The main areas of the entry form are the Title and Message boxes. These are where you enter your message. The title will appear centered as a heading above your message, and also as the description of your message in the list of all messages. Because of the latter, you should keep the title short and should not include HTML that might cause the list to be formatted badly. You can include mathematics in the title, but it's not a very good idea, as the font size will not match the title very well.
The Text and HTML checkboxes control whether your message (and title) are interpretted as plain text or text containing HTML commands. See the section on Text versus HTML for more details on the difference between these two modes.
The Process Math checkbox lets you indicate whether you have included mathematical notation in your message. When checked, the system will look for LaTeX commands within your message and process them to produce images that represent the mathematics you typed; these will be linked into your message automatically. It doesn't matter whether you have selected Text or HTML mode, you can use mathematics in either one. See the section on Mathematical Notation> for more details. Note that including mathematics will cause previewing and saving your message to take longer, as the system must call LaTeX to process the mathematics and convert the results to images.
If you are using HTML mode, then whenever you Preview, Post or Save your message, the system will scan your message for links to images and other files that you may have included in your HTML. If you have referred to such files, the system will prompt you automatically to upload those files to the server. (You should select the files you want to submit, and press the Upload button. If you leave some files blank, those ones will be ignored, but that means your message will have broken links or missing images.)
Any files that you have uploaded will appear in the Other Files list at the right of the form. You can add new files to this list using the Add button. This allows you to save additional files that the system doesn't realize are required (for example, Java class files). You can delete files byb selecting them in the list and pressing the Remove button. See the section on Images and Links for more information on how to specify these in your HTML.
[Note that if you delete an image file and then upload it again, you may need to force your browser to reload its images, as it may have cached the old version. If you think you have replaced an image and it doesn't seem to have changed on screen, try clearing your browser's cache and reloading the page.]
When you are ready to view your message, use the Preview button. This will show the message in its final form at the top of the page (leaving the rest of the form as is at the bottom of the page). You can continue to edit and preview your message until you are satisfied with it. When you are ready to make it public, press the Post or Save button (depending on whether you were creating a new message or editing an existing one).
At any time, you can press the Cancel button to leave the message as it was when you began editing it (or to cancel writing a new message). Note, however, that if you have changed the Other Files list, these changes are still in effect, and can not be cancelled.
The Clear button clears the Title and Message boxes so that you can start from scratch. Note that Clear does not affect the Other Files list or the settings of the checkboxes on the form.
The Reset button resets the Title and Message boxes to whatever their contents were when you last pressed Preview (or started editing the message). For example, this lets you get back your message if you have accidently deleted important content.
The Spellcheck button is not currently implemented, but will eventually mark the mispelled words in your message and offer you alternative spellings.