useful, but they are very underused and misunderstood by many SMF administrators. A Permission Profile can be used to limit certain groups permissions in a certain board or boards. By default SMF comes with several default Permission Profiles, Default, No Polls, Reply Only and Read Only. SMF has set pre-defined permissions in these profiles that can limit what other groups can/cannot do in a certain board. The "default" profile uses the same permissions that are set under Administrator panel -> Permissions -> General Permissions, this is where all administrators set their default permissions for all groups. The "No Polls" profile will disable the ability to create or vote in polls for all groups other than those in the administrator group. The "Reply Only" profile will set a board to only allow users in groups other then the administrator group to only be able to reply in a board and not open new topics. The "Read Only" profile will allow users in groups other then administrator to only be able to read the topics and not do anything else. These default profiles are not editable or deletable by the administrator, they also do not include any permissions added by any modifications that are installed on the forum, therefore I do not recommend using any of the default permission profiles and recommend creating custom profiles.
You can see a screenshot of the Edit Profiles page below, this is where you can view the permissions for existing profiles and create new profiles.
It is possible to create custom permission profiles which can have almost an unlimited number of permission combinations in them. On the Administrator panel -> permissions -> edit profiles page you can create a new permission profile. To create a new profile you need to enter a name for the profile in the field "Profile Name" and select a profile to copy permissions from and then click create, once this is done you will able to edit the permissions as you wish to limit or expand permissions for one or more user groups.
Let's create a profile step by step.
1. Let's make a profile that will give moderators ability to announce a topic in one board, we will name the profile "Moderator Announce" as seen below and copy the permissions from the default profile. Once you have filled in the profile name and where to copy the permissions from, click the create button.
2. Now in the list of profiles the new profile will show up, as seen below.
You can now edit the profile by clicking on the name of it which will bring you to a screen that looks like the normal edit permissions page so you can change the permissions contained in this profile. To be sure you are editing a profiles permissions and not the default permissions, you will see the header for the permissions to include the name of the profile and not "default" as seen in the screenshot below where it says "Permissions for Profile: "Moderator Announce".
We will now need to edit the Moderator group so we can add the proper permission, so click on the modify link across from "Moderator (?)".
On the next page will add a checkbox for the appropriate permission, which in this case is "Announce topic". Then we will save the page by clicking the "Save Changes" button.
3. Now we will need to apply the newly created profile to a board, as it is now the profile is not attached to anything so it affects nothing on the forum.
You will need to go to Administrator panel -> Boards and modify the board you want to add the profile to. In this case will add the profile to the General Discussion board. On the next page as seen below we have selected the profile in the "Permission Profile" drop down and then saved the page. Once the page is saved the profile has been applied and the board that was selected now has the new permissions that the profile gives.
You can now at this point use a test account that is a local moderator for the board you added the profile to verify that everything is working correctly if you so wish. Congratulations, you have successfully created and applied a permissions profile.
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