Search tips for Adobe Community Help Client (CHC)


Adobe Community Help Client (CHC) is the Help viewer that comes with Adobe products. When you press F1 from an Adobe product or launch Help from the Help menu, Help topics are displayed in CHC. CHC provides powerful search capabilities, in both online mode and offline mode. However, if you’re used to searching using browsers when online and in PDFs when offline, you might find the unified online/offline experience of CHC a little overwhelming.

Tip: Make sure you click the arrow button to the left of Search Options to view and configure the search options.

Online and Local are the two top-level search locations that CHC provides. The default is Online. After selecting Online or Local, you have the option to filter results further.


*Needless to say that you need to be connected to the Internet to search online*

When you search online, the search need not be limited to the product Help. For example, if you select All or Adobe.com, you will likely find relevant content created by experts from the Adobe community.

Search all content

To search all relevant content posted on adobe.com and curated from outside adobe.com:

  1. Select the product in CHC.
  2. Set Search Location as Online.
  3. Select Filter Results as All.
  4. Enter the search term in the search box, and press Enter to view the results.

CHC then searches not only the product’s Help pages, but also knowledgebase articles, Developer Center articles as well as the most relevant content created by experts from the Adobe user community, and then displays the results.

The following screenshot displays the search results for the search term Using Templates, searched using the product selected as FrameMaker and the Filter Results drop-down option set to All.

To exclude content from outside adobe.com, select Adobe.com from the Filter Results drop-down list. The results include Help pages, Developer Center articles, knowledgebase articles, videos, and other relevant content pieces posted on adobe.com.

Info: The content posted on adobe.com includes valuable user contributions.

Search within a product’s documentation

CHC provides easy ways of restricting search to a product’s Help in both online and offline (Local or PDF) modes.

Search within a product’s documentation in online mode

Searching in online mode helps you automatically search within the latest copy of the product’s documentation.

  1. In CHC, select the product. For example, FrameMaker 10.
  2. Set Search Location as Online.
  3. Select the Adobe reference only option.
  4. Enter your search term in the search box and press Enter.

CHC then searches within the product’s Help pages and displays the results.

The following screenshot displays the search results for the search term – Display Master Pages, searched using the Adobe reference only option.

The disadvantage of using the Adobe reference only option is that it searches only within the product’s Help pages. Knowledgebase articles, Developer Center articles as well as the valuable content contributed by experts from the Adobe user community are NOT searched.

Search within a product’s documentation in offline mode

  1. In CHC, select the product for which the documentation needs to be searched. For example, FrameMaker 10.
  2. To search within FrameMaker 10 Help, you can do one of the following:
  • a. Set the Search Location as Local and select the appropriate document to be searched from the Filter Results drop down. Enter the search term in the search box, and press Enter to view the results.
  • b. Open the product’s Help by clicking the View Help PDF link. When the PDF is open, you can search using the search capabilities of Adobe Reader.

The following screenshot displays the search results for the search term Display Master Pages with Search Location set to Local and the Using FrameMaker 10 guide selected from the Filter Results drop-down list (method (a)):

The disadvantage of method (a) is that you may not have the latest copy of the documentation on your system.

By default, CHC is set to notify you when updates are available, and gives you a chance to install those updates.

Updating the local copy of the documentation

To manually update your local copy of the documentation:

  1. Click Edit > Preferences
  2. Click Updater Settings and then click Manage Now. CHC displays the latest updates.
  3. Select an update from the list and click Update.
  4. Click Done to close the updater when updates have finished installing.

Related article: Search capabilities in the Adobe Community Help Client.

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