Acrobat Help? Not very helpful

July 19, 2012

I needed to find something in the Acrobat Pro X online help, but instead of the Help loading and offering me a search function, I got this message:

Acrobat Help isn't very helpful if it requires internet access

I *was* connected to the internet, and I could access all sorts of sites. But no matter what I did, I kept getting this message and the Help never displayed.

Why oh why isn’t there an option to search the Help on my computer (assuming there’s a Help system for this application stored on my computer)? Why does the Help need to access the internet before it displays? Why didn’t it work even though I had access to the internet? What do people do who aren’t connected to the internet at the time they want to get Help (e.g. at a remote location, in a plane, in an area where access is unreliable, etc.)?

I’ve ranted about Adobe’s shifting of Help to ‘the cloud’ before (the horrible ‘Community Help’ used in Captivate 5: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/captivate-5-first-experiences-of-using-community-help/), but this situation of not even being able to choose whether to view the locally installed Help or the Help available on the internet is doing a disservice to users.

While Microsoft also has internet-based Help as the default for their Office programs, you can change the option to search the locally installed Help instead.

Did I find my answer? Sort of, via someone’s blog via an internet search external to Acrobat. But it’s not the official Help, which is what I wanted.

[Link last checked 18 July 2012]

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