Help with Help

Over the last two versions, we’ve made three major changes to the Adobe Help systems — web help, commenting, and community help.

Web Help vs. Local HelpIf you’re connected to the Internet, choosing Help > InDesign Help opens the web-based community help. If you’re not connected to the Internet, the local version of help appears. The local version of help is a subset of web help. Many of the new CS4 features are described only minimally in local help. However, if you prefer using local help even when you’re connected to the web, try this:1. Choose Window > Extensions > Connections.2. From the Connections panel menu, choose Offline Options.3. Select Keep Me Offline.One of the cool things about web help is that I can fix errors and add new topics based on feedback, and then I can update help. If you find any errors in help, just leave a comment at the bottom of the page, and I’ll address the issue sooner or later. Speaking of commenting . . .CommentingPeople can leave comments at the bottom of any Help topic. A team of knowledgeable moderators from both inside and outside the company evaluate and respond to the comments.While we prefer that the comments address documentation issues, people often ask support questions or point out feature requests. That’s fine. But keep in mind that you’re way more likely to get results if you post in the user forums or submit formal feature requests.If you find (or create) a blog entry, article, or video that covers an issue not addressed in Help, leave a comment with a link at the bottom of the page.Community HelpChoosing Help > InDesign Help opens the community help page for InDesign. If you search for a term in the field at the top of the page, a list of search results appears. This list includes web help topics and entries from “community” sites.As Anne-Marie points out, Community Help is still a work in progress. We’re working out the kinks to make the experience better.Here’s a tip: If you just want to search for help topics, click the InDesign help (web) link in the upper-right corner.indesignhelp.jpgWhen you use the search field in web help, remember to select the “This Help system only” option next to the search field.ThisHelpsystemonly.jpgUnfortunately, this option isn’t “sticky,” so you have to keep selecting it to limit the search to Adobe help topics.We’re currently evaluating the community help model. Feel free to leave your comments below, and I’ll make sure your voice is heard with the people who make the community help decisions.

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