Vertical Searches for User Manuals

August 4, 2012

Makeuseof presents a handy collection of vertical search sites in “Can’t Find a User Manual for Your Gear? Search These Specialist Websites.” Writer Saikat Basu observes that, in the excitement of a new purchase, most of us stuff our user manuals into some corner and forget about them—until we need them! He comments:

“User manuals – those thick (or thin) soft covered sheaf’s of paper with multi-lingual instructions and weird hieroglyphics that we don’t bother to read. . . . We all have rummaged through the house looking for the user manual we ‘misplaced’. No luck.

“Here’s where a bit of smarts comes in. The meticulous guy with foresight will either scan it and keep a softcopy in his computer, or look for a softcopy that’s usually available as PDF on the manufacturer’s site.

“There’s a third option – a bunch of specialist websites which does the hard work for us lazybones, and stockpiles user manuals for us to search and download.”

So, instead of combing through the filing cabinet or, worse, those paper-piles every office seems to collect, turn to this list of sites that can put the desired information at your fingertips at the speed of, well, of your Internet connection. Basu details six sites, describing the purpose behind each, how it works, and what he values most about each one. For example, he likes the forums on Safe Manuals, and appreciates the teardown diagrams at iFixit.

The other four sites that made the list include Retrevo, Manuals Online, eSpares, and Free Manuals (aka TheManuals.com). I recommend tucking the article away for your next manual-related urgency. At the end of the article, Basu puts out the call for reader recommendations, so check the comments section for similar sites.

Cynthia Murrell, August 4, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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