paper manual, online manual or PDF on your computer/phone?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by pcake, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Physical, on-paper manual

    16 vote(s)
  2. Online product manual

    4 vote(s)
  3. PDF on my computer

    28 vote(s)
  4. Manual on paper made of 100% organic carrots

    4 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    which do you prefer when you get an amp, camera, food processor or whatever? do you want a physical paper manual, do you use the online manual or do you want a PDF on your harddrive or mobile - or do you prefer some combination of the three?

    i was wondering this because i notice a lot of guys on the camera board i habituate aren't happy that they get a physical quick start guide but must use electronic versions of the full manual. they want to bring the manual with them, and i sort of get that, but when i brought a camera with odd menus along, i used the online manual on my phone. and there was a reason for that - searchabilty. a lot of cameras with odd menus also had odd terms and features, so being able to search a PDF was super useful to me.

    what say you, fellow TBers? physical manual, online or on your computer/laptop/phone? or the carrot option, of course ;)
    fhm555 and Oddly like this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    All of them, including the carrots, :thumbsup:
    pcake likes this.
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    PDF all the way. I don't like paper. Plus, in a tiny home, space is premium. We no longer have a file cabinet and have no intention of getting another one.

  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Meh, I don't read manuals. Just make it work. ;)
  5. Corbusier


    Feb 21, 2018
    The manual for the Orange Crush 100 amp is one sheet front and back. In this instance, paper seems just fine.
    pcake likes this.
  6. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Online manual.
    However, with something like your example of a camera where you could be conceivably away from a means of getting online, then I'd save a pdf to my phone.
    pcake likes this.
  7. Ghook


    Sep 25, 2018
    Eastern US
    PDF on my phone or on Drive. As a young man I rarely relied on a manual. Now I buy a product after I have DL'd the manuel. I wasted a lot of time hunt and pecking not reading the da*n manuel . I even read the manual for my wife's cameras, she never does. :)
    pcake likes this.
  8. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for?

    Dec 31, 2018
    I print out only the pages pertaining to me, so PDF.
    mrcbass, JRA and pcake like this.
  9. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    :laugh: that made me *LOL*

    that's a good idea in case you end up with poor or no signal. my husband saves his camera manuals on his phone.
    JMacBass65, slobake and fdeck like this.
  10. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    I think it depends on where it's going to be used. I don't mind PDFs on my iPad for many things, but if I have to bring it out to the garage--some gas-powered yard implement, say--I prefer it on paper. Though sometimes I'll take it any way I can get it--for instance, I can't find where I left the paper manual for my Homelite trimmer, and can't find a copy online!
  11. If I can't figure out a device without a manual, the device is poorly designed. But......If I do want to check the manual for specs or something, I'm happy to go on line and download a PDF, and save it to a file on my computer. About the only paper I tolerate these days, I use to wipe......never mind.
  12. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Remember your first time behind the wheel? I certainly wouldn't have gotten ANYWHERE in that thing without guidance. :laugh:
  13. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Much prefer the old-fashioned printed manuals, but I've noticed that some manufacturers don't even produce them any longer because "everything is on the internet." Meh. More evidence of the decline of Western civilization.
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    00 images2b3.png
    for me: a PDF is fine for quick referencing, but if i have to 'study' a lot of material (especially with a lot of cross-referencing) i'd prefer it to be paper --- in my hands.
    OldDog52 likes this.
  15. Beersurgeon


    Jul 16, 2010
    I like both PDF on my computer and a paper copy. Getting older, I like to have a manual handy and learned that I have saved time by reading the manual first....
  16. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
  17. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    If we’re talking about a camera with any advanced capabilities at all such as exposure controls etc, I want a paper manual.

    For a lot of stuff, a PDF I can access on my phone or iPad is ok. I have a few PDF manuals stored as books I can access at any time.
  18. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    As long a I can paperize it if needed, I'm fine with a PDF. I hate troublshooting one technology while fighitng with another - and underlining and highlighting my PC monitor gets messy sometimes..... :roflmao:

    If I get a paper manual or have to print it, it goes in a binder I have for all my musical stuff -only way I'd ever find it if I needed it....
  19. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Online manuals have been a godsend to me on more than one occasion. I do repairs on all manner of stuff and some of it is old enough a paper manual would be impossible to find, but it’s rare i can’t find something online, even if it’s some photos of the manual pages. Stuff i do regularly i prefer a PDF on my computer. All that said, i grew up on paper manuals and would prefer them to anything else if possible. I’ve got a ton of old service manuals for cars, motorcycles, etc.
    pcake likes this.
  20. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    when we unpacked after our move in 2013, we found manuals for cars and products we hadn't seen in years - decades, even :D
    fhm555 likes this.