Thursday, March 01, 2012

How to Find User Guides and Manuals

If you're looking to download the user guide or manual for an electronic product and it's not available on the manufacturer website, then you might find it on The site hosts PDF manuals of thousands of electronic products including those of items that have either been discontinued or are no longer available for sale.

These resources are primarily hosted on two Amazon servers – and Here’s how you can find the one you're looking for...

Go to Google and type the following query, replacing the word ITEM with actual name or make and model of the thing you're looking for and replacing LANGUAGE with, well you know what I mean.

ITEM LANGUAGE filetype:pdf OR

These Amazon sites also host sample chapters of books in PDF format so you may want to add some extra terms to the search query – like Operation Guide, User Guide, Owner’s Manual, Installation Guide, etc. for better results.

If the above doesn't produce any useful results, then modify the query to search the whole of Google by removing the server names. If that doesn't work, then try removing the filetype dependency.

There are also some user guide sites worth checking out as well...
The older manuals are mostly PDF images scanned from the printed document but since Google supports OCR, these scanned PDFs are also searchable.

Tip: If the PDF is large, then you can just put the file URL in Google Docs Viewer and read the full manual online instead of downloading it.

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