Autodesk provides CHM-based Help for AutoCAD 2011

Autodesk provides CHM-based Help for AutoCAD 2011

In a comment in response to my AutoCAD 2011 Help system is not popular post, Autodesk’s Diane Serda acknowledged the problems, offered apologies and posted a link to a CHM version of the Help. From Diane’s comment:

We have posted the zip file for download here:

1. Download the to your local drive (such as My Documents\AutoCAD2011Help).
2. Extract the zip file to this same folder.
3. To access the CHM Help, you’ll need to click on acad181.chm or create a desktop shortcut.

You can also point to the locally installed HTML help by turning on the local help checkbox under Options, System. You can also access the PDF’s from the Online Help Home page under Online Resources.

Thanks, Diane! That saves people from having to do inconvenient and dodgy things like downloading a demo version of an AutoCAD 2011-based vertical (Civil 3D 2011 has CHM-based Help for the AutoCAD bits) and grabbing the CHM out of there.

Edit: when running under Windows 7 64-bit, the Search pane is blank, as it is in the CHM Help for earlier releases. That’s unfortunate, because searching is a major thing at which the browser-based system is currently very poor. The Index panel works, though, and it’s quick.

The PDF link is currently broken for me, but I expect it will be working before too long. In the meantime, the direct link to the list of available AutoCAD 2011 PDF documentation is Documentation.html (beware, space in URL).


  1. Wm.J.Townsend

    The following CHM files are missing from the recent 2011 help file amendment. There may be more. Looks like another feature left unfinished.


    The 2010 and earlier PDF versions of the “AutoLISP Developer’s Guide” and the “ActiveX and VBA Developer’s Guide” never appeared on the subscription site as promised. Too much effort to include ’em on the DVDs I’d guess.

  2. Wm.J.Towsend

    Yep. They’re included in ACADM 2011 and most likely others as well. That download and dump strategy still applies.

    The full list of downloadable ACAD PDF’s were previously found under “Services & Support > AutoCAD Services & Support > Documentation” on Autodesk’s USA website. The 2011 vanilla version only lists the “DXF Reference” PDF and doesn’t provide links to earlier versions as does ACADM 2011 and possibly others. As late as 2010 that page had been a grid of all of the downloadable PDF files — except for the two developer’s guides which were red–dotted as being available on the subscription site. I couldn’t find ’em, and neither could the kind desker who answered my whine for help. Just another annoyance.

    > Are those files available in AutoCAD 2011-based verticals?
    > When/where was the pre-2011 PDF promise made?

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