When creating a topic from the specific category, is there a way to only show that parents child categories?

I have 4 main categories. Main, Bugs, Off topic, Misc. In Bugs I have “PC” and “MOBILE”. If they go to the Bugs category and press New Topic, they are greeted with the entire list of categories and child categories and make it difficult to properly tag things when they don’t know any better. I see on this forum it has only 3 categories showing despite there being many. How was this achieved?

Hmm, I am noticing a similar inconsistency here on Meta… it’s possible I’m overlooking a category setting but I’m not seeing anything obvious.

Visiting #theme category, clicking new topic… all categories appear in dropdown

Visiting #plugin category, clicking new topic… only see uncategorized, plugin, and plugin subcategories


@vinothkannans any idea why this is happening


Well, I’m glad it is reproducible. IMO it should always be like your latter example for ease of use for people who aren’t accustomed to a forum like this. Hope it’s something that gets fixed! Should I post it on Github?


Not sure. It must be a bug. Always it should display all the categories in the dropdown right?

No need for that. Thanks for the report.


I think the expected behavior is that when you click new topic when in a category, only that category and its subcategories should appear (but if you search, then all categories should be possible results).


This is already working as expected.

This behavior is only when show_subcategory_list category setting is set.

I agree here, currently we can’t find other categories even by search.


I don’t know if this should hinge on show_subcategory_list @eviltrout? It doesn’t seem intuitive to me that limiting the scope of the composer is controlled by the category page layout… I’d either limit the scope by default when viewing a category or have a separate category setting to control it.

Though this is also the first time it’s come up in 4 years since that commit :man_shrugging:


And in layman’s terms? Is this going to be changed or not? Or how do I make it only show that categories subcategories?

If I press New Topic in the Bugs category, I should only be greeted with the main category (Bugs) and the subcategories (PC and Mobile). A new user shouldn’t have to scroll through 150 other categories to find the correct tag if they are pressing the New Topic button in a specific category, no?

Sorry for the confusion @smlemk, I just noticed that sometimes the categories are limited and sometimes they’re not and wasn’t sure why.

At the moment the categories will be limited if you change the category settings to show the subcategory list above the topic list (similar to how our support category is structured now). Otherwise all categories will show.

There’s no other way to control the behavior at the moment.

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Oh man this is why I started writing longer commit messages. It’s so difficult to remember what I was thinking 1 year ago let alone 4!

Usually when I introduce a setting, I try to make sure the “default” discourse experience stays the same, which is probably why I did it that way. I wouldn’t be against making this the default, but I do wonder if some people might be confused about why the category list is incomplete if they are on certain pages. Maybe it’s obvious and they would figure it out?


The most confusing part to me is that the option is controlled by the category page layout, it does make sense as a category setting though… I think if we limited the scope by default we’d have to make the other categories searchable at least?

I did just find a post where someone was confused about an incomplete list: Not able to change category if I start a new topic from a specific category

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This is done by the commit below

I think if we make it as default then everyone will figure it out.


Aw man, that is ugly to me. Having to show the categories above, but I guess it might make it easier for people to find the subcategories they’re looking for. At least I know how to force it now, thank you.

If people get confused by it, can we just have an option to be able to force it without having to “Show subcategory list above topics in this category.”?

I think you’re right. Let’s try it out.


Done. cc @smlemk


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