local manual link not working

I have just installed Audacity 2.0.5 under windows xp. (using the full downloaded file, not the zip)
The local links to quick help and the manual do not work, but the files are there under program files <audacity<help. I know I can access them online, but am puzzled why the local versions are not accessible.

We can’t see your computer to explain why. Try the links from the Help Menu. What happens exactly?

What happens if you double-click on index.html in C:Program FilesAudacityhelpmanual? Is your web browser configured to open HTML files?


It is the link in the help menu which does not work, neither does the link in the opening pop-up window. Double clicking index.html in the Audacity program folder opens the manual (html) file in Chrome, which is my default browser.

You still have not said what exactly happens when you click the links to the Manual in the Help Menu. Do you see a warning that the Manual is not installed?


Also please see Windows XP support has ended - Microsoft Support .


I said exactly what happens - NOTHING! no warnings or anything

Which is relevant because…?

I decided there are not enough hours in the day and the program is relatively unimportant to me so I have put a link on my desktop to the index.html file which, as this seems to open the manual without any problem, will be adequate.

You said the links “did not work”. That is meaningless. It could mean there is a flash and an error dialogue. “NOTHING! no warnings or anything” is much more useful.

I was reminding you that Microsoft no longer support or deliver security fixes for your operating system. Any time you go online you will be exposing yourself to increased risk.

You did not say whether you have installed any Service Packs for XP. You will be at even more risk unless you have installed Service Pack 3. You can still obtain XP Service Packs from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389 .

Having a good antivirus program and Windows Firewall on are only partial protection against an operating system with no ability to patch itself against new threats. XP is still used on about one-third of computers so is a very viable target for hackers and criminals.

Audacity still supports XP for the time being.


Good. The only other suggestion I was about to make is that you could try another build of Audacity I would make for you which might possibly fix the problem. However there is no need for you to bother yourself with that unless you want to.


As the heading on this site says "This forum is for Audacity 2.x on Windows, which is what I asked advice on, not another ad campaign to get me to increase Microsoft’s profits by moving to yet another version of windows. On that subject running a decent, up-to-date anti-virus program means that there will be few additional threats through using XP.
On the original subject, my original description of what was happening was as accurate as I deemed necessary. Why should I anticipate some sort of warning screen to be displayed because nothing happens when I click on a supposed link - a highly illogical supposition, unless the link was designed not to work intermittently and to show a warning when it was not working - all rather pointless, like this discussion is becoming.
On a technical point - “Audacty still supports XP”. Surely “XP supports Audacity” for every program needs an environment in which to work or at least an OS.
Thanks for your comments, however as I said, I have found a simple work-around which is adequate for my needs. It is just annoying when aspects of programs (even free ones) do not work correctly, or at all!

I don’t think anyone suggested that did they?
There are plenty of alternatives if you want to use a safe and secure operating system that does not swell Microsoft’s profits: DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.
The choice of what OS to use is entirely yours, however Audacity and anti-virus programs will not be supporting XP forever. Also, viruses are only one type of “vulnerability”. An insecure system may present many attack surfaces.

Whether it’s XP supporting the program or vice versa is really just a semantic argument. If the developers do not specifically target XP as a “supported system” then even if the program works perfectly on current versions of Windows there is no guarantee that it will work at all on obsolete versions of Windows. Audacity 2.0.5 does work on Windows XP SP3 (I have it installed here).

Regarding the problem, you’ve not said what web browser you use, but Internet explorer 7 is known to fail for some types of link. Could that be the problem? I doubt that Audacity 2.0.5 has been tested with IE 7.

The user said they were using Chrome.


For example, unless you are on at least XP Service Pack 2 there is no Data Execution Prevention . If there is a so-called zero day attack which is hitherto unknown, built in operating system protection is the only thing that may save you. Later OS’es (Linux and Mac as well) are much more secure than Windows XP (even Service Pack 3).

My comments are not addressed to savvy computer users but to those who may be less experienced, do not have Windows Firewall on, do not often run Windows Update and so on. I am not making any assumptions about your experience level.

You were asked politely what exactly happens because “does not work” is not meaningful for us to deduce what happens.

We appreciate the report. I’ll see if I can reproduce the problem when I go on to my Windows XP partition, but (again) debugging needs full information to go on and a willingness to help us test solutions if we cannot reproduce the problem. What exact version number of Chrome do you have?


I am using Chrome Version 34.0.1847.116 m.
As a retired time served electronics engineer, in the industry “does not work” means just that!
In this case clicking on the “manual” link should open the manual, but it didn’t, thus the link is not working. One would not expect it to produce a message saying it was not working, or doing anything other than opening the manual, thus any additional comment seemed superfluous. Having ascertained prior to posting that the manual files wwere in fact installed where they were supposed to be, my first thought was the possibility of some sort of bug in the software which may have been evidenced previously. I wish software authors would use a secured pdf file for manuals rather than relying on the vagueries of html files and the significant complexity of storing all the related images, etc. Soon we will have the problem of the latest browsers only supporting html 5.
As far as XP is concerned, I have windows 8 ready to install, however I intend to keep xp on a separate partition as I have some useful little programs that I use regularly which are not supported by win 8. However from my experience so far of trying win 8, I am not enamoured as it seems to pander to the kiddy-mentality employed with tablets and smartphones. I am just waiting for all my grown-up programs to be useable on an alternative system - I see a purchase of a Mac as being imminent!

Thanks. Can I ask what your Audacity temporary directory is at Edit > Preferences: Directories, please?

I don’t want to bang on about this, but if you had moved or renamed the index.html file, or if Audacity could not read that file for any reason such as broken Windows permissions, then Audacity would display a warning and point to the online help.

You said “the files are there under program files <audacity<help”. As written, that is not the correct location of the index.html file which Audacity is looking for. The index.html file should be in a “manual” folder inside the “help” folder. We can only go on what you write.

I will add your vote that there should be a PDF Manual. However the HTML files we use are quite complex, including image maps. The HTML files do not translate cleanly to PDF.

There are pros and cons of HTML versus PDF. Personally I argued for PDF at the time we discussed this on the grounds that it was better for offline use, but support documentation is easier to produce online using collaborative editing software that outputs HTML. That argument won the day.

I think that could be some way off and will probably happen first for browsers on mobile platforms.

In any case, as long as we update the MediaWiki software we use to produce the HTML, then the HTML5 declaration will be produced.

Windows 8.1 Update which came out a fortnight ago has integrated the Desktop and the Modern Interface considerably, and will boot automatically to Desktop if a mouse and keyboard are detected.

The Desktop Start Menu currently absent from Windows 8 will come back in Windows 9, if not before, according to Microsoft.

You might be able to get by.

It’s pretty clear that Windows will be priced much cheaper in future, and there will very likely be free “search ads supported” versions of Windows too with limited features.



As I said, “nothing happened”, even my 6 y/o grandson understands that!

They are where Audacity defaulted to storing them (maybe I missed a level of folders).

As I said, I understand that. “Not working” is what conveys nothing.


On the contrary, when the link works it is supposed to open the manual, if it doesn’t do that it is “not working”, thus this expression conveys the information that something is amiss. There is nothing to indicate that the user should expect it to do anything else, thus it is a “binary function” having two states, “working” or "not working. I know of no similar function in any other program which I use, which does anything differently. When I have finished typing this I shall click on the “submit” button. I shall then expect it to submit this message. Occasionally it does not work at which time nothing happens, other than me getting annoyed and wondering what is happening.
Let me say that my original posting was made in the hope that someone else may also have experienced, and resolved, the same problem, not that it would instigate a major research project. As I said earlier, I now have a satisfactory work-around. Perhaps it is just that I am more used to working with high-end professional programs (such as those sold by Adobe) where error reports are accepted and fed into a major development resource.

or just ignored, as was my experience with Avid. :imp: