With Inventor 2018, there’s now a new topic in the Inventor help table of contents making the help for the Inventor API available online.
Previously, the API help for Inventor has always been delivered as a chm as part of an Inventor install. When we first started delivering an API with Inventor, chm was the standard for help content on Windows and a chm is still needed to provide context sensitive help when working in VBA. It’s also often convenient to have local help content and not be required to be connected to the internet, however there are also a few advantages to having the help content online.
- Having the content online now makes it available to search engines, so Google searches will now be able to return results from the API help. Searching within the Autodesk help system will now also include the API topics.
- It was difficult to reference content from the help because you couldn’t provide someone a direct link to a topic in the chm version of the help but instead had to give directions for someone to be able to look up the topic on their own. Now you can provide a direct link to a specific topic, like the example below which will take you to one of the samples that demonstrates creating an extrusion.
- It lets you browse the help without having Inventor installed.
The content of the online help is identical to what’s in the chm. There is one new feature in the help topics (both chm and online) that wasn’t there before that can be useful. For each object there is now a new section titled “Accessed From” which returns a list of every method and property that returns that particular object. This is somewhat equivalent to using the object model chart to traverse up the chart to figure out how to access a specific object.
We’ll continue to deliver the chm but will also be publishing the API help online from now on.