17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2012 2:06 PM by Tony Dum

    SW freezes when I try to use the Help file

    Max Crittenden

      If I have a model open and try to do a search in the Help file, both the Help window and Solidworks freeze and I have to do a force quit. This is ... inconvenient. I can do a search if no models are open.

       

      Is this just a matter of insufficient memory, or is it yet another example of Solidworks' devil-may-care attitude toward user-friendliness? I'm running SW 2011 SP5.0.

       

      thanks

      Max

        • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
          Troy Peterson

          Try running Solidworks RX to capture the issue then send to your VAR to troubleshoot.

            • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
              Max Crittenden

              Troy - I've tried launching Solidworks RX, but it's not obvious what I should do with it. Do I need to run it while Solidworks is open and frozen?

               

              Timothy - Not sure what you're asking. In this situation, there is no error message. I get an hourglass cursor if I hover over the Help window, the regular cursor if I hover over the Solidworks window, but I can't do anything with either.

               

              I'll try the online help, thanks.

              Max

            • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
              Roland Schwarz

              The obvious answer is that you need more training.  That way you won't need the help files so much.

              • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                John Sweeney

                Hi Max,

                To Timothy's question... are you using the online help or the local chm help content.  This can be determined by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the "?" icon in the top-right corner of the applciation window.  In the menu, we have a "Use SolidWorks Web Help" option that will be checked or unchecked...

                 

                Also, where are you typing the search string which causes the freeze?  Do you enter the text inside the small text input field which is in the top-right corner of the application window, or are you entering the search text into the separate help content window?

                 

                Is this a recent problem since your install of SW2011 SP5?  Do you have a second installation of SolidWorks 2010 or earlier on the same machine?

                 

                Thanks,

                John

                  • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                    Max Crittenden

                    John -

                     

                    I'm not using web help. I don't know what "chm" means, but I'm sure I'm using a file stored on my computer.

                     

                    I'm typing my terms into the blank space right under the Search tab in the Help window.

                     

                    Sometimes it freezes, sometimes there's no problem.

                     

                    This has been a fairly recent problem. But I've only been using 2011 for a few weeks, so I think it may have happened with 2010 also.

                     

                    I still have 2010 and 2006 installed.

                     

                    thanks

                    Max

                      • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                        John Sweeney

                        Hi Max,

                        I talked with the head of our Documentation group and he isn't aware of any issues with the compiled help (.chm).  He tested 2011 SP5, along with the developer who is responsible for this area, but everything seemed to work fine.  I would recommend running sldRx and sending a video of the issue to your reseller.  This may end up being an issue that is specific to your machine or your settings.

                         

                        I would also recommend trying the web based help.  The FAST based search engine used by our online help returns excellent results and provides a lot of drill-down capabilities, whereas, the search mechanism with Microsoft Compiled Help has always been a limitation and restriction we could not avoid.  In addition, the web based help is continually being improved based on user feedback.

                         

                        You can access the web-based help as mentioned above by selecting "? - Use SolidWorks Web Help" or by visiting the URL below.  Once you enable the "Use SolidWorks Web Help" option, any help queries from within SolidWorks will launch the online help and locate the related topic.

                         

                                   http://help.solidworks.com/

                         

                        Best Regards,

                        John

                         

                        Message was edited by: John Sweeney

                          • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                            Tony Dum

                            Hi John,

                             

                            When I access the web based help from the menu in SW it takes almost a minute to load.  However, I just loaded it from your link in the post and it loaded almost immediately.  I'm running SW 2011 x64 SP5.0, Win 7.  Hardware obviously isn't a problem since I was able to load so quickly from your link.  I noticed this when we upgraded hardware and software about a year ago (to SW 2011 & win 7), brought it to IT's attention since they had tightened security and permissions with the upgrade.  They said that wasn't the problem, but didn't offer a good explanation.  Any insight?

                             

                            thanx

                            Tony

                              • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                                John Sweeney

                                Hi Tony,

                                If you already have the webhelp window open from the first (slow) action, does it get to the help topic quickly for the second help attempt?  I'm wondering if it is the separate help application window that is slow to come up, or the actual webpage connection.

                                -John

                                  • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                                    Tony Dum

                                    It's just making the connection.  Once I've got the connection, it's probably as fast as the local help.  If I open it I tend to leave it open for the day, so it's not a real problem but rather curious.

                                      • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                                        John Sweeney

                                        My web help window and the main web help content for SW2012 shows itself in ~3 seconds.  If I keep that window open and I navigate somewhere in the help and then choose "Help, SolidWorks Help" from the menu again, it changes the topic in the existing window immediately.

                                        If you're seeing a 1 minute load for the help window (which should look like a custom browser window) then there is something wrong with your machine or your installation or your network.  Does the actual window show itself quickly, but the inside portion is completely white, or do you not see any part of the window for a full minute?

                                          • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                                            Tony Dum

                                            The window shows itself quickly, the content shows up in about a minute.......I just pasted the web address of the help page to my regular browser and it came up immediately.  When we got the new PC's they pretty much locked down our C-drive's (we operate from a partitioned D-drive) except for the user libraries, could this have anything to do with it?

                                             

                                            For now I've added the page to favorites in my browser.

                                              • Re: SW freezes when I try to use the Help file
                                                John Sweeney

                                                Hi Tony,

                                                 

                                                Are other users at your site seeing the same issue when they initially load the web-help in our custom viewer?  Offhand I'm not sure what would cause this... the only thing that comes to mind is some kind of restriction with the your company firewall or ports.  The Windows firewall has the option to allow or block specific applications.  Perhaps your company has restrictions on desktop applications and their ability to access the internet, but they allow browsing with the Internet Explorer app.

                                                 

                                                You could check your firewall settings, or talk to your IT guys.  The "custom viewer" application which is trying to show the Web Help contents is "SwHelpViewer.exe".

                                                 

                                                Best Regards,

                                                John