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Tiger's Help application will search web support docs

Most Apple developers testing Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" won't notice it right away, but when they do, they’ll wonder why it took so long to arrive. We're talking about a new version of Mac OS "Help Viewer," which searches Apple’s web-based product support database in addition to the help files installed on a users hard disk.

According to developer sources testing Tiger, version 2.1 of the Mac OS X Help Viewer application will instantly search Apple’s Product Support database for documents matching the user’s help query when the computer is connected to the internet.

The new help viewer displays its results in a partitioned window, with local help results in the upper portion of the viewer, and Apple web product support results in the lower half.

Although Help Viewer 2.1 is currently in development stages, and rather buggy, it appears that the application will attempt to display product support web pages from within the help viewer, and not require that Safari be launched.

Tiger recognizes when an internet connection is present, and will not attempt to search Apple product support when a connection does not exist. Instead, Help Viewer displays a little note that tells the user to “connect to the internet to enable product support searches."

Users of Tiger’s help application can enable or shut off web-based product support searches from an “Include Product Support Searches” command located in the applications “File” menu.

With Tiger sporting over 150 new features, AppleInsider is providing extensive coverage of the new system as information becomes available. Please stay tuned to AppleInsider for further installments of our coverage of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Last week AppleInsider began its coverage of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" with a system overview and inside look at Safari 2.0 with RSS. Earlier this week, coverage continued with our inside look at Mail 2.0 with Smart Mailbox technology.