We’re pleased to announce that you can now download the documentation for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and you can choose from three different formats:
- Chm (help file)
- Docx (Word file)
Downloadable Chm – Help Update Wizard
The first option uses the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Help Update Wizard, similar to how we’ve done this previously with Configuration Manager 2007. Use this wizard to install a local help file, which contains a copy of the guides in the TechNet Documentation Library for System Center 2012 Configuration.
After installation, you can load the help file from a Configuration Manager console or independently, for example, from a shortcut on your desktop. After you have installed the local help file, you can expand System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to confirm that it now contains the Configuration Manager guides that are published on TechNet. You can then use the Search tab to search for text in titles or in the body of the topic, and use the Print option to print all topics under a selected node.
New! – Word and PDF
We are also piloting Word and PDF formats, to provide a more portable option for the docs. We haven’t done this in the past because of the size of our documentation library, but many customers have requested this so we’re piloting these additional options. Let us know how you get on with these and your preferences.
Unlike the other System Center components, we have not offered the downloads by guide because there is too much linking between them. Having a separate download for each guide would break the offline experience for links that go to other guides and you wouldn’t be able to search across them.
Bonus – New version of the Help File Updater Wizard for Configuration Manager 2007
For good measure, we have also provided a new version of the Help File Updater Wizard for Configuration Manager 2007, which contains a roll-up of all changes since the last version in June, 2011.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Downloaded Documentation
We know that downloadable versions of the documentation are important to you, because you don’t always have Internet access (or might not have reliable connectivity). Some people find them easier to read, search, and print. However, we cannot keep them as up-to-date as the content on TechNet, where we can update individual topics on a regular basis as we get more information from the product group or in response to customer feedback. Whenever possible, use TechNet for the most current information.
Search: As an alternative to using the downloaded documentation because you find it easier to search because it returns topics from the Configuration Manager library only – try using the scoped search string that we provide in the Information and Support for Configuration Manager page. This provides a Bing search string that is scoped to the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Documentation Library, so you don’t get results for Configuration Manager 2007, for other Microsoft products, or from external sources. Use the instructions and examples provided to help you create your own searches, using AND, OR, and NOT operators.
Tip: To use a similar scoped search string for Configuration Manager 2007, use “search_criteria” site:technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library meta:search.MSCategory(hh528538)
Print and save to PDF: As an alternative to using the downloaded documentation for printing multiple topics (for example, the whole Site Administration guide), try using the Print/Export Multiple Topics feature that is available in the TechNet Lightweight Library. This feature has been in beta for while and is now officially released. You can find more information about how it works in this blog posting: http://thirdblogfromthesun.com/2011/08/export-then-print-multiple-library-topics-beta/http://thirdblogfromthesun.com/2011/08/export-then-print-multiple-library-topics-beta/ This functionality is currently restricted to 100 topics at a time, but there are fewer than 100 topics in each guide, with the exception of the Assets and Compliance guide. So for example, you could select and save in PDF format all the topics in the Site Administration guide. Then print them or view them on your mobile device.
Send feedback: We’re looking forward to your feedback about the different formats, which one you prefer, and why – so email us at the usual address of SMSDocs@microsoft.com and we will report back the results.
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties and confers no rights.