In this section, you do not set or change anything, but you can view the final permissions a user or group has based on the combined result of the permissions a user has from his user permissions or group memberships. This feature is particularly useful when you need to debug your permissions and for example, you cannot find out why someone doesn’t have the permission you want him to have. Permission masks is a tool for viewing the permission settings for all five permissions types for both users and user groups.
Each link on the Permissions Masks section of the ACP Permissions tab corresponds to one of the five permission types:
View administrative permissions for Global Administrator permissions
View user-based permissions for Global User permissions
View global moderation permissions for Global Moderator permissions
View forum moderation permissions for Forum Moderators permissions
View forum-based permissions for User Forum permissions
Any of these five links will take you to a page listing the users and user groups that are assigned those Global or Forum permissions.
Selecting one or more user groups will display the permissions for those user groups, the same way they are shown in the permissions edit pages, so there is no added utility in running the masks on group names. Permissions masks are most useful when run on a username, and not a group name, since the latter will give you only the same information provided by viewing that group’s permissions.
Viewing a user’s permissions is much different. If you type a user’s name into the Find a member box for any of the five permission types and click View permissions it will display that user’s resulting permissions, taking into account all of the user's groups’ permissions. Also, the forum moderation mask will take into account global moderation permissions as well.
Each individual permission will have a circle-arrow which is a link to display all of that user’s groups and which groups grant or deny that permission.
Figure 3.7. Permission Masks
In this example you see how a Global Moderation Yes overrides a Forum Moderation Never. This is one exception to the rule about Nevers overriding Yeses. The other exception is Founders. If a user is marked as a Founder on their User Administration Overview page, they will be granted All of the Global Administrator permissions, overriding any No or Never settings given to that user or his user groups.
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