moved to After effects forum
2 people found this helpful
There's this https://helpx.adobe.com/pdf/after_effects_reference.pdf which you can download on your hard drive (with working bookmarks & links even). And it would subject to system (CTRL+F) searches
And then there's this After Effects Help | After Effects User Guide which is online only & not searchable in any inuttive way. You can here by clicking help inside AE but not directly. If you don't notice the little "user guide" link at the top of the page you'll quickly be pulling you hair out trying to use the useless search function.
Why not have the Apps help link link you to the the apps user guide? Because that would smart & useful, of course
There is a search help the field at the top right corner of AE that you should use define help and community resources.
After Effects is a very complicated program with a very complex UI and it would be extremely helpful to go to the Adobe product page and go through some basic training.
Rick, the main problem with that (other than needing to be online which was the OPs question) is its searches are not limited to after effects...Post search you can filter it to AE but once you follow a link then the filters get reset to search every Adobe application including every forum for every application. It's a downright STUPID system. Download the pdf gives a clear linear structure and most importantly you can easily search it.
When someone is trying to learn after effects you think a help system that returns results for over 20 different application & 20 different user forums is helpful? It's been too long. I'd bet you $10,000 when you learned AE the help was not organized in this way. It's stupid, un-intuitive, confusing system.
The "Adobe help & support" link is bloated & ill perceived
The help should link to the applications reference guide and the search results should default to ONLY the applications reference guide.
It's freakin common sense.
Gutter-Fish: Thank you so much for these links. This is exactly what I was looking for!
Also, I completely agree with everything you said regarding Adobe's online User Guide tool. Searching for something specific is a bit maddening! Plus, the results are less than specific and I don't often, if ever, find graphics or screen shots to illustrate what is discussed.
Thanks again. You've transformed my workflow when I either don't know how to do something in After Effects or need more information on the options of a particular effect or function. Searching a .pdf user guide for info is so much more efficient than Googling for the info or using the aforementioned online User Guide tool.
Rick: Thanks for your suggestions. I've already been through basic training, so I'm needing information for some more advanced procedures/effects. As I mentioned above, the online User Guide is frustrating to use and time consuming. After searching, I have to weed through the results to discover which ones are specific to cc 2017 (or, at least, 2015) vs. much earlier versions, and then start clicking around to see which document has the needed information.
Gutter-Fish and Rick: Thanks again, guys! Your willingness to chime in and help is what these forums are all about!
Great. Not a problem.
And it is a sign of the times and the Adobe plan as to updating guides: the date on the pdf is 6/18/16.
lol. Yes, pretty good by current standards! But it is not the "old school" where every version got an updated pdf.
The problem, as suggested above, is that the search options for the online version are so poor that you can't find what you know is there.
Bring back the thick Book