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About the Adobe Help Manager in CS6

Jun 30, 2012 11:17 PM

The Adobe Help manager is an AIR-based content installation utility that downloads offline help content and notifies you when new updates are available, ensuring that you always have the most up-to-date and accurate reference information from Adobe.

 

This utility, previously known as the Community Help application, features the following major changes:

  • Online help content can be displayed in your default web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.). NOTE - you must first choose this option in the help application preferences, then quit the help application and choose help again in your application.
  • The Help Manager will download either HTML or PDF reference content, depending on which file is the most recent.
  • You can then view this content offline, either via your web browser or via Adobe Acrobat Reader (or similar PDF viewing software).
  • You can dismiss or disable notifications entirely via the Help Manager preferences.

Viewing online help content

  • When you launch help from any CS6 application, the default web browser will launch with the appropriate product help content displayed.  NOTE - only if you have set the help application preference to do so.
  • You can then use your browser’s native functionality to search, bookmark, comment, or rate the content.

Downloading offline help content

  • The first time you launch Help from your Adobe CS6 application, the Adobe Help manager launches in the background and checks for the availability of new or updated content.
  • If no new content is available, the application will shut down until the next time you select Help.
  • If new content is found, a small pop-up notification will be displayed on your desktop, usually in the lower-right corner of your screen.
  • When you click on the notification message, the Help Manager will launch and show you all of the help content that is available for download in the Local Content preferences.
  • You can select individual packages by highlighting the desired product or help package title and clicking on the Update button.
  • To update all of the content that is available, select the ‘Download’ button on the General preferences pane.  Note: the total download size for all of the applicable content is displayed – large updates may take several minutes or more to download.
  • During this download, you may continue to browse and search Help content with your web browser.
  • If you prefer to have your Adobe applications use the local, installed help files by default, select “Display local help content only’ in the General preferences tab.
  • Or you can simply choose to continue viewing online content and the Help Manager will automatically switch to offline help if Internet access is no longer available.
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Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2012 5:25 PM   in reply to Mark Nichoson

    Here are links to the documents for all CS6 applications, in both PDF and HTML format:

    http://blogs.adobe.com/premiereprotraining/2010/08/help-documents-for- creative-suite-5-pdf-and-html.html

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 10, 2012 10:38 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    There was a time when Adobe's help documents, in actual book form, were the envy of the industry. As much effort, perhaps more was put into the documentation as was put into the development of the applications. Sadly, this is no more. The documentation is shoddy, lacking and utterly useless in how it's delivered (that is of course when it actually works). With the changes, improvements and added features to many of the suite applications, documentation is more important, not less. It appears though that Adobe have collectively decided that good solid documentation isn't worth their while, and unnecessary given their market domination. I guess having little or no competitive threat means they can afford to be lazy in some regards.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 4:24 PM   in reply to Floatingrock

    I concur.  The new "help" mechanism in CS6 is beyond useless and, best I can tell, doesn't work.  Updates don't happen, offline access doesn't work, and the documentation (when you can actually retrieve it) is of little or no help. Google usually gets me a better answer.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2012 1:01 PM   in reply to Mark Nichoson

    Dear Adobe,

    Your brilliance in so many things is just blinding.

    Why have you gone all Apple on us and tried to tell us how to use help?

    Couldn't you just offer, on each application, a choice of:

    >> Online Help

    >> Offline Help

    The latter would open a PDF in a known location.

    Your current plan is that I will have to shut off the online access (choosing "offline only") and maybe restart the application.

    Just to get help?

    Thanks.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 19, 2012 8:43 AM   in reply to Mark Nichoson

    My Help Manager has no trouble downloading PDF Help for local viewing but when I try to access it from an application's help menu nothing opens. No trouble code; no nothing. I have been reading about this issue for months and have tried all solutions offered in these forums to resolve it untill I stumbled on this solution recently that worked for me. Here is what finally gave me a "partial solution" I hope this helps others. My problem as it turns out was with Adobe Acrobat Pro in the CS6 suite. There is a glitch in the application that makes it shut off 30 days after installation as if it were a trial software. The solution offered in Adobe forums is to deactivate and reactivate the software and then update the CS6 Application Manager. After this Acrobat Pro will function normally and the locally downloaded PDFs began to open from the help menus in the various CS6 programs. Apparently the Help Manager uses this as the default PDF viewer. However I still dont seem to be able to access the HTML help that Adobe Help Manager has downloaded. As a licensed and registered user of Adobe products I agree with others here that this issue is unacceptable to make customers spend untold hours researching "fixes" for their sofware after spending the big bucks for this suite.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 19, 2012 11:36 AM   in reply to Phoenix_7

    What I did was bypass that functionality completely. Since I'm not an apple computer user I'm not sure how this is faciliated in osx but it does work great on Win7 and Win8.

     

    Although, Adobe's documentation is not nearly as well done as the past, the PDFs are still worth having. So download them and create a library inside my documents for Adobe Help. Once they're all saved and sitting in that folder, just drag the folder from Window's Explorer to the task bar. This automatically pins this library to your taskbar. So rather than clicking on help in any Adobe application, just bring up the taskbar, click on the Adobe Help Folder and launch the PDF you want to look at.

     

    pinnedhelp.JPG

    You can always turn on the Preview Pane and read the PDFs inside Explorer. But of course, the search feature doesn't work that way..

     

    pinnedhelp2.JPG

     

    Simple and easy and not dependent on some poorly designed and implemented help solution that always updating only to show you nothing..

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 19, 2012 12:15 PM   in reply to Mark Nichoson

    Thanks Phoenix_7 and Floatingrock, both are better ways to do it.

     
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