The Help resources are moving away from being easy to find and use, with every increase of the CS version number.
I have installed CS5 (Master Collection) and I'm trying to lookup something about InDesign. First I need to be connected, because there's no off-line Help available, strangely enough. So back at home (I was mobile) I connect to the internet and from the Help menu I can access the online Help about InDesign. It all seems fine, until I notice that this Help Viewer seems not te be aware of the fact that I have the whole bunch of CS5 software. It only shows a Search menu for Photoshop, Media Encoder, Lightroom and two or three other apps. I can't recall them, because after updating (to version 3) it suddenly shows InDesign, Dreamweaver and Device Central resources. BTW, it prompts me again and again to update all kinds of "local help" files, but it didn't notice that it needed to update itself (like the Application manager does). So I can't perform a search for a term or feature in other apps than these three.
I also tried to "install" extra applications (by selecting them online at the CHC support homepage), but I can't see what to do with the resulting AIR apps. Okay, I know what they are, but do I need to install them over and over again, are these actually customised versions, or do I need to save them separately ? The guiding text warns definitely not to save but open them, and then they simply overwrite eachother all the time. (Plus: I can't store them in a place where I'd like to keep such applications.) And the other dialogues and messages are also vague and confusing. And I haven't even touched the issue yet of being able to use them off-line. I tried reinstalling a CS5 application to see whether Help Viewer gets updated with the fresh version, but it didn't.
I give up. After an hour of frantically trying to find out what's happening here, I'm beginning to seriously hate Help Viewer and all the Community stuff. Gimme back my cherished Adobe Help manuals, please !
Hi: I apologize for your frustration with the CS5 Help app and I would like to provide a little background/overview that might explain some of the issues you are seeing.
First, let me describe the various moving parts:
1. The Help app - this is the actual viewer that lets you access search, commenting, etc. One of the key goals of this app was to enable users to download local help from adobe.com directly to your own computer so that you could access locally (not just online). Because it is built in AIR, the viewer itself can be updated so that we can deliver new features, bug fixes, etc. without having to reinstall (or update) via the suite itself.
2. Help configuration files -- these are small XML files that are installed by the Suite itself at the following locations:
(copy and paste the phrase above into the Windows Explorer file manager)
These files tell the Help app where to find and download the local help. There is one configuration file per product. So in the case of the Master Collection, you should see approximately 15 configuration files in the folder(s) above. You should also see the corresponding icons when you click on the Home button of the Help viewer.
3. The content itself -- for each product there is the online HTML, a corresponding PDF, and separate downloadable ZIP/packages for each book/package for each point product. For example, Photoshop has "Using Photoshop" and "Using Bridge." Some products like Flash Pro have up to 15 books/packages available for download.
When you first launch Help, the application performs several checks. It looks for:
- an online connection
- an update for the AIR runtime
- an update for the application itself
- new/updated configuration files
- new/updated content to download
From your description, it sounds like perhaps not all of the configuration files were properly placed by the installer.
When you go to the manual install page and select a product, you are also downloading the proper configuration file for that product. Clicking Open (not save) and then Replace or Run Now should fully update the application. It is only one application -- there are not separate applications for each product.
You did the right thing by going to the manual installation page and updating the application to add the missing products (and corresponding configuration files).
Well Mark, you just offered the other extreme, compared to CHC:
an elaborate, truly helpful, very understanding, and understandable
personal answer ! (I tend to exaggerate my bitterness about AIR...)
That's what "Community Help" really stands for, doesn't it ?
I wanted to check what you proposed, but CHC magically started
to behave itself. I opened the Help again last week and I noticed
that all app icons (of the MC) were present in Home and Search.
They all seem to work now and I downloaded all the off-line stuff.
This worked a bit haphazard; with some entries the Update button
remained grey (although there was an update available). Oh well...
I think fiddling with it - a lot - has helped kickin' the app to reset ?
Nevertheless, in the 1 chc.Folder (on my Mac) I only see 1 XML,
but numerous .helpcfg files in the two (localised) HelpCfg folders.
Icon files also seem to be a bit behind (just the five I begun with),
although I do see them appearing in the menu. Just FYI.
Thanks for chiming in with some very good help and info :-)
This system is a TOTAL MESS. I tried to use the C Help an it will not save my preferences. It will not download the help files. It will not save my attempts to use local. It will not manually download the files when I press the button. This panel is USELESS. It will not search for online files. The only thing that does work is the cancel button. It won't even let me change out of flash catalyst as the preview panel.
I'm on Mac OS 10.6.x
I tried to turn this thing off but under General Prefs for accessibility there is no CI panel, just forms objects and images under accessibility.
I cannot look up anything on this piece of junk. Maybe Apple was right in dissing flash. If that is what I have to look forward to, it is slow, impenetrable, unmanageable and incompetent.
Send out an application where all the help files are inaccessible. Sounds like Microsoft and not Adobe.
And why hasn't Adobe added or preserved the apple option under the help menu that auto looks up the command you are searching for? Would save a ton of time.
Sorry for the delay in response. We thought Mark's message had provided the troubleshooting information needed for this thread.