Is there a user manual for the free 2D version? I looked around for a PDF but nothing can be found, didn't even find any books for sale on this software. It looks really nice (especially for free) but going to be hard to learn how to use it without a manual. I know there are tutorials, but I'm still kind of a book person.
Did you look in the 'Help' section? If you click on the contents section, you may find just what you are looking for. It is layed out nicely. The only problem is there is some 3d information mixed in with the 2d that can cause some confusion.
Whatever version it let me download on Sunday is the version I have. OS is XP 32bit sp2 and .net 4. It definitely seems like a faulty install and might be on the .net end which is partly driving the thoughts of buying a new computer as the one it is on now is a little slow and small RAM for this.
This is all strictly for my personal hobby use so dealing with slow is sometimes something I need to weigh against spending pocket money. I didn't spend a lot of time with Solid Edge because I had finished the only project that was waiting in A9CAD the night before, my desire to use Solid Edge is that it looks like a much more feature rich application and might fit better with my low level user abilities. The last "drafting" I did was with QuickCad on Windows 3.1 so it has been plenty of years since I've wanted or needed anything more than a pencil and paper could provide. I pushed my milling machine up to a higher level and thought I might push my layout to a higher level.
All that said, help menus are OK, but it is really nice to have at least a PDF that you can open on another machine or print for reference while you are working on a project. Someone had to write the help file, what did they write it in and can it be formatted into a PDF? Heck I'd even take a Word document if I had too (please no doc x). An Open Office ODF would be fine too, I could make my own PDF from it.
OK... If I take the time to pull the information out of the help file and assemble it into a PDF, will I be able to post this info to the web? Or can it be hosted along with the application so that other people can use it?
If I sit down to do it, I might as well make the whole thing. Looks like it would go about 150 to 200 pages after images and formatting with a separate quick start document for the Autocad users. I found a Microsoft tool that is used to compile and decompile chm files and decompiled it last night, need to look and see if dealing with the decompiled files will be easier than cutting the text from the help reader and putting the images back in. I'm sure if I was up to speed on Autocad the transition would be easy, but I'm not up to speed on anything and reading through hours of help files is always a convoluted process at best. I also like to have a paper manual in my hands while I'm learning things, and printing chm files just plain sucks, there is no other way to describe it. You don't get real chapters, the pages come out broken in odd places, just nothing good about it from all of the examples that I've tried to print (even Microsoft is extremely guilty of this). If the pages were made with printing in mind, then you can make all the formatting required and it would be decent, but no one seems to be willing to take the time to put in all that formatting and just treat them like a big web page. Maybe it is just my personal failings in dealing with the help files, but I know there are other people like me. Again, if I put in the complete set of files, will there be any copyright issues if I make them available to other people? If there will be issues, then if I put this all together could this document be available from the official download area for those people that might want it? I would also be willing to supply the editable document so that official updates could be made, it will be either an ODF from Open Office or a Microsoft DOC again from Open Office so that the software engineers could then change and update when needed. Open Office will produce PDF files natively (export to PDF under the file tab) so it makes a good platform to do this type of work, and it's free even for business use.
The Help system is considered part of the software and comes under license restrictions. It is OK for you to make copies for your own use. However, posting copies for others is not allowed. Regards, Rick B.