May 16, 2007
knowhow: Flash-powered help inside Illustrator
"You know more than we do." That’s the simple, and powerful, thought behind "knowhow," a new Web-savvy part of Illustrator CS3.
Using a Flash SWF file running inside an Illustrator panel (palette), knowhow is designed to provide information about tools and topics right within Illustrator. The feature offers help information for over 100 Illustrator-related topics—including all tools and panels. As you use various shortcut keys while using a tool, the appropriate hint term highlights in context, making it possible to find more info about it.
The really interesting part, though, is that instead of searching only Adobe-made Help, knowhow queries social bookmarking site del.icio.us. Anyone can add content to the knowhow del.icio.us page, meaning the Illustrator community can enhance the info available inside Illustrator. That’s a key part of the vision we’re pursuing as we Flash-enable Photoshop and other Adobe desktop tools.
To see knowhow in action, check out the online demo on Adobe Labs, or bring up the panel inside Illustrator (download tryout); it’s under Window->Adobe Labs. For the full details, check out the FAQ (PDF) and visit the knowhow forum.