Require category selection before writing topic

When allow uncategorized topics is disabled, I’d like to propose requiring the user to select a category before they are allowed to start writing the body of the post.

The use case for this is a site that makes significant use of topic templates. As users are not required to select a category, many go right to writing their post, and only select a category after they’ve written their post. As there is content in the composer, the topic template is not added, thus negating the usefulness of the template.


Seems reasonable to me, what do you think @neil?


Sounds useful to me. So disabling the body input field until the category is chosen like so?

What about if they paste a link, which should auto-populate the body?

That works! I really don’t care too much about the UI of the disabled area, as long as it is disabled and clear how to enable it.

Ooh…interesting edge case. For my site, I’d prefer the template over the Onebox, but that’s site specific. Maybe do both - onebox/link first, template second.

No, I don’t mean onebox vs template. I think that has already been solved.

I guess it should ignore this new logic. If a link is pasted in the title, enable the body input field and do what we currently do today.


Wouldn’t it be better to disable ‘Create Topic’ button instead of whole body input?

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Definititely! Not only because this is the common UX in such cases (e.g. when a custom user field is required upon sign-up) but also because you often know better what category your topic belongs to after you’ve written it :wink:

Disabling the Create Topic button would not be better, it is essentially what exists now. Users are prompted to select a category before they can submit their topic.

The point of disabling the body is to require the user to select a category before they start the body so if the category has a topic template it is added first.


Yes, sorry, I had read that three weeks ago and forgot this specific use case. :roll_eyes: So since the disabled body also works fine for required categories without a template, it’s obviously the better solution.

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Curious @neil, is this still on your list? The forum that I’d love to see this on is seasonal and will be starting back up again shortly - it’d be nice to have this :smiley:.


Yeah I can try to do this soon for 2.0.


Perhaps this is also the best solution to Users mistake top-level categories for lack of permissions


@jomaxro I made this change yesterday. Give it a try.


Thanks @neil. I went to take a look, first thought it wasn’t working then realized I was logged in as admin. My only “complaint” is that the placement of “Please select a category.” seems odd. I’m guessing it’s placed in the composer area and looks off due to the hidden toolbar? Is it possible to move it up to the top of the box (where the toolbar is) instead of in the “middle” where it is now?

Edit: Another piece of feedback. if you try to click in the composer area you see the cursor: not-allowed, but if you mouse over the top of the composer (where the toolbar usually is) you get the default cursor.

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The copy is bad, changing it to

You must select a category before typing here.

It’s normally

Type here. Use Markdown, BBCode, or HTML to format. Drag or paste images.

I think the placement is fine, since we’re trying to indicate “here” which is the body.


Fair enough. If it’s not too complicated I do think the cursor CSS should be fixed. Video below in case description above is unclear.

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