AutoCAD 2013/2014/2015

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Distinguished Contributor
Jeff10
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎10-18-2003
Message 1 of 43 (2,224 Views)
Accepted Solution

Help is TERRIBLE

2224 Views, 42 Replies
05-28-2012 04:43 AM

Hey,

 

For all the new features in AutoCAD, I can't believe Autodesk has cut so many corners.

 

I have been a licensed user since the early 90s.

 

I am old school. I love having manuals. I love being able to open a book and follow an example, or use the table of contents, or the index to find what I need.

 

I reluctantly gave up on the idea that manuals would continue to be provided. Autodesk's selling point was that electronic help would be better.

 

Maybe I'm just dense; but, I have failed to find any useful information on two relatively easy topics concerning version 2013. I was adding a pan button to my zoom menu... trying to understand the difference between pan and realtime pan. Searching for each of those topics yielded NOTHING. Then I was exploring help looking for settings pertaining to the layer isolate command (layiso). Again, a search yielded NOTHING.

 

Unless I have missed something, help is worthless for the basics. Have I missed something? Based on a search of "help" it appears that there are others who are very unhappy, too.

 

I have all of the manuals for every release from R14 through 2008... I'm sure I can find what I need for the basic features.

 

I know this is a rant... but, the arguement for no longer providing manuals in hardcopy form was that electronic manuals would as good, or better. At this point I don't have any faith in online help. When you can't find the most basic of information (pan and isolate), why would I think that the more complex features would be adequately addressed?

 

Is it just me?

 

Jeff Bennett

*Expert Elite*
Patchy
Posts: 6,208
Registered: ‎09-16-2009
Message 2 of 43 (2,222 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-28-2012 06:17 AM in reply to: Jeff10

"I am old school. I love having manuals. I love being able to open a book and follow an example, or use the table of contents, or the index to find what I need."

 

Same for me, I need printed paper in front of me so I can follow the instruction and working at the same time.

*Pro
nestly
Posts: 1,283
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
Message 3 of 43 (2,218 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-28-2012 06:30 AM in reply to: Patchy

I don't necessarily need a hardcopy, but I would agree that the current HELP files are less useful than a traditionally structured "manual"

Distinguished Contributor
Jeff10
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎10-18-2003
Message 4 of 43 (2,206 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-28-2012 11:52 AM in reply to: nestly

Hi,

 

I probably spoke a little out of turn.

 

I know the User's Guide for 2012 is on Autodesk's website. I did download it, and there's quite a bit of good information in it.

 

There is not, however, a User's Guide for 2013. (I couldn't find it, if there is one somewhere.)

 

I guess what bugs me the most is not being able to get a hit to a term such as pan, realtime pan, or isolate (layer) when using the online help search feature.

 

Hopefully the User's Guide for the current product will be published soon.

 

Thanks

 

Jeff

*Expert Elite*
rkmcswain
Posts: 3,090
Registered: ‎11-13-2006
Message 5 of 43 (2,204 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-28-2012 12:01 PM in reply to: Jeff10

Good blog post(s) by Steve Johnson on this topic.

This particular one has 120+ comments, with a lot of those from an Autodesk employee.

 

http://www.blog.cadnauseam.com/2012/04/06/autocad-2013-an-autodesk-help-writer-responds/

 

 

Distinguished Contributor
Jeff10
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎10-18-2003
Message 6 of 43 (2,193 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-28-2012 02:15 PM in reply to: rkmcswain

Hi RK,

 

Thanks for the link. I have only read a small number of the posts in that blog; but, it's pretty clear there are users with similar complaints.

 

I came across a link a month or so ago. I forget what I was looking for. I believe the video was a shareholder or investor presentation by Carl Bass. I watched only a portion of it, and I believe it painted Autodesk in a pretty strong financial light. I don't recall if it was earlier this year, or last year.

 

When I recall that presentation, and then the frustration of trying to search out simple definitions, I can't really appreciate saving money to increase shareholder return at the expense of the end users.

 

I remember with R14 the big box that came with that product. There were several different manuals, the 3-1/2 floppies, and an assortment of other things. Now we get a thumb drive in a small mailer, and absolutely zero hardcopy documentation.... for programs which are orders of magnitude more powerful and complex than R14.

 

Of course, I'm also the guy who still wears what remains of his AUGI t-shirts... and who wishes they would make a comeback.

 

Take Care

 

Jeff

*Expert Elite*
GrantsPirate
Posts: 1,550
Registered: ‎08-15-2008
Message 7 of 43 (2,144 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-29-2012 08:21 AM in reply to: Jeff10

You found nothing at all or nothing of value to you?  I agree that I don't like the new help but I can find things in there.

 

I just searched on REALTIME PAN and it gave me two relevant hits, both seem to give plenty of information on the subject.

 

I searched on layiso and it gave me a page explaining that with unlayiso as another hit as well.

*Expert Elite*
Alfred.NESWADBA
Posts: 8,867
Registered: ‎06-29-2007
Message 8 of 43 (2,132 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-29-2012 09:00 AM in reply to: GrantsPirate

Hi,

 

search for "LINE" and check the items listed before the command "LINE" is listed (at least the only one with 100% exact wording for a command, but even not the first item in the list of results) :smileywink:

But yes, as long as you know the command-name, you'll find some content. As long as you can start a command that does some user-requests you can press <F1> and you'll get to the right command in the help.

But in case you don't know the exact wording you are lost. E.g. I know there was a sysvar beginning with "PLOT" or "PLT" ==> try to find them with a few clicks. Or just point out (in 20sec, as it was in the previous help) where to find the list of sysvars. In 2012 ==> >>>just 2 clicks<<<

 

- alfred -

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Alfred NESWADBA
Ingenieur Studio HOLLAUS ... www.hollaus.at
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*Expert Elite*
GrantsPirate
Posts: 1,550
Registered: ‎08-15-2008
Message 9 of 43 (2,118 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-29-2012 10:49 AM in reply to: Jeff10

Alfred, I guess you missed the part where I said I don't like the 2013 Help, but the OP gave two specific examples of a search and said they found nothing.  When in fact typing either of those in will give a few very good hits on the subjects.  While I agree that searching for LINE should give you an obvious hit as the first one, if someone is searching on LINE they have bigger problems.

 

I can't believe they eliminated the system variable and command lists, just totally incomprehensible on their part.

 

To find those I go to the command line and type *plot* and then go from there, plot is an example only in answering your question.

Distinguished Contributor
Jeff10
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎10-18-2003
Message 10 of 43 (2,115 Views)

Re: Help is TERRIBLE

05-29-2012 11:00 AM in reply to: GrantsPirate

Hi COJonez,

 

Wow!

 

I know I was using help the same way yesterday that I used it a few minutes ago.

 

Yesterday I was told that there were no matches for my search criteria... "realtime", "pan" and "layiso".

 

Today I typed those words and each one yielded results.

 

I apologize for going so far out on a limb.... I was pretty frustrated.

 

Now I'm just confused. I don't know what (if anything) changed between yesterday and today.

 

My apologies to the board, and to Autodesk. (I'd still prefer hardcopy to electronic... but, as long as I have a resource that works, all is good.)

 

Jeff

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