With our latest deployment of SolidWorks Web Help in early February 2012, we have added a new feature for showing SolidWorks Forum content in the help system. This new feature is present throughout the web help system, including all content from SolidWorks 2010, 2011 and 2012. At the bottom of every help topic page, you will see a section labeled "Related SolidWorks Forum Content". This section automatically searches the SolidWorks Forum for content using the help topic title as the default search string. The search does not delay the loading of the regular help content, but is done in parallel to loading the topic content so you can start reading the main help content without delay. Below is an image of what this new section looks like on the Menu Bar help topic:
Once the initial search is complete, you can page through the results or adjust sorting and filtering options, using the same options available in the search results in the SolidWorks Forums. You can also adjust the search string. Adjusting the search string is often useful if the title of the help topic contains extra words that may hinder the search. For example, you may want to change from "Top Down Design Overview" to just "Top Down Design". There is quite a bit of information shared by SolidWorks employees in blog posts within the forums; you can quickly show just blog posts in the forum search results by clicking on the green forum icon in the "what" filters.
You can also start a new discussion directly from the help topic if you want to ask a related question for the community to answer.
We hope this feature is useful to you. Our goal is to allow users to discover related content that already exists in the forums and help those users that are not already active in the forums to discover that they exist since they are such a valuable source of knowledge. This is also a good way for users to discover more detailed information that SolidWorks employees have contributed on a related subject. As examples, you can see that the following help topics automatically show related blog posts that I have written in the past in the User Interface section of the forums.
We welcome feedback and suggestions for improvements on this new feature. If you have feedback, you can simply post a comment on this blog post.