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User Guide Suggestion

I am often asked about User Guides, specifically “Why isn’t there one in the box?!”

For many, it is quite maddening to purchase a tablet and find that it only comes with an index card showing the front of the device and an arrow pointing to the “on/off” button. That’s it. Hardly enough to teach even the most basic tablet skills.

While the manufacturers don’t include a User Guide in the box, they do make them available on line — either as a downloadable PDF document or in a web-based interactive format. The problem is that using the device itself to view an electronic User Guide is limiting; you can’t very well follow the instructions when you have to close the guide to try the steps!

My suggestion: use one device to help you learn to use another device.

If you have a computer and just bought a tablet, download the User Guide for the new tablet — or look up the tablet tutorials — on your computer, not on the tablet. You can see the instructions on the computer while you try the steps on the tablet.

Perhaps you wish to learn a new program on your computer. If you access the tutorial options on a mobile device, you can follow the directions on the mobile screen and apply them to the computer screen at the same time.

Of course you can purchase printed books sold by third-party companies — and if one is helpful to you, use it. Just be sure that you purchase the book that matches your device or program: Mac vs. Windows, specific operating system, specific program release, etc.

And you thought that second device was just a luxury! Happy learning.