Replying to your second question about "Guided" and "Normal" modes, this is a choice between two ways of formatting using bold, italic, font changes, etc. In "normal" mode if you want to use one of the formatting commands you type it in bold italic in this case, but you must manually click the boxes right before and right after the text you want to format (or click "close all tabs).
In "Guided" mode you get some automated help. Click a formatting box and a window opens for your text. When you close the window, the code is closed out for you. Of course if you want to use multiple commands [span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']you need to go back to normal[/span] and then click "close all tags" when you're through.
Hope this helps. It's a pretty standard discussion board feature.