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Let me give you some direct feedback at this point…I like the new Flash CS4 in general, but I am totally lost at the moment trying to establish some kind of new workflow when it comes to using the help feature. The worst thing for me is that I am still doing most of my work in AS2, the reference of which is only available online, so I don’t have the option of using the local help (which is bad enough because of the constant switching back and forth between the Flash and browser applications).I am a creative person when it comes to finding solutions, but I have no idea on how to progress from here…I am even considering downgrading, because using the integrated help panel used to be an essential part of my daily working and learning routine.I found some AIR application that makes it possible to refer to the Flash help offline, but it still is no adequate substitute for my original, integrated help panel.I am really badly frustrated and stuff like this makes it less and less attractive to buy expensive software upgrades. The price of having to restructure well-functioning workflows is just too high.Is there any hope of getting back the integrated help??!
Thomas, I hear your pain. There have been a lot of other users who have expressed the same frustrations over the last several months since the CS4 release. Unfortunately you are correct about the AS2 Help being online only. I’m glad you found the AIR app to help with that. It’s also true that the Help can no longer be integrated directly into Flash CS4 as you would like, and I understand that this makes the learning and referencing workflow harder. We have been listening here and we are actively working on some solutions, but I can’t really say when you might see something you can try out. I don’t think the issue of integration back into the Flash IDE will be addressed though. Thanks for hanging in there, and feel free to drop me a line or post here if you would like to talk more.-Jay
I really appreciate your fast response. I understand the motiviation behind your switch to an online help, but it saddens me to hear that this issue probably will not be addressed. I wish Adobe had the courage of correcting an obvious BIG mistake.You see, this new online help will, in the long run, steal away not minutes, not hours, but days of precious work time from thousands of users who need to struggle harder every day to earn their pay. It’s a productivity killer. It’s not an issue of getting used to something new (which we all need to cope with), but it’s an issue of taking away an essential feature of a costly piece of software without any apparent need to do so.By the way, the Adobe Air alternative is only for English users. I am a fluent English speaker, but when it comes to learning, I prefer my native language (German). There’s no download option for the German AS2 reference…You see, the least thing I expect Adobe to do when forcing us to use a browser-based help is supplying me with a complete help, including AS2, not just AS3.
Hi again Thomas. Thanks again for your posts. I want to mention how much I appreciate the friendliness of your feedback. I understand that you and others are frustrated and it means a lot that we can talk about these things constructively. I wish I had more to tell you. While I don’t think the issue of having the Help right inside the product will change any time soon, it is something that users have brought to our attention a lot. We would like to address it, I just can’t say when or if it will come to pass. Please believe me when I say that I’m not just trying to sound a good note. We genuinely would like to restore that functionality, but we’ve changed a lot of how the Help is delivered under the hood, which makes recreating that functionality more complicated than we would like. Please know that we are looking at all the issues that you raised.Thanks again,-Jay
Hi Jay, as frustrated as I am with this issue, I am glad you guys are aware of it and working on a solution.Since all people involved in IT have to deal with ever-increasing search times (due to ever-increasing amounts of information), those information architects will win the battle who manage to seperate relevant information from irrelevant information. This includes, of course, help issues as well.The new idea of incorporating the Flash help into a big online support community I.M.O. provides me with too much irrelevant information that makes it the harder for me to find that one bit of relevant information that I previously got a hold of within fractions of seond…So please, keep us posted on any new developments, and thanks for engaging in direct conversation with us users.
You’re welcome Thomas. I will keep you posted. One thing I want to make sure you’re aware of is the toggle for searching “This Help System only”. When you are in the Flash Help system online, you can set this toggle (next to the search box in the upper left most of the help pages) and be presented only with search results from within the Flash Help, excluding any community and other Adobe.com results. The setting is sticky across sessions as well. For the AS2 Help, the setting is not there, but the search (on the upper left of the AS2 Help pages) defaults to searching only the help documents under site:http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AS2LCR/Flash_10.0, so you get only AS2 results, although they include the other AS2 books besides just the Language Reference. I hope this will help you a little in narrowing your results the way you would like.-Jay
Hey Jay,Thomas and I have also had this discussion outside of this blog, and recognise that due to the sheer volume of content generated by Adobe, central administration is critical. A balance between user-relevant content and administration would be the ideal situation though, so good luck with making it happen. Just don’t forget how good the in-Flash help was 2 years down the line!!Cheers,Dave
Hi, Jay.I would like to add my voice to Thomas’s in asking for offline help. I also want to thank you for taking the time to respond to the community’s concerns. Civility is a rare commodity online.The development machines in my organization have no Internet connection, so when I need help I either have to track down a current book or access the online help from a second computer. I then print out the help file, carry it back to my desk, and hope it solved my problem. Otherwise, the process starts again. (Before you ask, USB drives are tightly restricted.)The AIR application mentioned won’t help because install non-approved software is a great way to get fired.Please let your group (and the group responsible for software updates, as they are the worst offenders) know that not all machines have an ever-present Internet connection.
Dave C,Thanks for that feedback. Can you tell me a little more about your situation? Do you have the ability to connect machines that are normally offline to the internet on a temporary basis, such as for quickly downloading a local copy of Help? It would be good to know if this is a possibility, or if these machines are strictly offline all the time.Thanks,-Jay
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