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Poll: PDF of Help?

Do you want the Help available via PDF (already locally installed and online). If yes, tell us why.

  • Yes, I need it

    Votes: 17 36.2%
  • Yes, I want it because why not?

    Votes: 18 38.3%
  • No, I don't see myself using it.

    Votes: 12 25.5%

  • Total voters
    47

Max

Administrator
Staff member
This post:

describes a user creating a PDF from the online help. We can do this directly, but have not because there didn't seem to be a reason to do so. This poll asks if you want one. If you do want one, please state why you want one, given the Help is both locally installed and also online.

If we can determine that the project is worth it, we may do it.
 

ctcboater

Member
For those not experienced with working parametrically, it's really hard to understand the whole process. Consequenty, the entire manual better teaches the parametric paradigm. That's why I spent the time: For myself.
 

HaroldL

Alibre Super User
Even as a long time Alibre user it would be nice to have the Help printed so I don't need to work with a split screen, AD on one side,Help on the other, while working out some issue. Yeah, I know having two monitors or one of those super-wide ones would be nice but paper is less expensive.
 

chiefshoe

Member
As the Alibre program becomes more complex, I would appreciate a downloadable reference manual that I can print and keep able to use without bouncing back and forth between the "Help" online manual and my project. My request as far as the printable PDF goes, design the manual so it does not require reprinting with every new version of Alibre. Design the chapters so that paragraphs or pages can be added or modified or replaced without messing up the page numbering. Perhaps in the same manner that a large tech manual is designed that is a few hundred pages. Pages can are added using a suffix behind the page number without disturbing the basic page layout. Once additional information is added, the only information that would need printing are the pages that have changed or have been added along with a new table of contents. Alibre would provide the sections of the manual that reflect the changes and the user would print and insert the new material into their current manual.
 

simonb65

Alibre Super User
As the Alibre program becomes more complex, I would appreciate a downloadable reference manual that I can print and keep able to use without bouncing back and forth between the "Help" online manual and my project. My request as far as the printable PDF goes, design the manual so it does not require reprinting with every new version of Alibre. Design the chapters so that paragraphs or pages can be added or modified or replaced without messing up the page numbering. Perhaps in the same manner that a large tech manual is designed that is a few hundred pages. Pages can are added using a suffix behind the page number without disturbing the basic page layout. Once additional information is added, the only information that would need printing are the pages that have changed or have been added along with a new table of contents. Alibre would provide the sections of the manual that reflect the changes and the user would print and insert the new material into their current manual.
That's a serious amount of potential setup and admin work for the Alibre guys! I'd rather they spent time making a better product. Third parties are the ones that ultimately write guides and books, even create YouTube tutorial series. It's very rarely the manufacture because of time, resources and cost. As an example, 99% of all programming guides and examples are by user groups and individuals to dedicate their work to writing how-to's which get published by the big guys (i.e. Wrox, etc), not by the software tool providers, i.e. Microsoft, Arduino, Microchip, etc!

Just as a side, I thought resellers were the ones that provide training courses, etc? Isn't that part of their role as local value add?
 

Max

Administrator
Staff member
That's a serious amount of potential setup and admin work for the Alibre guys! I'd rather they spent time making a better product. Third parties are the ones that ultimately write guides and books, even create YouTube tutorial series. It's very rarely the manufacture because of time, resources and cost. As an example, 99% of all programming guides and examples are by user groups and individuals to dedicate their work to writing how-to's which get published by the big guys (i.e. Wrox, etc), not by the software tool providers, i.e. Microsoft, Arduino, Microchip, etc!

Just as a side, I thought resellers were the ones that provide training courses, etc? Isn't that part of their role as local value add?

We have a 3rd party writing an Alibre book now actually. It won't be out till end of the year probably but it's being written at this moment.
 

HaroldL

Alibre Super User
We have a 3rd party writing an Alibre book now actually. It won't be out till end of the year probably but it's being written at this moment.
Wow, that's interesting. What format will it take, like Matt Lombard's SolidWorks Bible or more of a "for Dummy's" book? Either way having it spiral bound would be a great help in keeping one's place without pages flipping on you.
What price point are you planning?
 

IonSteve

Member
When I'm problem solving, I will invariably use online help; for me, it's hard to beat keyword searching. With that said, I voted for the "yes, why not" option because--even though I've been using Alibre for a loooong time--there are still things it can do that I didn't know about until it gets mentioned here in the forum. And one way I could learn about some of those lesser-known-but-super-useful features would be if I had a book I could physically browse through. Because I totally would.
 

sz0k30

Senior Member
I'm an old guy who grew up in a paper world and who still wants paper.

Lately it seems that we have a lot of new users, many times asking very basic questions on this forum even with the online videos & help. Maybe a paper manual would give them a more convenient usable source.
 

WdstJG

Member
I have a book published by Alibre in 2009 titled Alibre Design 12.1 User Guide, it's a soft covered book 551 pages with a very comprehensive index and many screen shots for each section.

Could this be upgraded and re-published ?

John G
 

simonb65

Alibre Super User
I have a book published by Alibre in 2009 titled Alibre Design 12.1 User Guide, it's a soft covered book 551 pages with a very comprehensive index and many screen shots for each section.

Could this be upgraded and re-published ?
I remember an ex colleague giving me a copy many years ago when he retired :) . It's a great reference point when your starting out. The one thing I feel it lacks though, and is often the biggest thing that new users don't seem to get a handle on very quickly, is the general terms and use cases of parametric CAD, what it's strengths are, what it isn't so good at (i.e. free form push pull that artistic and organic sculpting types of CAD give you) and how all those terms are related and interact with each other.

A big improvement, if an update was feasible direction to go in, would be an additional chapter at the start explaining parametric CAD and it's workflow (i.e. "An Introduction to Parametric CAD") ... in a more high level generic, non-Alibre specific way, then progress to show how Alibre allows you to realise that using Alibre Design/Atom 3D. i.e. So many users start in the 2D Drawing workspace then can't figure out how to make it 3D, because they are used to traditional 2D CAD and 3D is new, so they treat it as the next step rather than the first. Also, the desire to create big sketches that try and do everything, rather than breaking things down into simpler manageable features (things like this aren't covered in the current book).

The sections on common issues are perfect for beginners, and after 12 years there are plenty more examples that can be added to that from the forum. With tips on how to approach general design, i.e. Mirror and pattern features then apply all your fillets at the end.

Even though it's outdated in terms of the version, UI look, new features and features departed, it's still a great reference to have on the shelf to broaden users knowledge and understanding of how things within Alibre work and something to finger through over a coffee. I guess the only gap is for users to associate/relate the solution in the book (or help) to their specific problem. A problem that is always difficult to solve without specific use case tutorials and based on the many products, hobby creations and industries that use Alibre, that is not a small undertaking.

Maybe to bring it up to date too would be a section on designing for 3D printing, covering basic things like overhang angles, wall thicknesses, general printability, etc.

On a side, glancing through it, it's really sad to see things like "Motion" no longer with us. Hopefully it, or something similar, will return one day.

EDIT : I originally voted No, but on reflection, if the online help was slowly expanded with examples of each feature, especially Alibre Script functions, then a pdf generated from it would be very useful to others. As mentioned above. Maybe the addition of a section explaining Parametric CAD would make it a more complete resource for the complete beginner. I now vote Yes, Why not!
 

NateLiqGrav

Alibre Super User
No offence to those asking questions in the forum, but I can tell by the questions that often come up that a lot of new users jump in with no CAD training or at least no parametric CAD experience.
Therefore instead of the current help converted 1:1 (or nearly) into PDF - I think a book (with sections described by Simon) published with multiple formats (digital e reader, PDF, and paper) would be better.
 

sz0k30

Senior Member
I have an "Intro to Solid Modeling using Alibre Design" 2010 Edition by Ron Bowes. A beautiful, well done, comprehensive, approx 350 page, spiral bound manual. That should exist somewhere and should be revised/updated. Even 12 years later it is still a great reference.
 

HaroldL

Alibre Super User
I found a link to a web site that has a "Download PDF" button to supposedly download Ron's book but my Trend Micro blocks the site stating that is it known for scams, etc. Finding a reputable source for the book might be a problem given the version it is for and that it likely is not in print any more.
 

DavidJ

Alibre Super User
Staff member
Ron's book was 'print on demand' when it was available. The publisher (I think it was originally Lulu) hasn't listed it in a long time.

It was supplemented when available by downloadable example files. I found it to be very good.
 
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KCJames

New Member
I voted "Yes, why not" for one reason only. Still new to CAD and parametric modeling and have used both the online and locally installed versions. I do like to take notes when I am learning something a bit more complex so I print out the topic for when I use it the first couple times. A pdf might make the formatting a bit easier. If there ends up not being a pdf version, I'm not gonna lose any sleep.

Now if the pdf would take away resources from maintaining the quality of the software, my vote would be a no.

But looking forward to the book!

Just my humble 2 cents.
 

dwc

Alibre Super User
Nothing beats paper and pencil. My users manuals are full of pages with scribbled notes, etc.
I find keyword search to be pretty useless, especially when I don't really know what the vocabulary is that the program uses.
Flipping through a well organised manual is much quicker.
 
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