Topic permissions

Topic membership, edit access and more

Updated over a week ago

Slab provides a flexible topic permission system to control a topic's read and edit permissions and the posts inside. The system also covers a wide range of access-level, allowing you to hide a topic from everyone or to share it with everyone on the Internet.

In this article, you will learn how Slab's topic permission works and how it affects the posts inside the topic.

Each topic has two permission-related settings:

  • Who can access: controls the visibility of the topic and its posts in your Slab organization

  • Members can edit...: controls what a topic member is allowed to do

Those two settings determine each team member's permissions based on user type and topic membership status. Admins can use their superpower to override any topic permission settings, except they need to be explicitly invited into a secret topic to see it.

Those settings are modified in topic settings.

Who can access setting

Regardless of user type, a member of a topic can always see the topic and its content. The topic's access level setting controls the visibility of the topic and its posts to non-members.

Access level setting also affects what types of subtopics are allowed – it wouldn't work if you try to have an Open topic underneath a Secret one.

  • Open
    All standard users and admins can see the topic and its posts.
    It can have any type of subtopics.

  • Private
    All standard users and admins can see the topic's existence but not its content.
    It can only have private or secret subtopics.

  • Secret
    Non-members cannot see the topics' existence.
    It can only have secret subtopics.

  • Public
    Anyone with the topic URL can see posts within without needing to log into Slab.
    It can only have public subtopics.


Any teammate can be added to a topic. Topic membership has two levels: topic member and topic owner. Owners have all permissions to a topic, while members' permissions can be limited by the Member can edit... setting.


A subtopic can inherit its parent's membership, both the parents' members and owners. Topic owners can add or remove the inheritance.


It's possible to add a group to a topic. It's even possible to set the group as an owner. All group members share the same permission the group has.

Member can edit... setting

Owners can always edit everything. Members always have read permission for a topic. The Member can edit... setting only affects what a topic member can edit. Unlike the access level settings, the parent's setting value does not affect its subtopics.

There are 3 values for the setting:

Members can edit...

  • All
    Topic members have both the topic and post edit permission. In this setting, the members have the same permission as owners besides not being able to promote a member to an owner.

  • Posts
    Topic members have the post edit permission but not the topic.

  • None
    Topic members only have read access to the topic and its posts.

Edit permission details

Here is the list of details actions that edit permissions enable.

Topic edit permission enables:

  • Modifying the name, description, banner image, and "Organize under..."

  • Modifying the topic permission settings

  • Reorganizing the subtopics

  • Deleting the topic

  • Pinning posts or reordering pinned posts

  • Adding or removing members

  • Editing topic membership inheritance

Topic edit permission does not restrict:

  • Adding or removing a post from the topic β€” the posts themselves specify which topic they are organized in

  • Adding or removing subtopics β€” the subtopics themselves specify which topic is its parent, not the other way around. Note this means an editable subtopic can be added to an uneditable topic

  • Promoting to owners or demoting owners – owners always have this permission, and members always do not have this permission

Post edit permission enables:

  • Modifying the post title and contents

  • Deleting the post

  • Adding or removing topics (must also be able to edit the topic)

Post edit permission does not restrict:

  • Commenting on the post

Further readings

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