Random thoughts and helpful CAD links... - Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


HELP!!! The cry of many a computer user... regardless of how long you have been using computers, you can always learn something new (or mess something up) . Whether it is a feature, an enhancement, a shortcut or even possibly something that was there all along and simply never discovered.

One of the things I always try and do in all my training sessions is add some self-help content. You know the whole "Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime." thing... (here are some funny alterations of that saying).

I truly believe in that philosophy though... One thing I do not like is for someone to simply get stuck and not try and figure it out, or worse not try and exhaust a few resources in an attempt to help themselves... I have no problem helping those who do try and help themselves.

Here is a few tips (and please feel free to comment or suggest)... when using the Help system built into AutoCAD (which I truly feel is vastly improved with each release) try and look at each of the tabs:

Contents Tab = Volumes organized like the paper manuals we once had (and are still available online through the eStore. Also see below for additional PDF files on your Installation CD that can be copied over to a hard drive or a network folder (sharepoint).

Index Tab = An Index which you can type in commands, system variable, etc... which tries to match what you are typing in. (I use this probably the most).

Search Tab = A searching tool, which can be reused (very helpful tool).

Favorites Tab = Which is like a bookmark holder for any Concept, Procedure, Reference or topic being displayed (from the previous tabs) in the right pane... which can be added/removed easily. Very helpful when looking for something (or find something that might have been difficult to navigate to/from)

Ask Me Tab = Which is very cool and can search through all documentation or specific volumes using Answerworks... there is a History link that can redisplay past queries and results quickly.

If you didn't find what you were looking for (never said it was all encompassing, or easy to navigate) then there is also a link provided to submit comments to the Autodesk Technical Publications group.

Next post I will talk about using the Online Knowledge Base and search for Techincal Documents and Solutions...

Some Additonal References:

PDF Files on your Installation CD-ROM:
acad_acg.pdf = Customiztion Guide
acad_acr.pdf = Command Reference
acad_aqr.pdf = Quick Reference
acad_aug.pdf = User's Guide
acad_dpg.pdf = Driver & Peripheral Guide
acad_nag.pdf = Network Administrator's Guide
acad_sig.pdf = Single Installation Guide
adsk_nlg.pdf = Nework License Guide
adsk_slg.pdf = Single user License Guide
samlite_ug.pdf = SAM-lite Report User's Guide



At 11:05 PM, Blogger David Koch said...

Ah, if I only had a dollar for every "ask first, look for the information yourself later" question lobbed in my general direction. ;-)

ADT does not appear to offer the Ask Me tab :-(, but does have the other four. One technique that I have found useful: start out by using the Search tab, clicking on likely topics and scanning them. If I find something close, but not quite exactly what I need, then I click on the Contents tab, which is usually expanded to the selected page. [If not, using the "up" arrow at the top of the right pane will do the trick.] Quite often I will be able to find the page I want somewhere in the vicinity of that page.

This is especially helpful for ADT commands, as there is no alphabetical Command Reference section as there is for AutoCAD.

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Tracy Lincoln said...

Excellent comment(s) Dave. Thank you.


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