VS2012 Documentation


  • Hello,

    I've just installed VS2012 and all available docs using HelpViewer 2 and noticed there are some docs missing.

    For example, web development docs are missing, also EF5 code first namespaces are missing, RIA services, and others. So, my question is: will Microsoft add those missing docs in the future?

    Also, on the Help->Order DVD menu on VS there is a link to download an ISO file containing the help docs but when you access that link there is no such a file, is that a mistake or there will be a link to that file in the future?

    Thank you very much.

    Juan Carlos Galvez

    Thursday, September 06, 2012 12:55 PM


  • Hi Juan-

    The English ISO will be available by mid-October.

    Kind regards-


    Friday, September 14, 2012 3:59 PM

All replies

  • Unfortunately the offline help doesn't have all the same content as the online help.

    I suggest you make a suggestion at http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/

    Certainly many other people have made the same observation and have requested the Web section for Offline viewing.

    When I open "Help->Order DVD" I get a local file displaying (my install base path will be different than yours)



    Rob Chandler Help MVP http://Helpware.net/ http://mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com/

    Friday, September 07, 2012 8:35 AM
  • Thank you Rob for your answer, I will make that suggestion on connect.

    I also get a local file displaying, is that page where the link is, it saids:

    "Create an installation disk by downloading the ISO image from the download location. If you aren't familiar with this type of file, see Using ISO Image Files. "

    By clicking on "download location" it takes you to this address: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/aa570309.aspx and there is no link to an iso file containing the help contents (I can not see one).

    Juan Carlos

    Friday, September 07, 2012 4:20 PM
  • Have already made 3 suggestions, one for all MSDN docs, one for web development docs and one for Entity framework  docs, so please, if you are reading this and also would like to see all MSDN documentation available offline go to the following link and vote:


    If you would like to see just web development docs off-line please go to the following link and vote:


    If you would like to see all Entity Framework docs off-line please go to the following link and vote:


    Friday, September 07, 2012 5:16 PM
  • Hi Juan,

    I also saw this. Maybe Microsoft wants to add it in the future.

    I checked the ISO images to see if they contain a folder with the documentation but I didn't a folder with offline documentation (Or it is stored somewhere else as it was with VS 2010). So at the moment I do not have any workaround on this issue. (I checked the VS 2012 Premium ISO)

    With kind regards,


    Friday, September 07, 2012 6:57 PM
  • Thanks Juan

    With regards to the ISO download you can send a connect bug report or email the help team via hlpfdbk@microsoft.com


    Rob Chandler Help MVP http://Helpware.net/ http://mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com/

    Saturday, September 08, 2012 11:24 AM
  • Hi Juan-

    Availability if the ISO will depend on the language, can you let me know what language you are looking for?

    - Samantha

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:57 PM
  • Hi Samantha, thanks for your answer, I´m looking for an ISO in the English language.

    Juan Carlos Galvez

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:42 PM
  • Thanks Rob, I've already done that.

    Thank you,

    Juan Carlos

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:43 PM
  • Thank you Konrad for your answer, let's see if Microsoft can make that ISO available. I don't really know why the offline help system is so incomplete; in VS2010 it was already incomplete but in VS2012 is even worst.

    Juan Carlos

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:47 PM
  • Hi Juan-

    The English ISO will be available by mid-October.

    Kind regards-


    Friday, September 14, 2012 3:59 PM
  • Thanks Samantha.

    Will that ISO contain all documentation available online or just a subset? If it is just a subset is there a chance MS will include topics like web development and EF code first?

    Best regards,

    Juan Carlos


    • Edited by jcgalveza Saturday, September 15, 2012 2:07 PM
    Saturday, September 15, 2012 1:50 PM
  • Hello Juan Carlos,

    Last I heard the ISO will be a subset of the online content and will not contain more than the books offered for download via manage content.

    The intent of the ISO is to provide a install location for offline help for people who cannot connect to the internet.

    Best option is the one you have taken by submiting to us in UserVoice and having people who agree vote for it.

    - Jason

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012 1:28 PM
  • Hi Juan-

    The online content is always the most complete and most up-to-date content set. The offline books are a subset of the online content, and the ISO images are a further subset of the offline books. As there is a space limitation on the disk, the documentation that will be on the ISO is prioritized by customer usage.

    If by EF code you’re referring to ADO.NET Entity Framework this will be included on the ISO under .NET Framework 4.5.

    Kind regards-


    Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:43 PM
  • Thanks Samantha. I assume ADO has just been added in response to Juan's request (and votes) in UserData? Or was it already in offline and we missed it? :-)

    Are there any other new modules coming to offline soon?  I know web help has been requested many time in the past.


    Rob Chandler Help MVP www.helpware.net | mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com | hv2.helpmvp.com

    Friday, September 21, 2012 12:39 AM
  • Thanks Samantha, please notice that the current offline content on ADO.NET Entity Framework is missing the entire code first documentation (the entire System.Data.Entity namespace is missing).

    One more thing, what if you just split the entire help content in several ISOs or provide the content in the form of ZIPed files and make them available for download. Once compressed they are no so big as one may think, for example, I have downloaded the entire silverlight content using PackageThis and once compressed it is just 20MB, MVC4 content is 8MB.

    Or could Microsoft provide us with a tool like PackageThis so we can download the content, I would download the entire content my self and then upload it for the community to use, the problem right now is that PackageThis is very unstable.

    Thank you.

    Juan Carlos Galvez

    Monday, September 24, 2012 4:08 PM
  • Hi Rob, ADO.NET Entity Framework is already available offline but is missing parts, for example, the entire System.Data.Entity namespace.

    Do you know if there are any plans to retake PackageThis and make it usable? For what I see they (MS) are not planning to make the help content available, I don't understand why, if PackageThis can download and "package" any portion of the online help my guess is that Microsoft can do it too.

    Juan Carlos

    Monday, September 24, 2012 4:14 PM
  • PackageThis ... 

    Started a new thread here



    Rob Chandler Help MVP www.helpware.net | mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com | hv2.helpmvp.com

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:52 PM
  • Hi Juan-

    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions concerning ISOs and downloading of content.  As we focus on getting this initial version of the offline books and ISO media published for customer download and usage, there will be some gaps between online coverage and offline books (this is likely why you can’t find the System.Data.Entity namespace in the offline books).

    I’ll forward your comments regarding splitting the help content over a number of ISOs and/ or utilizing PackageThis to the appropriate team for consideration as these are great suggestions for future updates to the offline content and download media.

    Kind regards-


    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 9:12 PM
  • Hi Rob-

    It should have already been included in the offline books to best of my knowledge.

    The offline books are updated regularly so it's best to check back every once in a while to see what has been updated and/ or added.

    Kind regards-


    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 9:36 PM
  • Thank you Samantha, <o:p></o:p>

    I'm wishing
    to have something similar to what we had several years ago when msdn
    subscribers were able to download several ISOs containing what was called
    "MSDN Library" I'm sure that the volume of information has increased since
    then but maybe you could separate all the info by topics or something like
    that. Also you could use some form of compression like using DAA images instead
    of ISOs, (DAA images are compressed).<o:p></o:p>

    Thank you
    once again.<o:p></o:p>

    Juan Carlos<o:p></o:p>

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 9:40 PM
  • Its now mid October can I inquire if the English ISO for VS2012 Help is now available?


    Tuesday, October 16, 2012 6:56 AM
  • Yes, I want to have the same answer, When can I have the downloadable VS2012 Help available?
    Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:28 PM
  • Offline download is now available.

    Pl. search for VS2012 Documentation and you will have link to download iso image.

    link is


    Thursday, October 25, 2012 5:18 AM