Make it more obvious in a split-off topic that it was split off

Presently, if I split some messages into a new topic, all they have is a regular link to the old topic under the first split post. It’s not obvious at all from the UI that these message(s) where split from somehwere else.

Practice has shown that such messages often have implicit references to the previous ones in the old topic – e.g. “I have a similar problem”, “mentioned above” and such.

This has proven to lead to misunderstandings and confusion about what the post author means – requiring me to manually edit the post to include explicit references to the old topic – which is tedious, laborous and unnecessary work.

I’m hereby suggesting to insert a banner before the first split post that it was split off from there and there – the same as the banner that is inserted into the old topic. This would make any possible references in the post(s) clear and require no further work or clarifications.

See a reply below for a suggested example look.


Isn’t this enough?

A link is provided so it is rather obvious where it was split from / to.


@ondrej This is a banner in the old topic. I want something as prominent to be in the new topic, too.

Here’s an example of how things are now: old topic, new topic.


I understand now. So instead of this:

You want something along the lines that says:

this topic was split from xyz (link)


Yes, and it should be above the post’s text.

E.g. something like this:


I fully support this! On my current phpbb forum we do all this manually already and i have wished plenty of times that this would just happen automatically when a topic is split off. (Yes im in the process of moving to discourse)


It’s been requested before at least once, but I don’t agree with the request.

There’s enough indication with the backlink.


A backlink is below the post – so you don’t see it when reading, especially if the post is long.
And it’s no different from any other “linked post” link. There’s no indication of its special meaning and significance for context at all.


No. The posts were moved because they DID NOT belong in the original topic. They DO belong in the new topic, however, so finding them where they are supposed to be should not be surprising or really worthy of a giant screaming invasive permanent topic banner.

You and I will have to agree to disagree on this one, or perhaps you can find another free software that is more to your liking in this regard.


I’ve actually had this complaint a few times - the first post can be winding and heavily dependent on the context of the topic it was posted in, even if it doesn’t belong there.

A Continuing the discussion from [topic] banner at the top would be nice.

I am happy with either situation


  • If the post aptly fits into the topic it has been moved to then there is no need to explain why.
  • If the post is not apt then I would edit it and note that it has been edited.
  • If the reason for the move is not obvious then I would explain why.


  • If the post aptly fits into the topic then a banner will largely be superfluous. It won’t help the flow at all.
  • If the post is not apt then saying it has moved will give warning that there is a reason why but that won’t automatically make the post content any more acceptable.
  • If the reason for the move is not obvious then I would explain why.

The issue for me is that neither option addresses two possible necessities after moving a post:

  • Editing the post so it makes sense.
  • Explaining why it was edited and/or moved.

The why (e.g. it is more usefully addressed in this topic) is generally more important than the what (e.g. it is moved) so the current request is just nice and not compelling.

Instead, or in addition, I would prefer to have the option to document the move with a custom text reply or a canned text reply for commonly occurring reasons. But this again is just nice to have and would not be a priority for me when I’m waiting for far more desirable features e.g. fully developing tags.


Ironically, this whole topic of tracking connected topics or consolidating into topics is applying here. There have been a whole series of topics about this single issue of how split-topics are not adequately displayed. To tie the history together, here’s an older topic that really is the same (could be combined): Feature proposal: action post on split topic

On the instance I’m involved with, someone even went so far as to suggest using staff-notice because they felt an in-line mention wasn’t even adequate enough. Since the move is made by a moderator, it’s essential that the users understand what happened to their post. I think staff-notice is overkill, but something at the top (where it would be if a user just replied-as-linked-topic) really makes sense. No indication at all at the top can be really awkward since the post is often not written in a topic-opening style.


Feel free to take that action if you deem it necessary.

1 Like

All it really takes is a staff post in the origin topic linking to the new one if you really feel that notice needs to be there.

I actually don’t see a need for this, as I feel that notice itself would be off topic as well, adding to the problem.

But this really is a great example of where staff can just post in a topic if that’s how an individual forum wants to run itself.

And as far as the new topic goes, why not just edit the post briefly and change the opening line if it references the previous discussion? Either link to it or just remove stuff like “I agree” or other phrases that don’t make sense out of context. A little cleanup, that’s all.

And these incidents can be great opportunities to start encouraging members to not go off topic and show them where it’s appropriate to make new topics. That’s the ultimate goal, because then you won’t need this feature anyway. :grin:


Workaround to get a notice at the top that isn’t so bold as a staff-notice:

  1. Start a new reply-as-linked-topic (perhaps quoting some relevant bit that the post-to-move connects to)
  2. Select the “continued from…” part of the draft reply
  3. Cancel the new reply
  4. Move the tangential posts
  5. Edit the tangential posts and paste the “continued from…” stuff at the top

This completely recreates the exact situation that would have occurred if the poster had thought to use reply-as-linked-topic in the first place.

It would be preferable if the system simply did this at least as an option.

1 Like

:point_up_2: Staff notice is better IMO. Like this. Use staff wrench on a post to add it.


Thanks, I suppose when it’s necessary to add a quote to flow well, that can be done via a separate edit. Staff notice would be about ideal if we had a checkbox option that would automatically add a boilerplate staff notice (like above) when moving posts.

Might also be nice to have Internal inline onebox within staff notices


As explained in the initial post, the sole purpose of the proposed change is to provide context for the split-off topic to be comprehensible to a reader. It has nothing to do whatsoever with what belongs where. As such, this part of criticism is beside the point.
(In my deleted post, I was merely arguing that this indication is at least as important as a banner in the old topic. Apparently, that post was grossly misunderstood so I deleted it as it’s not important for the current discussion anyway.)

If the problem is “a giant screaming invasive permanent topic banner” – let’s just make it not “giant”, “screaming” or “invasive” (in the sample design, it’s already not “permanent” and can be deleted if not needed – note the trash can button to the right). I do not insist on that particular design at all, it was just from the top of my head.

Well, in this topic, there are several pieces of evidence that in actual real-life practice, there is not.


A staff notice is a by-hand action. It’s no better than editing the initial post by hand. The entire purpose of the proposed improvement is to make the process not require by-hand actions every time.

IIRC it can also be only added by moderators – while topics can be split by Level 4 users.


It’s only my own opinion, but I think this feature request is legitimate and makes sense (it actually makes perfect sense to me). As said above, a first post isn’t written the same way as is an answer inside a going discussion. Being warned beforehand about what you’re going to read and why some parts may feel a little weird [for a first post] prevents the psychological surprise and need to “get it” by yourself (which the vast majority of people eventually will, but why not tell them before the post in the first place ?)

The link to be able to read where the discussion comes from, for more context, etc. would also feel far more logical above the post than under it.

This wouldn’t be needed for all splits. But I guess it’s easier and quicker to delete the information (should that functionality exist one day) where you do not need it than to add it manually where you do need it (which is still a solution).