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Sunday, March 1, 2015

1571. Find User Manuals Online

I have several high tech gadgets for which I’ve lost the manuals. I know only wimps read manuals, but at this point, I could really use them. Is there some convenient place to find them online?
Having just spent the weekend trying to configure his father’s Comcast remote and the dealing with all the details involved in setting up the remote control, Ken certainly understands your need for having online resources that allow you to find various high-tech gadget manuals. His father had not saved the printed manual, so he had to look around online for help (of course, they could have called Comcast, but what fun would that have been?).
It turns out that there are a number of sites online that provide PDF copies of manuals of all sorts, including the ones we happened to need. One of these is a subscription document service that Ken subscribes to, Scribd.com, which provides books, articles, magazines and other content on demand, much like a Netflix for books—you can pay monthly, or yearly, and read as much as you like. Scribd provides tons and tons of archived documents, like user manuals, and you can get a month for free to try it out (and download the user manual you need today). You don’t have to join Scribd to peruse and read from its collection of user-supplied documents, including online manuals, so check it out!
If you search, you can also find Web sites that provide user manuals for everything from televisions to washing machines to lawn mowers. Central Manuals (http://www.central-manuals.com) is one of these sites, and we’ve found several useful files there.
Rather than listing all the sites we’ve found here, you can peruse the list provided in this article, and make your choice: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-sites-find-download-user-manuals/.

What should you do with the manuals once you find them? We suggest that you download and store them in a place where you can easily locate them next time you need them. Doug uses OneNote, and Ken uses EverNote, for this very purpose. Both applications allow you to store documents, and makes it easy to find them later. For more information, check out OneNote (http://www.onenote.com/) and EverNote (http://www.evernote.com). Both sites provide excellent ways to store and manage online documentation.

User Manuals.

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