In anticipation of us moving back to the vBulletin platform (it's coming...can you feel it?) I'm going to be posting a few "How To" articles to help ease the transition and also expose some more advanced features.
Here, I'd like to focus on explaining what some of the icons and buttons do when looking at the list of threads on a forum.
The thread view has 5 columns; I'm going to go out of order, because the 2nd column has a feature that will be useful to many of us.
contains the thread titles, usernames of the people who started the threads and a very useful button. On threads that contain posts that you have not read, you will see a small "down arrow" button. Clicking this button will take you to the first post in the thread that you haven't read yet (as opposed to clicking the thread title link which takes you to the top of the thread) which is probably where most of us want to go. Additionally, keeping your mouse over this column will show the first few lines of text from the first post.
contains icons that indicate the status of the thread. A lock means the thread is locked and no new posts can be added. An open envelope means the thread has new posts since the last time you checked it and a closed envelope means it does not. A full key to these icons can be seen at the bottom of the forum page as well:
contains information about the last post added into the thread. The Date and Time of the last post as well as the username of who made the last post. The arrow button pointing to the side in this column takes you to that last post.
Columns 4 & 5
are straightforward - showing the number of replies in a thread and the number of people who have viewed the thread (a nice new bit of info), respectively.