I don't know about you but it has frustrated me tremendously in the 2012 release and it continues to be a sore point for me in the 2013 release:
Inventor's wiki Help is not bringing me to where I want to be in the Help. I'll give an example.
When I have the Application Options dialog open on the Drawing tab and I want to know what the Enable background updates option exactly means, I hit the context help icon "?".
Fig 1: Looking for Help on the Enable background updates option …
This brings me to the following wiki Help page.
Fig 2: Application options context help but no sign of Enable background updates option
The problem is that this Help page is collapsed and shows me the top level help for the Application Options.
I want help on an item at a much deeper level than that. Of course I can try to expand several sections in an attempt to find what I was looking for but this is time consuming.
So the reason for my blog post is to show you a much snappier method to get to the context help.
The first step is to avoid the wiki help by downloading the full Inventor 2013 Help and storing it on your local drive.
If you have installed Inventor in C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2013, place the local help in the folder C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2013\Local Help.
However after doing all this, when you press F1, Inventor still brings you to the wiki.
This is because Inventor's Help reacts differently depending on whether you are connected to the Internet or not
- With internet connection, F1 brings you to https://wikihelp.autodesk.com
- Without internet connection, F1 brings you to the help on your local disk drive
Assuming that most us would not want to give up their Internet connection J, here are the steps to prevent Inventor from searching for the wiki (even if you have a working internet connection).
- locate the file called HelpIds.xml in the Inventor Bin folder (the default location is C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2013\Bin)
- Open HelpIds.xml in any text editor
Search for the section that contains the string "UseOnline"
Change the UseOnline value from the default 1 to 0.
- Save the xml file
Once the local help kicks in, the context help ends up much closer to where you want to be than with the wiki help.
In my previous example of the Drawing Application Options, you will land in the Drawing Tab section of the Application Option help.
Fig 3: Help shown much closer to the context (before expansion)
It is just a matter of expanding the Capacity/Performance section to see the help on Enable background updates.
Fig 4: Help after expansion
Purists will say that the local help is static and does not benefit from the continuous updates that the wiki help receives.
Personally, I can live with that limitation. I prefer a speedy out-of-date version over a slow up-to-date version.
I know where I can find the latest and greatest Help if need be…