Monday, August 28, 2017

Make Avid Media Composer First open Help Docs in a specific browser (Mac)

I was going to post this on the Avid Forums, but their new "Master Account" login is a confusing mess.  Or maybe it's just me.  It asks me if I want to "Link Accounts" but after having that fail several times I realized they meant if you already HAD an account on their forums.  Well, I think I did like 1,000 years ago.  What they really meant was to use "Create Account" to create a new forum account controlled by the Master Account.  That failed several times too.  As it did for a Download Account and a Support Account.  Basically it seems like their "one login to rule them all" was coded by Orcs.

So I can't actually post this on the Avid forums right now.  Fine, I'll post it here instead.

I’m trying to familiarize myself with Media Composer | First I wanted to right+click on the “What’s this?” context menu and get the Help page about that thing. 

However, it would try to open it in my default web browser, which is Google Chrome.  Chrome will not open local files.  It requires web pages to be sent from a web server.  Obviously the solution is to open the Avid Help files in Safari (or Firefox) which WILL open local files.  But how do I do that without changing my default browser?

The first thing I tried was third-party preference pane “Choosy” but no matter what rules I set in it Avid Media Composer would always open the help documentation in Chrome, where it won’t load (you just get a pulsating blue bar across the top of the window).

The good news is you can do this with setting already IN the operating system, no third-party tools necessary.

METHOD #1 (if you want ALL local .html files to open in Safari)
1. Go to Applications —> Avid —> Media Composer First —> Help
2. Select any one of the files ending with .html, right/hold+click and select “Get Info” OR press CMD+I
3. Under “Open with:” set it to “”
4. Click the “Change All…” button.

Now ALL local .html files will open in Safari.

But I do web development, so that wasn’t what I wanted.

METHOD #2 (if you want JUST the Avid Help files to open in Safari)
1. Go to Applications —> Avid —> Media Composer First —> Help
2. Select ALL the .html files there (Help_ix.html, Help.html, MCHelp.html - it doesn’t matter if you also select the .js file too)
3. Right/Hold+Click or Go to “File” in the menubar and while those are all still selected hold down your Option key.
4. The “Open With” will change to “Always open with”
5. Select “Safari” from the list of apps.
6. It will immediately open all of them in Safari, but you can just close/quit Safari.
7. Now, go into the “Help” sub-folder
8. Select ALL the files in that folder (CMD+A works, or select the first one, scroll down, and with the SHIFT key pressed click the last file in that folder.
9. Again Right/Hold+Click or go to “File” in the menubar, hold down the Option key, and under the “Always open with” select Safari.
10. It will try to open ALL those files in Safari (it will probably error at some point because that’s a LOT of files to have open at once).  Just close/quit Safari.

Now, when you go to “Help —> Media Composer Family Help” or Right/Hold+Click on any element of the UI and select “What’s this?” it will open the help documentation in Safari.

It would be nice if the Help documentation opened in the same Online Resources window as the Knowledge Base and Forums under the Help menu.  Why is it opening an external browser for the “Media Composer Family Help” when there’s already built-in webview window?  It makes no sense.

Oh, and the last thing is that every time I intentionally QUIT Avid Media Composer First - you know with Command+Q or selecting it from the menubar, it thinks it CRASHED instead!?  I get both a "Report this Crash" from the OS and another one from Avid's Application Manager.  Dammit, I quit the app ON PURPOSE.