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Why does "Help" in AE return search results for all Mac topics, not AE specific?

New Here ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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In AE when I enter a search query in the Help field, it gives me irrelevant results from all "general Mac" topics?

For example, as a test I enetered "reverse keyframes" and there was a list of about 20 results that included printing topics (sending documents to the printer in reverse order). This makes Help in AE less useful.

 

I tested Photoshop just now, and the search only returned PS topics. Why doesn't AE perform the same?

 

This is happening while AE is active, not the desktop.

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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When I enter "reverse keyframes" it shows me exactly where Time-Reverse Keyframes is located in After Effects, but without any explanation.

WarrenHeaton_0-1701994299558.png

 

I agree that Photoshop's "Discover" feature would be great to have in After Effects.  If you post it as an "Idea" in the Adobe Community Forums, please link back to it here and I'll vote for it.

When searching in your web broswer, add "Adobe helpx" to the text string to bring back Adobe Support documents first.  So, "reverese keyframes After Effects Adobe helpx" should take your rirght to Setting, selecting and deleting keyframes in After Effects.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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Thanks, it's helpful to learn that search modifier for online searches!

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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On macOS, the Help menu is a macOS feature that appears in almost all apps. If you try the Help menu search field in most macOS apps, including Apple’s own Mac apps, the first thing it usually returns is names of matching menu commands of the current app, which it will open and highlight for you. Which I think is very useful, I often use that Help field to remember where some obscure command is in apps like those by Adobe and Microsoft where the menus are very deep.

 

After Effects uses the macOS Help menu the way most Mac apps do.

 

Photoshop is an exception. It looks like the Photoshop team rewired the macOS Help search field to direct searches to its own Edit > Search command, which leads to the relatively new Discover panel which is in many ways superior to the macOS Help command. A Discover search can visually highlight not just menu commands, but also a tool if its name matches your search, and to tutorials specifically for Photoshop. Illustrator also has the Discover panel now, but I don’t know if any other Adobe apps do.

 

So yes, it would be nice to have the Discover panel in After Effects. As with any Adobe product team, how soon they do it depends on how they’re prioritizing that versus everything else on the “could do” list.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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I didn't realize that Help was not part of the AE software, it's a Mac function (!)  What is strange is I can't get Help to show me AE "topics" type of returns, like the information that would be contained in the AE manual on a topic. I seem to recall using Help to access an AE manual in the past. I think it's strange that Help shows me those types of "topic" results for the Mac OS and for other apps besides AE. Something seems to be missing. Help in AE doesn't link to an AE manual which should have been part of my software download. (Maybe my manual isn't in the right folder?)

 

I agree that having the menu commands be highlighted by Help is super helpful. But if a word is not contained in the menu bar, it seems like Help is of no help.

 

 

 

 

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