I was so excited to see this feature when we upgraded. (We had this feature on my business' forum a little bit ago.) I really like so many of the new features, but wanted to tell you of this one.
When you're looking at a list of topics, you can get a preview before you open the tab. Here's a list of topics:
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When you hover over the right location, between the topic and the author information, you'll see a faint or bold arrow.
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Click the arrow to see the initial topic, and the last reply. If you have read some of the thread, you'll also see the first unread post, in between these two.
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Click the X in the circle to close the preview. Hope you find this as useful as I do!