The Macworld Forum has been thoroughly upgraded with a new-look and enhanced functionality. It’s not only much more helpful, it’s a lot more fun, too. Register for free!

The Forum lets you ask technical questions and start debates on industry issues. It’s the first port of call when you have a problem with your Mac, software or third-party hardware. Printer not working properly? iMovie jamming? PowerBook screen hanging off? Ask the experts at the Macworld Forum.

Ch.. ch.. changes The first change you’ll notice is that you must register to add posts, ask questions and join in the Mac chat. Of course, the Forum remains free, but registration allows us to offer many more Forum features.

You don’t need to register to read all the posts on the Forum, but you do to utilize the interactive improvements. Registration only takes a minute, and requires only your name and email address. This means that when you post a query on the Forum, you can (if you want) receive an email when it’s answered!

Users can subscribe to topics and be notified of new replies, create their own Friends List and see which of them are online, ignore messages from other members, and have access to an advanced control panel to manage private messages and their own profile. Users can use custom fonts, font colours and sizes in their posts. There’s also an up-to-the-minute display of who is currently online.

You can also add a picture of yourself (or of your teddy bear/pet/shoes, we don’t care) to give your posts a bit more personality. This picture is called an Avatar, and is displayed below your name on all of your posts and on your Member Profile. You can either pick an Avatar from our set, or you enter the URL address to a picture on a remote Web site.

Registering also means you have full use of the Macworld Classifieds and Macworld JobFinder.

The places to be Instead of one big list of Forum threads (messages and replies), there are now seven different sections where you can browse, add questions and add your comments:

One of the main reasons that people visit the Macworld Forum is to ask technical questions when their Mac stops working properly, they can’t get their software to do what they want it to, etc. Can’t get your camcorder to connect with iMovie? Ask the experts in the “Mac Help & Tips” section. This section deals with both OS 9 and OS X questions and tips - and back as far as System 7, if necessary. Your question should be answered within a day. It’s also the place to help your fellow Mac users by leaving your own tips, and answering their questions. The Forum is a community, and the more that we help each other out, the more we’re helped when we’re in need. Whether you're an expert or a novice, this is the place to get your tips.

There’s also a dedicated section for discussing “Mac OS X”. As more of us make the switch to Apple’s modern operating system, there’s bound to be plenty of opinions on what should and shouldn't be included in X. Experienced users will also leave their expert tips here as they discover new tricks, but ask your questions in the "Mac Help & Tips" section.

The section called “Mac industry views and opinions” is the place to talk about Mac technology, industry trends and general technology. For example, when Apple unveils a new Mac or ships new software, when Adobe updates its applications, or a news story breaks, this is the place to post your comments – or ask questions of the Forum’s knowledgeable experts.

Gamers should rush to the “Entertainment” section for cheats, tips and general discussion on Mac games.

The “Expo/Events section to list your Mac-related events, and decide where to meet-up at expos and other events. Mac User Groups should use this part of the Forum to announce their meetings, so if you want to meet with your fellow Mac users, take a look here.

If you use a handheld personal digital assistant (PDA), you’ll be interested in the “PDA” section. This is the place to join in discussions on Palm, Handspring, the Palm OS and other handhelds.

Finally (for now), there’s a “Chat“ section, which is the informal venue to meet with friends and talk about general topics.

Take a tour of the Macworld Forum, register to take advantage of all the new capabilities for free, and enjoy the benefits of being a full member of the Macworld community.

And please email us with your comments on the new Forum.