Thursday, 24 February 2011

Offline Access to Exchange 2010 Docs on TechNet

There was a discussion on an Exchange mailing list recently about how getting access to the Exchange technical documentation online obviously assumes that you are connected at the time.  Naturally, Microsoft releases regular updates to the documentation and at the same time it also provides a separate CHM file that you can download.  For example, the latest version is here.

Aside from the official Exchange 2010 product documentation, Microsoft also produces technical articles that you can access from the TechNet site, as you can see here:

You can obviously print these articles to PDF or similar. There is also another option available to you to get offline access to this information. With a program called PackageThis, you can create CHM files of topics found on TechNet and/or MSDN. Here's how:

First, download PackageThis from here.

Note in the "Prerequisites" section the part about downloading the .chm SDK, which is required when creating CHM files. If you don't have this installed, use the link in the prerequisites section. The installation of this component is very simple and doesn't need documenting here.

Next, run PackageThis.exe. On the main screen, click Library and then TechNet Library. You should now see a screen similar to this one:
If you want to create small CHM files of your favourite section of the Exchange 2010 online documentation, you can expand the nodes and select what you want.  For example, we could select just the High Availability section:
However, what about all those wonderful technical articles that have been published?  Let's say we want to create a CHM file on the "Autodiscover and Exchange 2007" topic that is online.  We simply select the topic:

Next choose File / Export to CHM File :

Click OK and your CHM is created!

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