Thank you for your feedback regarding the ACADE 2005 Help. Yes, the layout of the Help has changed radically from ACADE 2004. This is because all of the Autodesk Manufacturing solutions now have the same Help look and feel (this includes Autodesk Inventor, ACADM, Autodesk Vault, and so on). They all have a homepage, index, and search function. If you are accessing the Help from the menu in ACADE, the homepage opens by default. From here you can select the function that you are trying to perform. Since Help is generally accessed when you are in the middle of performing a command, we have designed our Help system to work accordingly. When you press the Help button on a dialog box the Help file for that particular command is displayed. You can then click any of the 'See Also' links or one of the accompanying tabs (Concept, Procedure, Reference). This takes to you more information on that particular command if more information currently exists. Online Help is not meant to be a book, therefore it is not presented as one.
The Getting Started Guide is provided to assist new users as they get started with the software - it is not intended to provide information on all of the functions in ACADE. Being that the new features in ACADE 2005 were not 'basic' they were not included in the Getting Started Guide. If you would like information on new features, visit the 'What's New' link from the ACADE Help homepage. This takes you to a file that lists what is new in ACADE and also provides links to the accompanying Help file for more information on how the new feature works.
Currently you can only print the Help on a page-by-page basis. This issue is known and it is being addressed so please bear with us as we find a solution that benefits everyone.
DSS would love to hear your suggestions and/or concerns regarding the Help or the Getting Started Guide. If anyone has a few moments, please take the online survey (accessible on the Help homepage) so that we can better address your concerns.
I really think that there is a enormous shortcoming in the help system. ACADE 2005 is still new for me, and I am not going to make a sweeping statement that the current help is 'this' or 'that', yet, but I will say that a 'command reference' type of manual or help system is often almost worthless to a new user because he has no context in which to place the information the help system supplies. In a complex, non-intuitive application like ACADE, learning dry, specific bits about a certain dialog box really doesn't help a new user master and correctly utilize the terminal block capabilities of ACADE, just to pick something that can be very complex, but not addressed in the tutorial to any degree. In my opinion, there is not adequate coverage of terminal block issues in the 2004 help system (which is the only one that I can offer a fully informed opinion on at this time). The task of utilizing terminal block symbols in ACADE in a 'smart' way, such that ACADE reports will contain useful and valid information, in such a way that the schematic will be electrically correct for the specific components being used, AND in such a way that the panel and/or terminal strip layout drawings are generated correctly with specific wires coming in and exiting the terminals on the correct sides is not something you can really pick up from the 2004 help system as far as I can tell.
As far as the 2005 help system, I don' t see how you can have (in my opinion, 'funky') HTML topics, and ever create a system that will print in a friendly way. You would have to offer a parallel document in something like .pdf format.