make all msdn documentation available off-line
Please bring us back to the good old days where all docs available off-line were available to download... if not free for all at least for msdn subscribers.
Thank you for your feedback! As we move our documentation from MSDN to docs.microsoft.com, we started rolling out the ability to download entire documentation sets in the form of PDF files. In addition, we have also revamped our offline help generation service, that will provide more content available through Help Viewer, bundled with Visual Studio.
- Den Delimarsky
Geoff Chappell commented
How does availability as PDFs count as COMPLETED? Plainly what Visual Studio users want are two things. First, that what the Help Viewer provides for downloading for the Online source to add as local content should be the _entire_ documentation. Second, that all this content should be separately downloadable so that it can be added to the Help viewer with Disk as the installation source. Until it's obvious how to do both of these, the "Help Viewer, bundled with Visual Studio" is pretty much crippled. Perhaps that's what's COMPLETED.
Pétur Ingi Egilsson commented
This is not completed.
Mark Harrison commented
This is just so irritating and really should not be a problem. Why on earth would MS change something that was working so well for so long for this broken arrangement?
I am going to assume that this was an oversight but it would be really nice if someone actually fixed it.
Abdellah Ousrhire commented
Hey Visual Studio Team I'm very interested in this user's request because it's exactly what i need; i would love it if i can download the entire MSDN library as an iso / torrent file and open it in MSOffice or as PDF files thanks for understanding :3
I agree jams! I spent most of the day trying to get some documentation for offline use and I contacted Microsoft several times trying to locate the documentation with no success. It seems a little misleading that it says Microsoft has released the documentation for download but when you try to download it there is no avenue and NONE of the Tech support folk have any idea what you’re requesting even after you send them multiple links to the documentation you would like to download. Microsoft really needs to get this fixed.
A lot more work is needed on your docs.microsoft.com to come to parity to the ease and organisation of the old "msdn" library.
Your TOC view is very poor - for a start, the tree is slow to load, when you expand nodes - it was instantaneous in the past...even on the "web" msdn....add up all those wasted seconds over a work day, it gets rather tiring.
Can't use keyboard up/down arrows, and left arrows to expand, navigate - all has to be done via mouse clicks.
You also have arbitrary limits ("too many pages") on how much can be downloaded/converted via your "Export" ...this makes the simple task of getting everything laborious to say the least.
Why did you take out the "different" ways to view content...forgot what it was called....but was "classic" mode, etc.
Finding material is now much harder.
I simply wanted to do to the WPF documentation, I tried "Windows Presentation Foundation" and "WPF" in the "Filter the catalog by title"......got nothing....also tried in the "retired documents" got nothing - finding a needle in a haystack.
On some links, you override the "right click" and instead show a simple menu called "Add this page"....this then prevents being able to open that link into another tab window......for instance you would want to do that if you were wanting to view different sections of the documentation at the same time - very hard to multitask.
It's very jarring when switching to different areas of the documentation - e.g. if I click on Windows Documentation, you get a "tabbed" view "Developer", "Hardware Dev", "IT Pro". If I choose Xamarin, then you get big icon blocks, then go to Xamarin Workbooks, and it's another layout - so in short, no consitency like we had in the old days.
It really does make me rather upset....as I learned and read a lot of MSDN in the old days, when it was easy to consume.
I really hope you manage to remove the obstacles you have created.
I think docs.microsoft.com should expose a web service just like MSDN does, so that applications like PackageThis and VSHD can download any documents developers want and integrate them into Help Viewer.
This is more what you should provide.. it did the job:
Visual Studio 2012/2013/2015 Help Downloader
License Type : Apache License
License Version : 2.0
Sorry, this has *not* been completed.
What MS provided, and what other vendors provide, is context sensitive help, which developers expect and cannot work without. For example, when you have the cursor on "System.Data.Design" in the Visual Studio IDE, or "ROW_NUMBER" in SQL Server Management Studio, and press F1, a *help* viewer pops up which is supposed to help you. It's worked like this for years - Visual Basic 6, Borland Delphi since 1995 (ask Anders Hejlsberg - he works for MS now). Anything else is a step backwards, which is where you are going.
Also, since internet is not available in more than half of the earth's (land) surface, and to more than half of the earth's human population, if it's dependant on a fast permanent internet connection, it also doesn't help, which is why we're asking for downloadable offline context sensitive docs.
I fully agree with robi. Working offline needs a good searchable and complete documentation! Please support this!
Since our development team working in a controlled environment without internet access here, they need access to offline documentation for Visual Studio and SQL Server. So, please give us back a way to install it on our computers. We need entire library, not just a part of it. And NOT a pdf document, I just can not imagine how could somebody work with such a document.
Of all possible bad workarounds, you selected PDF?! WTF are you smoking?
We, the ones wanting the documentation, are developers. If it was up to me, the best documentation system was actually the search stuff for Windows 3.x, pre-dating MSDN. Second best (though not good) was .chi/.chm. But PDF? As a reference documentation format???
Unless you have a giant leap in PDF reader indexing and usability up your sleeve, this is a clusterfuck.
William Bosacker commented
@Ken: It would be nice if the Help Viewer actually did that. It does not. The content that it downloads is a very tiny fraction of all the help files, and it doesn't download ANY of the web development documentation. There is a web development section, but it does not contain ANY of the online help pages.
Rick C. Hodgin commented
Visual Studio 2003 had an MSDN disc. I could install MSDN content as a local app. That is what we want. And a way to integrate contextual help from that offline source if that window is open, like you had 13 years ago.
Why has something so simple been made so complex (rhetorical)
When I install Visual Studio, install the components I select and their complete documentation, which can be viewed offline with Help Viewer..
Later, if choose to install an additional component, install the component I select with its complete documentation which can be viewed offline with Help Viewer.
Notify me when there are updates to installed component documentation. Help Viewer does this quite well.
That doesn't address the problem. You missed the point entirely. We do not want pdfs. We want to be able to download help content for integration into visual studio without having to load visual studio. Most organizations do not hang their development systems onto the internet. Most developers have to put up with a controlled environment where they cannot load visual studio onto a system that has internet access just to be able to download help content for their systems on the closed networks. You are just making our lives harder.
I'm always finding things which aren't in the offline documentation, it's a real pain. It means I can only find the information when I'm online so not it's not at my finger tips I can only access the documentation when I have free time.
Even if you just made a browser front end to download the files rather than a studio application. I at least work in an environment where I don't have a VS installation that can see the internet. It is also extremely restricted as to the movement of data into that environment. Even if you included them with the companies MSDN subscription it would probably work.. And the idea of storing ANYTHING in the cloud is never going to happen.
Kenneth Benson commented
What someone at MS is not thinking about is if there is no documentation there can be no new well written programs. If MS wants to write all programs themselves, they better start hiring a c**p ton of programmers. If they don't, WE NEED THE DOCUMENTATION D****T!!!
I need docs for VS 2010, off-line versions available for all VS except 2010. Where I get it?