Wednesday, October 14, 2009

flash cs4 use local help - copied from cached google of

So I previously posted about my hatred for the new help system inside of the CS4 products and begged for someone to find out how to get the old help panel back. While the following isn’t a complete solution to the issue, it is a lot better than having to go online all the damn time.

Jloa, a commenter on the previous post, pointed out that you can delete these files on the PC and you’ll get a local help panel:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Help\en_US\Flash\10.0_ExtendingFlash\helpmapBaseUrl.txt

and this one:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Help\en_US\AS3LCR\Flash_10.0\helpmapBaseUrl.txt

While that isn’t ENTIRELY true (because it’s not an actual panel inside of the IDE like it used to be, still a browser but a local copy) I couldn’t find these files on a Mac which is what I’m using. I did a little Googling for helpmapBaseUrl.txt (can someone tell me why when I put that into Spotlight it didn’t find anything..?) and found this article.

From reading that, I was able to locate the files on my file system in the following areas:

Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Help/en_US/Flash/10.0_ExtendingFlash/helpmapBaseUrl.txt


Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Help/en_US/AS3LCR/Flash_10.0/helpmapBaseUrl.txt

Instead of deleting the files (you never know when you’ll need them again), I just renamed them to helpmapBaseUrl_baq.txt.

I also found these two as well and renamed them, just to keep it all together:

Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Help/en_US/Flash/10.0_UsingFlash/helpmapBaseUrl.txt


Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Help/en_US/Flash/10.0_Welcome/helpmapBaseUrl.txt

Now when I launch Flash (you have to re-launch Flash, by the way, after you make these changes) and press F1 I get a browser window popping up but its a) much faster and b) local to my file system. You can see in the browser bar that the path starts with file:/// which means its running from your hard drive. From there, I go ahead and click on ActionScript 3.0 Language and Components Reference and I get a nice little window with all the information I’m looking for, fully searchable. You’re probably saying to yourself, “This is the same thing that I could get by just going here!” And you’re absolutely right. But notice the little subtle difference. Where is the Search field in the online version? There isn’t one! If you search the local copy, you get a nice list of results that include what you were looking for as well as other classes that relate or include that class.

While it’s not the ultimate solution like the CS3 help panel was, it is a lot more helpful than the garbage Adobe was shoving down our throats initially. Someone mentioned that there should be a preference setting for this, viewing the online version or the local one, which I totally agree with, but for now, this will have to do.