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Just bought a Prius and love it. Its the first new car I've bought in my life. For the last 20 years I've been drving classic american cars, nothing newer than a '73 Dart. My current car is a '66 Mercury S55. This is quite a culture shock for me.

But what's up with the owner's manual. I looked forward to settling down with it and learning something. It is badly designed and laid out and doesn't really give you much info. Is this the way most new car manuals are. Did I get a rip off manual? For such a sophisticated car it is suprisingly bad.
 

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It goes with a Prius. I suggest you take an entire weekend and make up your own index combining all the different pages for each subject into your own index. It sort of looks like the writers wrote a page on a subject and then started several more subjects before they remembered they had left something out with the previous and then just added it and went back and added a footnote saying check pg 302. You will find it written that way throughout.
Don't know if this is just the way the Prius manual was written or if that's the way of all Toyotas.
My neighbors manual for his new Jag is just like the ones you are familiar with. Each subject indexed and taken care of fully in each section. Ditto, the new Buicks.
 

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hyperion said:
Great job, but how nice it would be to have a normal and well indexed owners manual! Something more fitting to this high tech car.
That's why I typically use the Search feature on Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 to search for a topic in the Owner's Manual... (Also, the index found in the paper version isn't in the PDF copy that I have...) From a techinfo subscription...
 

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Why do you suppose when they got everything else right with this marvel they so royally screwed up the owners manual? I could understand it, if this were year "one" but this is year "five" and I'm sure the complaints have been posted for that long.
This is not a manual you can pull out of the glove box in a parking lot and find a short answer to a question that has occurred. It can drive you "nuts."
 

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at least they have removed things like the "extinction cancellation button" that was in the early-editions of the 2001 US Prius owner's manual... Now THAT caused some scratching of heads... (In other words, the translated manual has actually gotten better over time!)
 

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mrv said:
Adobe Acrobat Reader 7
I deliver PDF files via webpage-interfaces professionally, so it is my responsibilty to help out users... in this case by pointing out that there is no such software. And of course, when they call with a problem, I need to know what they are actually using to properly debug...

READER is the free PDF viewer software Adobe provides.

ACROBAT is the software you can purchase from Adobe for creating PDF files.


mrv said:
to search for a topic
Excellent suggestion!

This feature is dramatically improved in version 7 of both Reader & Acrobat. The previous version was clumsy to use and significantly slower.


And speaking of PDFs, I just finished up the 12 photos for the next illustrated Prius document. This one is for wiper-blade replacement. It will be available in full as an individual download and there will be summary in the upcoming USER-GUIDE (which will also include a new topic on blind-spot mirrors).
 

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hyperion said:
Why do you suppose when they got everything else right with this marvel they so royally screwed up the owners manual?
That's simple. They like the online discussion the manual stimulates, so they don't bother to expand upon the basics they provide.

Empowering owners has been an objective since day one.
 

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Although the default Windows XP shortcut says "Adobe Reader 7.0" and the Help|About also says the same, why does Adobe go and confuse users by putting it by default into a directory called:
"C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" Just to confuse people, I assume... (Reader is listed on the Adobe products page as in the "Acrobat" family, as opposed to Photoshop or FrameMaker or...)

Personally, I preferred the search in Reader 6, compared to Reader 7. If you are searching multiple documents, Reader 7 just lists "Document" (except on one rare occasion that it acted like Reader 6), whereas Reader 6 will tell you the filename of the document that it found a match within... 7 is indeed faster, but 6 was a lot easier to figure out what file you might want to look into if searching a whole directory...
 

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The German motoring club, the ADAC, has just slammed several make for providing un-usable handbooks, including Porsche and Merc. Some of the examples they cited were even worse than the Prius books. One set of instructions required you had 3 hands!
 

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I don't think the user manual is all that bad. There's a lot of doc and there's a lot of car -- the Prius has a lot of unique, new concepts to communicate to the new owner -- so the volume (sad pun) of work is enough to adversely effect quality.

I think it's fair to say the doc team came out of the mainstream Toyota product group and the engineering people just built a superior product that the doc team

I expect it's simply that the doc team is accustomed to a quick rehash of the doc from a previous model car to the next (imagine how easy it is to redo the Camry user manual year over year) and the Prius was too much for them.

And there's always budget. Imagine trying to do a stellar job on the Prius doc when it's already a realtively low-end scale price-point and the budget is more like "Camry" scale than "Prius scale ... and it's Toyota after all, so they know how to count their pennies.
 

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Support Thank You

Joh et. al.

Thanks for the work you do producing the manuals...
And thank you for all the others that provide very valuable information on the Prius.

I finally got mine after a 9 week wait. It's one week old and I love it, like all of you do. Salsa Red, Package 6.

I've been a SAAB person since 1991, and I thought the internet following/support it had was invaluable. The on-line Prius world far exceeds SAAB.

Wonder if GM would ever let SAAB really produce a hybrid. Supposedly there's a bio-diesel...somewhere. Nah


I'm converted!
 

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User guide posted by John1701a is excellent and readable

I just read it and it is easy to understand and quite helpful. See the link posted in this thread. Someone also posted a link to the online Lexus navigation tutorial, which is mostly the same as the Prius, and that was great as well. The link is posted in this forum, can't remember where. :D
A big thanks to the folks who provided this help!
 

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Re: Support Thank You

Sprocket said:
...I finally got mine after a 9 week wait. It's one week old and I love it, like all of you do. Salsa Red, Package 6...I'm converted!
Hey, Sproket! I work in Trenton and do the drive up 295 every day from Cherry Hill area. Wave! Mine's white, with red white and blue stars on it this week!

:)
 
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