AO3 News

The number one topic for support requests on the Archive of Our Own is the 1000 work limit on search and browse results. This was an early stopgap measure to prevent the servers from going 'splodey, and initially it didn't matter much, because there weren't 1,000 works of anything. But nowadays, if you want to read, say, Stargate Atlantis fic, with over 10,000 works, clicking on "Stargate Atlantis" brings up less than 10% of the available fic. This is understandably annoying to our users!

Eventually there will be fixes to the 1,000 works cap; the problem is being worked on (as evidenced by the 502s, server-'splodeyness is still a concern). Until then, however, there are still plenty of ways around it! If you're a completist trying to see all the fics, here's a few tricks to help you out:

Sort by: at the top of every works list page for a tag (such as works in a fandom, e.g. Stargate Atlantis, or works for a character, relationship, or additional tag) there are various ways to sort. The default is by published date, descending (newest to oldest); you can also sort by author, title, or my favorites, hits and word count. (After the next code update, you'll also be able to sort by the date added to the site - this will make it easier to find works added to the site recently, but backdated to the date they were originally written.) This sort covers all the works under the tag, not just the 1,000 listed. If there are less than 2,000 works in a fandom, you can easily access all of them by reversing the sort order - e.g. click on "Date" and it will sort by oldest to newest, bringing up all the early stories you missed in the first run of 1,000. So I can browse the most recently published Homestuck, and then the earliest published Homestuck, and thus catch all of the 1,600+ HS works on AO3.

I like to sort by word count myself, since I like reading longer stories; sorting by word count in SGA, for example, gives me all the SGA stories on the Archive over 9,000 words. On the other hand, if I'm in the mood for something short, you can click on Word Count again, and it will sort in ascending order (smallest to largest), giving me 1,000 fics all under 300 words.

Obviously that leaves out a bunch of fics in the middle. But there are other ways to browse:

Tags and filters: AO3's tagging system isn't perfect but it's still awfully nifty and convenient now. You can access tags two ways - either by clicking on the tags themselves on any work, or by checking the filters on the right to combine tags (note that the "or" feature is a bit broken; "and" works fine though, if I only want to read mature-rated McShep.) Tag results can be sorted, same as described above (so you can see all the long McShep stories first). Tag results are still limited to 1,000, and there's far more McShep than that - but if you narrow the results further (say, filtering by AU) then you can see all 873 McShep AUs currently on AO3.

One thing to note when using the filters: the work counts you see next to a tag in the right sidebar only are counting the works in that first 1,000. So the numbers will be off - they might only show 300 works, but when you filter by them you'll get many more. So even if a tag only shows a few works, it still might be worth filtering by it. (Also, ways to filter by language and by complete vs WiP are coming soon.)

But wait, there's more:

Search & Advanced Search: Currently there's no way to negatively filter tags in browse (i.e. subtract a tag from results, rather than add it.) This feature is coming, but until then there are still ways to run a negative search, by using search - simply enter a search term with a hyphen before it. E.g. searching "Rodney McKay" -"John Sheppard" will find you fics with Rodney but without John.

In the search bar, a space will equal AND, finding works with everything entered. You can also do OR searches, using |, to find works with either one thing or another, and you can combine these. So searching "Alternate Universe" Homestuck | "White Collar" will bring up works tagged with "Alternate Universe" in either the Homestuck or White Collar fandoms.

The advanced search feature is even more powerful - as well as searching tags, titles, and authors, you can also search for specific word counts, hits, kudos, and date - including ranges, which is useful tool for finding fics in a fandom. For example, you can search for all Stargate Atlantis fics published 5-6 years ago.

The date tool is a bit clumsy for finding all the fics, however; the word count search is probably better for that. To bring up all the fics, start with a range, e.g. 0-200. Then, once you've looked over those results, increment it, 201-500. As long as the results it brings up are less than 1,001, you are seeing all works within those parameters on the Archive. In that way you can fairly quickly go through all the fic in any fandom, or for a specific tag or tags.

A couple of notes about Advanced Search - like the rest of AO3 it's in beta and has its kinks. In particular it has trouble with tags with dashes - if you search for X-Men, for instance, you noticed you'll get lots with X and no X-Men. To get around this, put the tag in quotes: "X-Men". Also keep in mind that presently, unlike filters, searching for tags only brings up works tagged with that specific tag. So searching for "Charles/Erik" only brings up a handful of fics, while clicking on the tag "Charles/Erik" brings up the wrangled tag Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier.

Hopefully this will help improve your AO3 experience! If you have any other tricks and tips, or questions about how to do any of this, please leave a comment below!

This is a modified version of an original post by Tag Wrangling Committee member X-parrot - thanks for allowing us to repost, X-parrot!

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Tutorial: Tags on the AO3 \o/

Published: 2011-09-08 11:40:51 -0400

The information in this news post is out of date. It is being kept for archival purposes. The Tag Wrangling Committee is working on new documentation that represents the current state of tags. You can view our current wrangling guidelines for more accurate information.

The tag system on the AO3 is an attempt to balance two needs that we feel are important:

  • Users should be able to apply any kind of labels they want to their works and bookmarks.
  • Users should be able to find, sort, and filter works according to tags.

"Tag wrangling" is the behind-the-scenes work that makes both of these things possible at once.

The first thing to know about tags is that all the fields at the top of the "Post New" form, everything before you get to the title of the work -- all of those are tags. A few of them have set values you can choose from (the Category, Warning, and Rating fields); all the others are free for you to type in whatever you want. Fandoms are tags, characters are tags, relationships are tags, additional tags are -- as the name suggests -- tags. The Archive software handles them all the same way.

Screenshot of the tags section in the 'post new' form, indicating that Ratings, Warnings and Fandom are required tags, while Category, Relationship, Character and Additional are optional tags

Since they're free-form text boxes, there's a lot of variation in what people put in, even when they're talking about the same thing. We encourage that variety! You're always welcome to use whatever form you want on your tags. But while other fans are likely to know that "Gurren Lagann" is the same series as "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann," or that "SPN" is an abbreviation for "Supernatural," the Archive software doesn't know that automatically. This is where tag wranglers come in!

The tag wranglers' job is to look at all the new tags on the Archive, figure out how they relate to each other, and link them up behind the scenes so that somebody looking for works about a specific thing can find all the works on the Archive without having to look separately for all the different variations. Wranglers have guidelines to make the standardized forms of tags that show up in the auto-complete and the filters, but you should always feel free to use whatever forms you like best: the point of tag wrangling is that users shouldn't have to use any standard forms. For tag-filtering to be possible, the Archive requires some kind of standard form; the forms wranglers have worked out are intended to be as clear as possible for as many users, and are adjusted the more tags we get, as we see how users create and use tags.

Tag wranglers make three kinds of linking. The first kind, synonyms, is pretty self-explanatory; it's hooking tags to the standardized form of the tag, so "Snarry" and "Harry/Snape" are both synonyms of "Harry Potter/Severus Snape". Clicking on any of those tags will bring up the same list of works.

The second kind, metatags, can get confusing (and sometimes leads to users asking "Why does this tag show up in the filters?"). A metatag looks the same as any other tag, but it can call up other filterable tags. You'll see this in fandom tags like "Batman - All Media Types," which is a metatag for "Batman (Comics)" as well as "Batman (Nolan movies)" and all the other kinds of Batman canon. Clicking on the "Batman - All Media Types" tag displays works that use any of its included tags -- so if you've posted a story tagged "Batman (Comics)," it will turn up in filters when somebody is looking for just comics-verse Batman works and also when somebody is looking for all Batman-related works of any kind. Unlike synonyms, metatags only work in one direction, so someone looking only for comics-verse Batman will not see works tagged for Batman movies.

The third kind is currently not visible to users, though as our fabulous coders keep working on improvements, that should change: behind the scenes, tags in different categories get attached to each other, making a map of how they all relate. The Archive knows, for example, that the relationship tag "Zack Fair/Cloud Strife" is related to the character tags "Zack Fair" and "Cloud Strife," and that the additional tag "Community: badbadbathhouse" belongs with the fandom tag "Persona 4." Right now that's just back-end information that the wranglers organize, but we're looking forward to the upgrades that will let everyone use this information for browsing.

All sorts of tag linking are trickier in the Additional Tags field, because it's more debatable what things should be attached to each other, and it's harder to see what other related tags might already be floating around the Archive (as of July 2011, there are over 25,000 not-fandom-specific Additional Tags -- that's a lot to keep track of!). The tag wranglers do their best, but if you find tags that aren't connected where you think they should be, or something that is connected where you think it shouldn't be, please submit a Support request and the wrangling team will investigate.

If making your tags filterable is important to you, here are a few things you can do to make that easier:

    1. Use commas appropriately – use them only to separate your tags and not within the text you want as your tag, as the Archive treats a comma as the end of a tag. If you want to use more than one tag in a category, use a comma between them, including the names of fandoms in a crossover (enter each fandom separately).
    2. Use the tag categories as described above: fandom names in the fandom tags field, relationship tags (either pairings or platonic relationships) in the relationships field, character tags in the characters field. For anything that doesn’t fit into those other categories, use additional tags.
    3. Spell-check your tags before posting – you proofread your works, why not your tags?

For more information on tags, please see the Tag FAQ. If you're interested in Tag Wrangling, we welcome Volunteers!

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Tutorial: Participating in a Prompt Meme Challenge

Published: 2011-07-11 12:48:00 -0400

Please note: Prompt memes are still at alpha stage and are in active development, so you may run into bugs. We're also still refining the user interface. More improvements coming soon!

So you want to participate in a prompt meme challenge? You may already know the one you want; if not you can check out the list of currently open challenges (linked from the main collections index when you're logged in). If an open challenge is a prompt meme challenge you'll see that in the information listed in the information blurb, and the 'Sign Up' button will be displayed.

Screenshot of the blurb for an open prompt meme challenge, reading 'Testing Prompt Memes (testingpromptmemes) by mumble; Mods: Cesy, Tel; Summary: Signups close at: Fri 08 Jul 2011 03:00AM EDT (08:00AM BST); (Open, Unmoderated, Prompt Meme Challenge). A button at the bottom reads 'Sign Up'.

Signing up and leaving prompts

You must be logged in to sign up. When you select 'Sign Up' (on the index blurb, or from the collection page) you'll be taken to a screen where you can enter a prompt for the challenge:

Screenshot of a form headed 'General Information', with fields for fandom, characters, Image URL.

The exact details of this screen will vary depending on how the challenge has been set up, but you will usually need to enter a fandom and a description of your prompt. In some challenges, you may be allowed or required to enter a URL - for example, a link to an image for an image prompt.

Note: In all the fields except the URL and description fields, you will only be able to choose 'canonical' tags that are already in the AO3 system (the set of available tags may have been limited further by the challenge owner). These will come up in the autocomplete when you start typing.

You can choose to make your prompt 'semi-anonymous'. This means that your prompt will be displayed as 'anonymous'; however, since it will still be linked in the database with your username, we can't guarantee 100% anonymity - in some circumstances, such as a coding bug, it might be accidentally revealed or guessable. (We've put a lot of work into minimising the risk, but we want to be sure that our users are completely informed about their levels of privacy.)

Once you have filled in your prompt, you can add more. When you're done, press submit!

Managing your prompts

Once you have signed up and created some prompts, you can manage your prompts by going to the collection's home page, e.g. http://archiveofourown.org/collections/collectionname and accessing 'Your Prompts' (usually displayed in the left-hand menu). Here you can edit your existing prompts, add another prompt, or delete your signup.

Please note: Selecting 'delete' on this page, will delete your entire signup, including all prompts. If you want to delete just one prompt, go to the list of all Prompts (select 'Prompts' in the left-hand menu), where your prompts will display with a 'Remove' button next to them.

Browsing and claiming prompts

You can browse all the prompts in a challenge by going to the collection's home page, e.g. http://archiveofourown.org/collections/collectionname and accessing 'Prompts' (usually displayed in the left-hand menu). When you see one you like, just select 'Claim'.

You can keep track of all the prompts you've claimed in a particular challenge by going to the collection's home page, e.g. http://archiveofourown.org/collections/collectionname and accessing 'My Claims' (usually displayed in the left-hand menu). Beside each prompt you'll see a button marked 'Post to fulfil' - if you click on this you'll be taken to the 'Post new' form with the details of the prompt filled in.

Filling prompts

Once you've claimed a prompt, you can 'Post to fulfil' the prompt from the main Prompts page. You'll be taken to the 'Post new' form with the details of the prompt filled in. Make sure it has just the right box ticked - we have one bug where it ticks extra random prompts as well, which will be fixed in the next deploy.

If you go directly to the 'Post new' form without clicking 'Post to fulfil', you'll see your claimed prompts under the 'Associations' section. Just tick the one you are filling in order to post the fill to the challenge.

Anonymous prompt fills

If the challenge maintainer has set the challenge to 'anonymous', then when you post your fill to the collection, it will be displayed as by 'Anonymous'. However, please note that at this stage you should consider anon prompt fills to be 'semi-anonymous', and your identity may be revealed under the following circumstances:

  • The challenge maintainer can see your identity
  • An author search will reveal anonymous works which may enable people to guess what you wrote
  • A tag for the fandom you wrote the anon work in will appear on the list of fandoms on your user homepage, which may enable people to guess what you wrote.

We're working on introducing enhanced anonymous features, but in the meantime you should be aware of the above issues: if it would be problematic for your authorship of a work to be revealed, you shouldn't rely on the Archive's anon option.

Happy prompting!

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Tutorial: Setting Up A Prompt Meme Challenge

Published: 2011-07-11 12:47:12 -0400

Please note: Prompt memes are still at alpha stage and are in active development, so you may run into bugs. We're also still refining the user interface. More improvements coming soon!

A prompt meme challenge is a collection where participants leave prompts for other writers to use in a fanwork. It can be open or closed, anonymous* or not.

The basics

Getting started

To set up a prompt meme, go to the Archive's main Collections page. You must be signed in to open a new prompt meme challenge. Click on the "New Collection" button.

Required settings

You must pick a name for your new prompt meme. This will be the name the Archive associates with your collection. It is used in urls, so the name can only include letters (Latin characters), underscores and numbers.

You must pick a display title for your new prompt meme. This will be the title that is displayed to your users. This name can include spaces and non-Latin characters.

Optional settings

You may choose to upload an icon for your prompt meme. Icons icons must be 100 by 100 pixels in size. (You can upload larger or smaller images, but be aware they will be resized to 100 by 100.) They can be in jpeg, png or gif format.

If you want this to be one of a set of linked challenges, enter the name of a parent collection (must be a collection you maintain). For example, if you run a kink meme with several different rounds, you would create a collection called 'My Awesome Kink Meme' as the parent collection, and then make that the parent of subcollections 'My Awesome Kink Meme 2011' and 'My Awesome Kink Meme 2012'. All the rounds of your kink meme will then be linked together, and you can reuse the FAQ and profile from the parent collection instead of writing them again for each sub-collection.

Optionally, enter the email address where you would like to receive notifications about your prompt meme. If you don't enter an email here, notifications will be sent to the email associated with your AO3 account.

Optionally, enter the URL for a custom header image if you want one for your collection.

Choosing your settings:

Check the box if you want your new prompt meme collection to be moderated. You probably want to leave it unmoderated so you don't have to approve every new story. Don't worry - you can still delete stories that aren't appropriate for your collection.
You may change your collection's status to moderated or add a new moderator or owner later.

If you close the collection, no new stories may be added to your prompt meme.

If you check the box to make the collection unrevealed, works will be hidden until you reveal them.

If you check the box to make the collection anonymous, authors will be listed as "anonymous," but will be visible to you. (At this time there is no way to make a completely anonymous collection where even the mods can't see the identity of authors.)

To make your collection a prompt meme challenge, you must select "Prompt Meme" from the drop-down box labeled, "If this collection is for a challenge, please choose the type.'

Additional information

Optionally, fill in the text boxes (plain text with limited html) with your desired Introduction, FAQ, and Rules. You have 100000 characters for each. If your challenge has a parent collection, then it will inherit information from that for any of these fields that you leave blank.

Optionally, you may enter a custom message for the emails sent out with Gift Notifications - i.e. the notification users will receive when someone fulfils their prompt. You have 1250 characters. (There is also a box for custom text for Assignment Notifications, but these don't apply for prompt memes.)

Finishing your new prompt meme:

You must click the "Submit" button. If you don't, all your changes will be lost.
Not to worry: you can edit your prompt meme's settings later.

Once you click 'Submit', you will be taken to a second setup page where you can open signups and tweak the settings for your challenge.

Opening and customising your prompt meme challenge

Opening the challenge and setting the schedule

By default, your challenge is set as closed. When you're happy with your settings, tick the box to open signups. If you want to run the challenge for a limited period, you can close the signups again whenever you're ready.

You can enter key times and dates for your challenge - opening and closing times for signups, author reveals if applicable, and the deadline for responses.

Please note: Currently the dates are provided only for information. You will need to manually open and close signup.

Prompt settings

If you want to run an anonymous prompt meme, you can set prompts to be anonymous by default (participants can choose to deanon if they want to).

You can set a minimum of prompts per sign-up, and a maximum number of allowed prompts.

Request settings

In this section, you can set requirements for what prompts must include. By default, all prompts are set to allow one fandom, one character and one relationship, and allow a detailed description, but you can change these settings however you want!

If you'd like to allow or require people to include a url in their prompt (for example, you want to run an art prompts challenge where people link to the prompt images, select that option here.

Tag options

If you want to, you can define what tags people can choose from when making their prompts. These options are mostly useful for gift exchanges (where you want to be sure people are using a defined range of tags for matching purposes) - if you'd like more information on tag options check out the tutorial on setting up a gift exchange.

Signup Instructions

You can enter custom signup instructions to help people participating in your challenge. If you have edited the settings on this page - e.g. to require participants to give at least two characters - make sure you mention it here. You can also give separate instructions for prompt formats, if required.

The boxes 'Label to use for Prompt URL in requests' and 'Label to use for Description in requests' allow you to change those to say what you want people to use those fields for - e.g. linking to an image for an art prompt.

Finishing your prompt meme setup

Whe you're happy with your settings, hit 'Submit' and they will be saved. You can go back and edit at any time.

Congratulations! You have just started a new prompt meme. Enjoy!

NB: A note about anonymous challenges:

In order to track works in a collection, authors can always be seen by the collection's moderator and by the AO3 coders and may be accidentally revealed by a moderator error or software bug. The Archive currently cannot support a totally anonymous prompt meme.

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Tutorial: Styling works

Published: 2011-02-12 17:19:59 -0500

So you want to apply some formatting to your fics! You probably already know how to use some basic HTML tags to make stuff <strong>bold</strong> or <em>italic</em>. But perhaps you want something a bit more complex - a different font, or maybe a different color. You can do this by creating some custom CSS for your works!

Cascading Style Sheets are a way to style elements of your story (or any webpage) without having to mess with the HTML markup itself. Where you used to scatter <font> tags all over your code to make some text look like this and some like that, you would now simply assign names (classes or IDs) to parts of your webpage and do all the styling in a separate document (the stylesheet). The upside of this is that if you decide to change the look of your page, you don't have to comb through the HTML code and change all the tags, you can just play around with the CSS rules until you find a style you like.

As is so often the case, things are a lot more complicated once you really dive in, especially if you use CSS to position elements on a page, but this shall not concern us here. You will most likely use CSS to apply a little formatting to your fic that goes beyond the allowed HTML tags, which is what this tutorial will be about.

The Basics

You may have already used Archive skins to change the way the Archive as a whole looks to you when you are logged in. Formatting a work uses the same basic principles: to apply styles to your fics, you create a "work skin" and define what classes you want to use in your stories and what they should look like. And while the general archive skins only affect the user that created them, the styling that you define for your fics will be visible to all readers (unless they disable custom styles; more on that later).

There are three HTML tags you might need in your works:

<div> - creates a container for all sorts of content
<p> - wraps around a paragraph and creates a blank line before and after it
<span> - is used for styling some words or phrases within a paragraph

To apply formatting to your story, you assign a class name to the HTML element in question and create rules for that class in your CSS skin. That sounds way more complicated than it is, so have an example:

Under Dashboard > My Skins > See Work Skins Instead you'll see a work skin like this, with CSS rules defined.

Screenshot of a work skin, showing example CSS

The #workskin at the beginning of each line is an id, and is added automatically. It makes sure that the CSS can be applied to your whole work, and isn't applied to the rest of the page.

The words which begin with a period, like .align-justify are classes. These allow you to create a specific rule and apply it to a specific bit of your work. When you define these in your work skin they must have the period at the beginning.

When you edit a work, you'll use markup like this to apply the CSS rules in your work skin.

Screenshot of the edit work page, showing the HTML markup needed to apply the CSS

(Note: There is no need to apply <p> tags to your whole work, just add tags and classes where you need them and leave the rest alone; the parser should take care of everything else. The Tutorial on HTML Sanitizing and Parsing has more information on marking up your works; however, we are aware of some issues with how the parser behaves right now and are working on fixing those. If you run into wonky-looking text in your own stories, do a quick check if the paragraph in question starts with a <p> tag and ends with </p>. If not, adding those yourself will usually take care of the problem.)

Caveats

If you style a story so heavily that it becomes unreadable or if the reader simply doesn't agree with your font choice, there's a "Hide Creator's Style" button on top of each work that will strip out all bells and whistles except for the basic HTML formatting. CSS formatting will not appear in downloads (.pdf, .epub or .mobi files) either. Keep this in mind when you apply CSS to structure your story and make sure it doesn't fall apart when all CSS is stripped out.

CSS formatting is a great way to enhance certain elements of a story, such as letters in an epistolary fic or character voices in a story that's told from two points of view, but it shouldn't overshadow the actual contents of the fic. Sometimes you really just want a <strong> tag. Conversely, while there is an option to "Hide custom styles on works" under Preferences, which will hide all CSS by default, you might lose out on some really neat stuff if you never see it in action.

Examples

You can find an example stylesheet under Public Work Skins that comes with the most common formatting options already in place. Chances are, if you just want to change some text alignment or font colors, you won't even need to build your own stylesheet. Of course, you can also add more classes or create separate skins as you go. The world is your oyster! Just don't forget to pick the skin from the "Custom Stylesheet?" dropdown when you post.

Let's have a look at some CSS classes.

-

#workskin .align-justify {
text-align: justify;
}

This will make your fic appear as justified text, i.e. neatly aligned on both sides, if you do this:

<div class="align-justify"> Your story goes here. </div>

-

#workskin .font-serif {
font-family: Cambria, Constantia, Palatino, Georgia, serif;
}

This will make a paragraph appear in Cambria if your reader has that font installed on their computer. If not, it will try for Constantia and so on, until it has to fall back on that reader's default serif font, which will be Times New Roman in a lot of cases. To do this, use the following in your fic:

<p class="font-serif">Your paragraph goes here.</p>

-

#workskin .font-orange {
color: orange;
}

This will turn a word in your story orange for the following code:

This is an <span class="font-orange">example</span> sentence.

-

Achtung! Keep in mind that the parser will interpret all carriage returns as linebreaks, so don't use new lines to make the code easier to read for you. They will get turned into <br /> tags.

Where you can use CSS

You can use CSS to style the main body of your work, and in notes fields. You can't use it in summaries, because these show up in indexes, where user-input CSS is not supported. So, if you want to use styled text to include warnings or spoilers, you'll need to put these in the notes field.

Practical Uses

To see how this all works in practice, check out our example story Sliding Doors.

The default display for the work will show you the CSS in action, giving a two column display. If you click 'Hide creator's style' then the CSS styling will be suppressed and you'll see the basic text. As an added bonus, you'll also see the HTML tags which were used to style each bit of the text. The CSS style rules are at the bottom of the page, so you can see how these match up to the HTML and how they were applied to the work. (Note: HTML tags won't normally be revealed when the creator's style is hidden - this was achieved with a bit of extra CSS magic for the purposes of the tutorial.)

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Styling Works


Can I use inline CSS?

No, sorry. We've chosen to limit CSS to work skins in order to preserve the separation of style and content. By creating reusable classes for your fics you can control all your formatting in one stylesheet, and we can easily strip your CSS from a story (important for accessibility reasons) without interfering with the site caching (important for performance reasons). Everybody wins!

Do I need a separate skin for every work I post?

No. The formatting rules you define in one stylesheet can be used and re-used in any of your fics. However, if you have a series of stories that rely heavily on CSS for consistent formatting, it might make sense to create a separate skin just for that set of stories.

What if I never want to see styling on other users' works?

Check the "Hide custom styles on works" box in your Preferences. Alternatively, you can disable styles on a case by case basis by clicking the "Hide Creator's Style" button above the story header.

Will the custom CSS also be applied to file downloads?

No. The files you download (pdf/html/epub/mobi) will have no CSS formatting.

Tutorials and References

For more help on using CSS for styling, you may find the below sites useful. CSS is used to style all modern websites, so there are lots of resources out there (and it's well worth learning a bit about it).


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Tutorial: HTML Sanitizing and Parsing

Published: 2010-11-11 23:11:40 -0500

Along with the upgrade to Rails 3, there have been significant changes and improvements to our HTML sanitizing and parsing in Release 0.8.2. These changes should make things clearer for authors and much faster for readers!

Here is a quick breakdown for those who just want the highlights, followed by a more detailed explanation of what was changed and how it all works.

Highlights

  • Blank lines and carriage returns will now be converted to paragraph (<p></p>) and line-break (<br />) tags in the text editor.

  • The text will automatically be parsed and "cleaned up" -- any tags that were left open get closed, any mis-nested tags get fixed, etc.

  • The text will be sanitized, to remove any elements that are potentially harmful to our server.

  • This change fixes the known bug where switching from HTML mode to Rich Text mode causes all your paragraphs to disappear. (Yay!)

  • This change will also allow users to embed video from: youtube, vimeo, blip.tv, dailymotion, viddler, metacafe, and 4shared. (Yay!)

What's Behind the Scenes

The new back end for content works in three steps.

  1. There is now a paragraph-adder that converts blank lines and carriage returns into paragraph tags (<p></p>) and break tags (<br />) based on a few simple rules:
  • A blank line left between two pieces of text will be made separate paragraphs:
  • Here is paragraph one.

    Here is paragraph two.

    will become:

    <p>Here is paragraph one.</p>

    <p>Here is paragraph two.</p>

  • A carriage return or newline in the middle of text will add a break tag:
  • Here is a line
    with a carriage return in the middle.

    will become:

    Here is a line <br />
    with a carriage return in the middle.

  • We also will preserve extra blank lines -- if you have TWO blank lines in a row, we will add in an empty paragraph:
  • Here is paragraph one, and I want extra space after it.

    Here is paragraph two.

    will become:

    <p>Here is paragraph one, and I want extra space after it.</p>

    <p> </p>

    <p>Here is paragraph two.</p>

  • Note: The paragraph-adder will put <br /> tags at the end of each line whenever there is a carriage return, even in things like lists. So, if you have a nice chunk of HTML in your story that you coded up by hand like this:
  • <ul>
    <li>Item one.</li>
    <li>Item two.</li>
    </ul>

    You can avoid having <br /> tags added by putting the list into a single line with no carriage returns instead:

    <ul><li>Item one.</li><li>Item two.</li></ul>

  • The next step is a Ruby on Rails gem (basically a kind of plugin) called Nokogiri, which parses the text and gives it back to us as a well-formed chunk of XHTML. What this means among other things is that:

    • any tags that were left open get closed

    • any mis-nested tags get fixed (eg, if you do <strong><em>foo!</strong></em> Nokogiri will turn that into the correct version (<strong><em>Foo!</em></strong>)

    • any attribute values that aren't properly in quotes get fixed

     

  • Finally, we use the gem Sanitize to clean up this XHTML and take out anything that is legal but not necessarily safe. Sanitize uses a whitelist, meaning that only the tags and attributes we specifically tell it are allowed are let through. It's very customizable, and we have been able to write special rules for Sanitize to safely allow embeds of videos from specific sites (currently: youtube, vimeo, blip.tv, dailymotion, viddler, metacafe and 4shared.) Once Sanitize is done, the final version is saved into the database.

  • There is lots of documentation available on Nokogiri and Sanitize on their respective sites.

    What you see when editing

    • If you are working in a field (like content in the Post New Work form) that allows you to use the Rich Text Editor, the tags <p> and <br /> will show, because otherwise if you switch to the Rich Text Editor, it will do that horrible thing where your whitespace disappears and your text all runs together into one giant blob!
    • If you manually put in some <p> tags that had extra attributes on them, like "<p align=center>", the tags will show.
    • The <p> and <br /> tags will not show when you edit fields like notes and summary, however, where there is no option to use the Rich Text Editor.

    Here's an example of how the tags will look on content in the Post New Work form:

    Comment

    Tutorial: Skins

    Published: 2010-09-12 19:12:20 -0400

    Skins are here at long last! You can now choose how the Archive displays fonts and colours when you're logged in to your account. So, if you'd like a larger font, or you want lower contrast, or you just really love the colour green, you can tweak the Archive to look how you want it to look.

    Please note that the skin you choose only affects how you see the Archive, not how your works display to other people.

    What is a skin?

    A skin is a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) file that changes how a webpage displays in your browser. Skins change font size, font face, and display colours for each user, providing a reading experience customized to your wants and needs.

    Who creates skins?

    The Archive coders have a few site skins ready-made for you. You can also create skins for yourself (more details follow), and use skins created by users which have been publicly shared.

    How do I change my skin?

    You must be a logged-in user to use skins. There are two ways to change the skin you use for the Archive:


    • Go to 'My Preferences' under your user home. Under the 'Site Display' section there is a drop-down menu where you can choose from all approved and publicly available skins, as well as your own skins. Simply select the skin you want and select 'Update'.

    • Go to the Public Skins page where you can view all publicly available skins. Select the skin you want by clicking the "Use" button. The page will reload using the selected skin.

    How do I create a skin?

    Skins are created using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). If you've never used CSS before, fear not - it's easy to pick up the basics. We also have a Skins Wizard to help people who are unfamiliar with CSS - this is still in beta, and we'll be adding more options to this in the future.

    Creating a skin using Custom CSS



    • Go to 'My Skins' under your user home and select 'Create New Skin'. By default, you'll be taken to the page for entering Custom CSS.

    • You can use a limited range of CSS properties and values. The full range of allowed CSS is listed under the Archive Interface section of our FAQ, or you can select CSS help (accessible via the blue question mark) to access the list of allowed properties and values directly on the page. You can also use the Allowed Value Autocomplete to check whether a particular value is allowed - just start typing the value and see whether our autocomplete recognizes it. For example, typing 'lemon' will bring up the value 'lemonchiffon', one of our allowed colour values.

    • Your skin title is a short descriptor that lets you remember what this skin is like. You can enter more detail in the Description field. Then you input the CSS you want. You can also add a preview image - this is entirely optional for private skins, but you must include a preview if you want to submit the skin for public use.

    • If you check the 'public skin' box, it will submit your skin to be added to the site skins available to everyone. Our volunteers will check it over to make sure it is appropriate, and then add it to the public skins. Please note: Once a skin submitted as public has been officially approved, you will no longer be able to edit or delete it. Please be sure you are happy with this before submitting a public skin! Please also note that not all skins will be approved.

    • When you've filled in all your choices, select 'Create' to save your skin.

    • Once you have saved your skin, it will appear as an option in the drop-down menu on your preferences, and will show up under 'My Skins'.

    • Select your new skin as described under 'How do I change my skin?'

    • If your skin is not public, only you will see it in the drop-down menu in 'My Preferences', and only you can access it.

    If you need help writing custom CSS you can browse the code of existing skins under Public Skins to see examples of the kind of code you can use. There are lots of great general resources for CSS online - we recommend the W3 Schools CSS tutorials as a great place to start. There's also an unofficial AO3 skins community on Dreamwidth - check out [community profile] ao3_skins for other shareable skins and help and advice from other fans.

    Creating a skin using the Skins Wizard

    Please note: This feature is in extreme beta and lots more spiffy user-friendly features will be added in the future.

  • Go to 'My Skins' under your user home and select 'Create New Skin'. By default, you'll be taken to the page for entering Custom CSS - select 'Use Wizard Instead?'


  • There is a list of basic options which you can fill in to suit your preferences:



    • Skin title: A short descriptor that lets you remember what this skin is like.

    • Description: this is where you can put more detail about the skin.

    • Width of margins: This will set the width of the margins on works pages (i.e. when you are viewing a story). The default is 3 - using a bigger number will give you bigger margins, and a smaller number will make the margins smaller!

    • Font, with comma-separated fallbacks: This will set the font used for all body text (e.g. works, summaries, etc but not titles or headings). Just input the name of the font you would like to use. If that font is not installed on the computer you are using, then the Archive will 'fall back' to your next favourite font - either the next font in your list, or the Archive's own default fonts. For example, if you put 'Papyrus, Comic Sans' then the Archive will display in Papyrus if you have it, but if it doesn't find Papyrus on your machine it will display in Comic Sans instead.

    • Background colour: This will set the main background colour for the Archive, i.e. the main page colour. You can specify the name of the colour you want, or for more control use the hex colour code - the W3 Schools list of colour codes lists the most common of these.

    • Foreground colour: This will set the font colour for the Archive. You can specify the name of the colour you want, or for more control use the hex colour code - the W3 Schools list of colour codes lists the most common of these.

    • Relative font size: This will set the size of your font. The default is 100 - if you pick a number bigger than this, the font will enlarge. If you pick a number smaller than 100, the font size will decrease!


  • When you've filled in all your choices, select 'Create' to save your skin.


  • Once you have saved your skin, it will appear as an option in the drop-down menu on your preferences, and will show up under 'My Skins'.


  • Select your new skin as described under 'How do I change my skin?'


  • Skins created via the Skins Wizard cannot be submitted as public, so only you will see you skin in the drop-down menu in 'My Preferences' and only you can access it.


  • How do I add a preview image for my skin?

    Create a screenshot of how the Archive looks while using your skin and save it in PNG, JPEG or GIF format. Edit the skin and use the Browse (or Choose, in some browsers) button to navigate to your image. Click Update. The image will appear as a clickable thumbnail, leading to the original image.

    What happens when I submit a skin as public?



    1. The skin will be added to a list for review by Archive admins, and will appear as 'Pending approval' on your Skins page.

    2. An Archive admin will review the skin for security, accessibility, and innovation and decide whether or not it should be added to our range of Public Skins. Please note that skins will not be reviewed immediately, and not all skins will be accepted.

    3. The admin will decide whether to approve or reject your skin:


    • If they accept the skin, it will be marked 'Approved' on your Skins page and added to the range of available Public Skins. You will no longer be able to edit this skin. The admin may add a short comment which will also be visible on your Skins page - this will not be visible to other users.

    • If they reject the Skin, it will be marked 'Rejected' on your Skins page. The admin will usually add a short note explaining their decision.


    What if I want a particular skin?

    If you want a particular design for the Archive, you can create it yourself! If you don't have the skills, you can browse Public Skins to see if someone else has created something you like. You can also try asking at the unofficial [community profile] ao3_skins community for help.

    If you have particular accessibility needs which you think might be met by a skin, then get in touch with our Support team for help. (We can't create custom skins for individual users, but we are keen to develop skins that will address issues for groups of users, particularly where accessibility is a factor.)

    As always, if you have questions about how skins work or hit a problem, our Support team will be happy to help. Go forth and customise your Archive!

    Comment

    Challenges tutorial: creating and running a gift exchange

    Published: 2010-08-12 16:21:12 -0400

    Creating and editing a collection

    So, you've decided to run a gift exchange challenge. Awesome. Here's a guide to help you get started.

    1. Go to the Collections tab and click New Collection.

    A gift exchange is run within a Collection.

    New collection button, black text on white. To the left are Title, Date and Size buttons.

    2. You should see this screen:

    Screen headed New Collection, with suggestion text and a series of text boxes used to set up a new challenge.


    • Select owner pseudonym(s): Which pseudonym you'd like to be shown as the owner of the collection.

    • Icon: The icon (if any) you'd like to represent the challenge.

    • Parent collection: If this is a sub-set of another collection (for example, one year of a challenge that has been run for multiple years), enter the parent collection here.

    • Collection name: the name of the collection. For example, Annual_Example_Challenge_2010. This will define the URL (web address) of your challenge so there can be no spaces.

    • Display Title: For example, Annual Example Challenge 2010. There can be spaces here.

    • Email: If you've got a separate email address for running the challenge enter it here. If you haven't, by default email messages will go to the challenge owners.

    • URL for custom header: If you'd like to have a custom header for your challenge, enter the URL where the image can be found on either your own webspace, or that of a photo sharing site.

    • Brief description: A brief description of your challenge, which will show on the Collections main page and the Profile page.

    Series of tick-boxes with options for seting up a new challenge.


    • Is this collection moderated?: Tick this if you would like your collection to be moderated. If a collection is moderated any registered user can post to it, but all works must be approved by a moderator or owner.

    • Is this collection closed?: Tick this if your collection is Closed. If a collection is closed, no one can post to it. Remember to open it when asking people to post their works.

    • Is this collection currently unrevealed?: Tick when you would like to hide your challenge entries, untick when you would like to reveal them.

    • Is this collection currently anonymous?: Tick if you would like your challenge's works to be anonymous. Untick to reveal the authors of the works.

    • Would you like to show random stories on the front page instead of the most recent: Tick this if you'd like to show random works on the home page of the collection instead of the most recent.

    • If this collection is for a challenge, please choose the type: Select gift exchange from this drop down menu.

    The next three optional fields are where your Introduction, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and Rules can be entered. These will appear on the Profile page. However, the Rules and FAQ become their own menu entries on the left-hand side once entered so they can be easily found by your participants.

    Menu with Dashboard at the top in white on black text, followed by menu items, Profile, FAQ, Rules and Parent Collection below.

    Note: If you are creating a sub-collection these will be inherited from the parent collection by default, but anything you enter in this sub-collection will take precedence.

    Gift Notification Message: In this field you can create a custom message that will appear in the emails when works are revealed and participants are notified of their gift. This is optional.

    To alter these at any time go to the Settings menu item, or select the Settings button at the bottom of the Profile screen.

    Black on white row of buttons. Signups button to the left, with Challenge Settings, Settings, Delete and Delete Challenge to the right.

    Membership

    Depending on what sort of challenge you're running and its size, you may want to assign moderators and tightly control who can post to the collection. This is done on the Membership screen.

    To go there click the 'Membership' button on the challenge's dashboard or Profile page.

    Black on white row of buttons, Profile, Membership and Manage Items, from left to right.

    By default you will appear as an owner of the challenge. You can have multiple owners if there is someone or a few someones helping you run the challenge. Everyone you assign a role to must have an AO3 account. When you enter a name the site will search for AO3 user names.

    The roles it is possible to assign are:

    • Member: This person can post works to the challenge without prior approval.
    • Moderator: This person can approve/reject works, and add members.
    • Owner: The owner can approve works, assign pinch-hitters, and alter the sign-up form and FAQ and Rules fields. You can have multiple owners.

    • Invited: This functionality has yet to be rolled out.

    Note: By default, all registered users can post to a challenge, being a member of a challenge just means that they can post to a moderated challenge, and their work will be accepted without moderator approval.

    Sign-Up Form Settings

    To set up the challenge sign-up form go to Challenge Settings, this is near the bottom of the left-hand side menu.

    Menu with Dashboard at the top in white on black text, followed by menu items Profile, Parent Collection, Your Signup, Signups, Matching, Fandoms, Works, Bookmarks, Random Items, People, Tags, Challenge Settings which is highihgted in red with white text, and Settings.


    You should see this page:


    Sign up form headed 'Setting up the 2010 Example Challenge Gift Exchange. Below that is paragraphs of suggestion text and then a Schedule heading with a series of drop down menus with times.


    Schedule

    To set up the timings of your challenge, use the Schedule.

    Close-up of Schedule drop down menus with a sign-up open tick box at the top which is not selected.

    These times are only for information and will not automatically open sign-ups, close sign-ups or reveal works. This will all need to be done manually.

    The times will appear on the Profile page of the challenge.

    Sign Ups Open?

    The Sign Up open tick-box is where you open or close sign-ups. Leave this box unticked until you have your sign-up form ready.


    tickbox with sign up open? written beside it. it is not selected.

    Requests and offers

    Request and Offers sets the number of requests and offers you'd like the participants to use. You can set a required number (how many they need to have) and an allowed number (what is the maximum number they can have).

    Two rows of two text boxes with Required 1 and Allowed 1 on the top row, and Required 1, Allowed 2 on the second.

    In the example above, participants must be make at least one request and offer, but can make two separate offers if they chose.

    Then, you have to set the tag settings for the requests,

    A series of text boxes listing field names with a field beside each one for Required and Allowed numbers.

    and offers.

    Another series of text boxes listing field names with a field beside each one for Required and Allowed numbers.

    These will define what a participant's requests and offers can contain.

    • Optional tags: Click this if you would like to allow optional tags. These are tags that participants can add which will be matched on if possible, and allows your participants a little more flexibility with their requests and offers.
    • Details/Description: Tick Required if your challenge needs to include more details than just a relationship or fandom, and Allowed if you would like to give participants the choice to include more details.
    • URL : Tick Required if your challenge needs a URL (for example, where the participants works are archived) or Allowed if you would like to give participants the option of including one (for example, a link to a Yuletide letter).

    You can leave both of these blank if you like and select neither box.

    Now, you can define how many fandoms, relationships, or ratings participants are allowed to chose.

    To do this enter numbers into the required and allowed boxes. You do not have to fill in all of these, and if you are using automatic matching it will take a longer time to match them if you fill in too many.

    If you are running a challenge that is specifically for a given fandom or relationship or character, just leave that set of tag options set to no tags required or allowed -- don't put in that one tag as the only choice. Tag options should only be used where you want participants to have a choice.

    Next you can define what tags people can chose from when making their requests and offers.

    Seven text fields. Character, Relationship, Freefrom, Category, Rating and Warning are all blank, but Fandom has a series of fandoms listed in in separated by commas.

    In the example above, participants can choose from any of the fandoms listed in the fandoms field. Anything entered in these fields should be comma-separated and will auto-fill.

    Close up of Character text field. Buff is typed with auto-filled fields showing below listing, Buffy Summers, Buffybot, Pheobe Buffay ...

    Note: In all of the fields, you will only be able to choose canonical tags that are already in the AO3 system. If you wish to include a fandom, relationship, character or additional tag (freeform) which is not already in the system, please contact the Tag Wrangling Committee through the Support and Feedback form or via the Tag Wrangler's twitter account, @ao3_wranglers. When possible, the committee asks that these requests be lodged at least one month before opening a challenge, to give tag wranglers time to review and add necessary tags. The Committee can also add additional tags (freeforms) for members to add to their posted works as required.

    .

    The next set of drop-downs determined the minimum level of matching that must occur in each field. That is, how many characters or fandoms must match between the participants to consider them a match. The simplest option is to chose to match them on Requests, meaning anyone with a Request matches another person with a Request, but this may not work for more complicated challenge with a variety of different tags in use.

    Image:List of drop down menus with numbers for minuimum number of matches to make. List includes Requests, Fandoms, Characters, Relationships, Freeforms, Categories, Ratings, Warnings.

    If you leave a 0 in the drop down it will not match on this field.

    Note: the most options that are chosen here the longer matching may take, and the harder it will be for matches to be found.

    Optional tags: If you chose to use optional tags above, you can choose what field(s) they are used to match on if possible.

    Next are three fields which define the challenge-specific instructions that will go with the sign-up form.

    You can also change the labels for the URL and Description fields if you are using them.

    Three large text boxes, and four smaller text boxes for changing labels in Sign-up form.


    For example, as seen above, if you are running a challenge where participants need to provide a link to where their fic is archived, you could call the field, 'My fic is located at:.'

    Remember: check the Sign-Up Form to make sure it's working how you'd like before opening it up for people to sign-up for the challenge.

    Now you're ready to open the sign-ups!

    To do this go to the Settings menu and tick the 'Signups open?' tickbox.

    Checking the Sign-Ups

    You can check the sign-ups as they come in by going to the sign-ups menu item on the challenge side-bar.

    Two rows of light pink boxes in a table with a summary of a sign up going horizontally.

    Here you can see what participants have chosen.

    To make the list easier to navigate (especially if you have multiple requests and offers) you can hide the descriptions using the Hide Descriptions button on the top of the screen. To bring them back click Show Descriptions.

    If you need to contact a participant for any reason you can click the envelope icon next to their username.

    Close up of a particpants name called aworldinside with Edit and Delete links to the left and red envelope icon to the right.

    If for any reason you wish to edit or delete a sign-up use the edit and delete links on the left hand side.

    You can also download an Excel spreadsheet of the sign-ups. To do this click the Download (Excel) button at the top of the screen.

    Close Sign-Ups

    Since the dates on the Schedule are provided only for information, you must close sign-ups manually.

    To do this go back to the Challenge Settings menu and untick the Signups Open tickbox.

    tickbox with sign up open? written beside it

    Sign ups are now closed.

    Generate potential matches

    Now you have closed sign-ups, let's do some matching for your gift exchange.

    Depending on the choices you made when you set up the Sign-Up Form this may not be necessary, or you may chose to manage the assignments manually. If so skip through to Adjusting Assignments

    To generate matches go to the Matching menu.

    There will only be information here once you have closed sign-ups.

    Matching menu item selected to the left, with a matching screen to the right. Headings for Pseud, Giving Gift to, Assigned Giver, Potential Gifver, and Write in Pinch Hitters. There are nothing below them.


    Click Generate Potential Matches.

    If your challenge settings mean that you don't require automatic matching, you will get a warning that the automatically generated matches will be at random. Click OK if you wish to continue.

    Grey warning box with Blue circle with a white question mark to the left.


    Matching can take a while depending on how big your challenge is and the criteria you have set.

    You will receive an email when the matching is complete.

    The matching screen should look something like this:

    Pink table with partipants names to the left, with names under Giving Gift To, drop down menus under Assigned Giver and a link titled Show 13 under Potential Givers. A field titled Write in Pinch Hitter is on the right.

    Adjust assignments

    You can adjust the assignments in two ways:

    1. Automatically

    To automatically adjust the assignments click 'Regenerate assignments' and the matching process will be run again.

    White button with black text titled Regenerate Assignments

    Note: Depending on your matching settings, this might not make a lot of changes to your assignments. If you alter something on the Challenge Settings Page then this may make more of a difference.

    2. Manually

    To adjust the assignments use the drop down menus.

    Image:Pink table with Assigned Giver drop down expanded.

    Note: If you adjust the assignments, they will not readjust automatically so that each participant has another writing for them. You will need to check them manually (or regenerate assignments).

    To see all the potential givers for any one participant use the links under the Potential Givers column.

    Image: Pink table with two row showing. One has Show 13 link expanded to show a list of participant names.

    Clicking on a potential users name brings up their sign-up.

    Image: Series of black text summarising a participants sign-up.

    Once you have finished click 'Update Assignments'

    White button with black text titled Update Assignments

    If you have any participants who don't have an assignment, it it will show up under 'Missing recipients'

    Assignments screen with extra box at the top under Missing Recipients. Drop down menu with a participant highlighted in blue under Pinch Recepient.

    Use the drop down menu to select the recipient and click 'Update assignments' and they will return to the main table.

    You can also chose to write in a pinch-hitter in the right-hand field. Pinch hitters do not have to be signed-up for the challenge, but must already have an AO3 account.

    Send assignments

    Once you are happy with the assignments, to send them to participants click 'Send Assignments.'

    White button with black text titled Send Assignments.

    All of the challenge maintainers will receive an email when the assignments have been sent to all participants.

    Managing Posted Works

    Once the assignments have been sent out you should now see this screen when you click Assignments (which has replaced Matching in the side menu).

    Light pink table with list of participants on the right, red envelope icons, and then list of who they are writing for. Work info says not posted for all participants. Tick boxes with Default on all rows. Not eelected.

    As participants post works this will be shown in this table.

    Image:Work-posted.jpg

    If you are running a moderated challenge, each work will have to be approved by an owner or moderator before it can be added to the collection.

    This is managed through Manage Items, which can be found on the profile page of the collection.

    White buttons with black text. From left to right: Profile, Membership, Manage Items.

    Use the drop-down menu under Collection Approved to either accept or reject the work.

    Pink table with a series of entries called 'awesome chalenge agan.' Creator column says aworldinside, Member column is Y, Creator approved column says approved. Collection approved drop down says approved, Unrevealed tick box is selected. On far right are two links, Manage and Delete.

    You also have to option to Remove a work, using the option on the right-hand side and to keep a work unrevealed from the rest of the collection using the Unrevealed tickbox.

    Works, once they are accepted, will be added to the collection (but will remain hidden until you reveal them) as well as any by users who are Members of the challenge and have therefore been pre-approved to post to it.

    If you are not running a moderated challenge, the works will be added to the collection automatically.

    Managing Defaulters

    If a participant has defaulted, use the tick box beside their name.

    Once they have been marked as a defaulter this will appear:

    Pink table with three rows under Defaulted Assignements. A pinch hitter field is shown blank. Three rows under Assignments appear below.

    To assign a pinch-hitter:

    Enter the pinch-hitter's archive username in the pinch-hitter field (again remembering they don't have to be already signed up for the challenge but do have to have an AO3 account). The field will auto-complete to check that the user has an AO3 account and this may take a second.

    Once you have done this click 'Assign' and an email with their assignment will be sent to them.

    Once a pinch-hitter has been assigned they will not appear on the main table on the Assignments screen, but will rather remain at the top of the screen in the separate pinch-hitters table. By default covered pinch-hits are hidden, and uncovered ones are shown, but to unhide covered ones click 'Show Covered Defaults.'

    Note: You can also default all participants who have not posted to the challenge by using the 'Default All Unposted' button at the top of the screen.

    White button with black text titled Default All Unposted.

    Close Challenge

    To close the challenge so no more gifts can be added, go to 'Challenge Settings' and tick the box beside 'Is this collection closed?'

    Tickbox with 'Is this collection closed selected. Is this collection currently unrevealed tickbox is unselected.

    You can of course chose to leave this open if you'd prefer. :)

    Reveal works

    It's time to reveal the works!

    To do this go to the Settings page for your challenge and untick the box that says 'Is this collection currently unrevealed? '

    You can leave the collection closed if you don't wish participants to add any more works.

    Tickbox with 'Is this collection closed selected. Is this collection currently unrevealed tickbox is unselected.

    You've successfully set up and run a gift exchange challenge on AO3. Congratulations! :)

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