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Is it possible to provide documentation as downloadable files ?

 

The online-documentation is ver good , but not the best practicable way.

 

regards

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Guest Keatah

Seconded. This online documentation trend is unfortunately becoming more prevalent than ever before.

 

How can we reverse the annoying trend of online help files? It seems that more and more software is eliminating local help files in favor of requiring an internet connection to retrieve documentation. What happened to the good old .PDF and .CHM files? What is wrong with continuing to use them?

 

I've heard all sorts of excuses such as it takes too much disk space. Or it takes too much bandwidth to download. Another BS excuse is that it is online so it can be updated. Pfffaaagghh! I say. Just get it right in the first place and you won't have to update anything!

 

Maybe this is a fad of some kind that I simply fail to understand.

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It's been asked for before, with no offering of a PDF, etc. You could use one of those free online site to PDF conversion tools for it.

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Guest Keatah

You can use WinHTTRACK and grab it complete with clickable links. Pack the resultant files into a zip archive. Or do like mentioned and convert to pdf.

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Guest Keatah

There's an official portable version on WinHTTRACK website.

 

And what about this? -- http://www.spadixbd.com/wsz/ -- for after you've gotten all the files. Put them into here and make a single clickable file. I won't have time to play with this. But it looks interesting. I wonder if it's freeware?

 

Another trend I don't like is some websites are not saying if something is payware or freeware. If I'm looking for something I tend to skip right over paid solutions. They know this. I Only come back if I can't find something suitable.

 

-----

never mind - it's freeware..

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That looks good too. What I've always did was the manual way of grabbing the images and text, and then making my own PDF document, which is a slow process. If only software publishers would offer a PDF or CHM there'd be no need to go that route.

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Guest Keatah

Ha. They used to. All my windows 3.1 - early XP wares have some sort of locally available offline documentation. This nonsense of connecting to the internet to RTFM started with the smartphone/tablet era. Not something I approve of.

 

In fact - An unspoken rule by which software I recommend has to comply to is that it have some sort of offline manual available. Sometimes there are simple utilities, simple enough that all you need is a single .maff file or two captured with firefox; that will also suffice and pass my screening process.

 

IDK, but it just seems cheap to have the Help dropdown spit you out to a browser. And it really pisses me off like you have no idea!

 

 

Woot! websitezip packer comes with a .CHM file!

I sort of semi-like Adobe's way of finding balance. You can cache a local copy of the online help. And you can zip it up for future reference if the internet should ever explode. You can also download a PDF (what else?) of the same deal.

 

Then there is the abomination of iTunes help. It's all done in a custom mini-safari browser. You can't cache it or zip it. And while they offer it as a download, they rely on you to print it to a format like pdf or xps or something. It has no clickable references and is one long unbroken chain of topic after topic with no delineation or easy way to tell sections from one another. This screams cost-cutting el'cheapo! It is not hip!

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there used to be an offline helpfile called "beginners guide" but it outdated very quickly (though at times so does the docs section ;) )

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Guest Keatah

I still have it! Mostly for nostalgia.

 

Online help docs vs local help file - both become outdated at the same rate.

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I still have it! Mostly for nostalgia.

 

Online help docs vs local help file - both become outdated at the same rate.

I'd forgotten about it til I updated winapp2 last night, so this thread is quite timely for me

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