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Yes, it's true that a printed user guide is not included in the box with After Effects. You can buy a printed user guide from the Adobe Store.
However, using the printed user guide has many, many disadvantages to using After Effects Help on the Web and the After Effects Help and Support Center. The printed book takes a long time to print and manufacture, so the information is already many months out of date compared to the version of Help on the Web. Also, the Help document on the Web contains more than 500 links to other online resources, including free tutorials and online excerpts from other books.
I wrote the printed user guide and I say that I can't think of a good reason to buy and use it. If you really want a printed book about After Effects to flip through, your money will be better spent on Chris and Trish Meyer's After Effects Apprentice or the After Effects CS4 Classroom in a Book. There are other great books about After Effects, but those are the best for getting started.
Here's what the Adobe Store says about the printed user guide; note how even this blurb trying to sell you the printed user guide is saying that you'd be better off using the resources on the Web:
"Adobe Creative Suite 4 introduces Adobe Community Help, which combines complete Adobe Help with community-based instruction, inspiration, and support. For those who prefer a printed reference, Creative Suite 4 printed user guides are available and match the content in each products Help at ship. For the most current version of each CS4 products Help with regular updates, customer contributions, and more visit Adobe Community Help on the web."
thanks very much for the reply Todd!!
well i feel better now you said that the stuff on the web will be up to date and i have been looking @ getting the CS4 classroom in a book but i dont think its released yet? is it?
thanks again! :)