AutoCAD 2012 – How’s the Help now?

You may have noticed that the much-derided AutoCAD 2011 Help has had something of an update for AutoCAD 2012, integrating it with something called Autodesk Exchange. Rather than critique this myself, I’ll hand it over to you.

What do you think of AutoCAD 2012’s Help? Is it all better now? Is it fast, accurate and easy to use with a useful search facility? Or do you hate it and hope someone at Autodesk is scrambling to create a CHM version of it like last year? Please comment.


  1. Without fully testing it, one thing I have noticed is the search feature (at least to me) seems to be much better than the html version of the help from 2011.

  2. Just give me the CHM, and let me know via the KB when an updated one is available.

  3. When the Internet connection breaks down (at your end, at the ISP, any where along the Internet, or at Autodesk’s end) then Help is unavailable. Not a good advertisement for cloud-based services.

  4. No speedy and useful CHM files found in Mechanical this time. A 360M ZIP file holds a full set of slow HTML based help, but I don’t know if if that’s included in vanilla ACAD too. Can’t find the New Features Workshop as a standalone either. I see that the FUI is still forced on the user. Maybe the next release will be better… [idem]

  5. Ralph, Help should be automatically used locally when offline. It can be configured in Options > System to always look at the local files, which is certainly what I intend doing.

  6. Ok, after having a week to use the help, yes the search functionality is better, when you can get it to work. The online version takes quite a while to load up, too much time for me. When I try to use the exchange version help from VLIDE, I get an error that I am not connected to the internet, but it wont automatically open up the html help. The html help is just about as worthless as it was in 2011. I think for the time being, I’m going to just use 2011’s chm help and hope it contains enough info for what I need in 2012.

  7. Can’t give comment because it never works. It refuses to connect to autodesk exchange manually or automatically. Only offline help works.

  8. I’ve been working with ACAD2012 for a few weeks now, and so far I’m loving it!
    But: unfortunately we don’t have any internet access where I’m sitting. Sounds backwater but it’s true: I work in Holland – yep, that’s Europe folks – where this occasionally still happens. And since every new release of any software contains seemingly unavoidable changes (not always the same as ‘improvements’!), it sounds a REALLY GOOD idea to me to include a help-function locally for when things go pear-shaped.

    Good people from Autodesk: if you’re reading this – thanks for at least showing some interest in what your customers are thinking! Now get back to work and get us a proper help-file that we can use. Sounds like pretty good business sense not to upset them too much, doesn’t it???

    OK, rant over 🙂

  9. The Auto cad (Architecture)2012 is a great tool for the world today, but changing the help files to online was and is a bad idea. If there’s no internet connection you stuck, going back and forward to your desktop looking for help takes some time. My suggestion and for all the Auto Cad user is to put back the CHM the way Auto Cad 2010 is. Is faster and better when you need the help information to finish the job.

  10. Just give us the chm file!!!!
    On line too cumbersome and doesn’t work half the time!

  11. Just tried to compile the 2012 mess into a usable CHM. No joy. 223MB file was DOA. A full page of errors during the failed job. Too bad. It’d be a nice update from the desk…

  12. When I started in AutoCAD with v 2.18, I actually telephoned the AutoCAD offices and complained about the extremely poor help and worse indexing. Two versions (Yes! Versions – not Releases!) later, the indexing got a little better.

    IMHO, their ‘Help’ functions haven’t improved all that much, but at least they used to be there for you!

  13. When looking up where the drafting setting can be found, the help points to “tools” a tab that does not exist. Same stuff for “layout” wizard” the help doesn not provide the right location.
    As a matter of fact I hace to enter “dsettings” and “layoutWizard” at the cmmand line to have access to to the menus.
    I certainly do something wrong, no help!

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