Digital/pdf version of NEC

HackElectric

Senior Member
Location
NJ
I have no issue with the existence of pdf's but they just are not for long documents that you plan to access frequently.
That's pretty much all I use PDF's for.

Maybe you need a newer computer, I've noticed larger PDFs being a bit slow on slower computers, but my iMac zips right thru the PDF and I get where I want to as fast if not faster than flipping thru paper pages. Plus, being able to search for a term or phrase makes all the difference in the world.
 

fmtjfw

Senior Member
Why can't NFPA add more bookmarks then they have??

Some shorter sections isn't so bad but try quickly finding your way to something in the second half of art 250 or 430:(

I speak mostly of 2011pdf though I'd bet 2014 isn't much different. I wouldn't waste any money on a pdf, I can navigate a hard copy faster then a pdf. Go for the e-book version would be my solution though I haven't tried it yet, it has to be nearly impossible to have worse navigation tools then the pdf does.

I have no issue with the existence of pdf's but they just are not for long documents that you plan to access frequently.
Sorry -- don't believe you. As a test find all the instances of "white" in the NEC [2014]. There are about 68. It took me about 2 minutes to find them all in the PDF.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
What about GoldDiggers questions about copying and pasting from the PDF?

Roger
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
That's pretty much all I use PDF's for.

Maybe you need a newer computer, I've noticed larger PDFs being a bit slow on slower computers, but my iMac zips right thru the PDF and I get where I want to as fast if not faster than flipping thru paper pages. Plus, being able to search for a term or phrase makes all the difference in the world.
Sorry -- don't believe you. As a test find all the instances of "white" in the NEC [2014]. There are about 68. It took me about 2 minutes to find them all in the PDF.
Have either of you used the "CD-ROM" versions they had before the 2011 when they stopped that version? It was much easier and faster to navigate then a PDF file is. It had a "tree" on the left side of the screen that you could quickly click your way through the tree reading section titles. With the PDF you can't do that, you need to know more detail of what you are looking for to put into a search and come up with the right results the first time. If I did a search for the word "white" in those CD-ROM it would not take 2 minutes it would have found all 68 of them in less then 2 seconds after hitting enter, unless maybe you had a really slow computer.

With 2011 NEC they did away with the CD ROM and offered a subscription service "NEC plus". I though it took a little bit of a step backward when talking about how easy it was to navigate through the code, but still was better then a PDF file for navigation. Then just a month or two ago they decided to stop that service - even though many people are still using 2011 nec:( Now my only electronic option for 2011 is PDF files, and I just don't like it after having something that was easier to navigate. But I need to get into the 2014 anyway as it will go into effect very soon here. I think they have an E-book version for 2014 that has basically replaced the CD-ROM's and the NEC Plus of the past. But probably will have issues with it as well once 2017 comes around because they will likely end services or support even though some people will not switch to 2017 NEC right away:(
 

macmikeman

Senior Member
Have either of you used the "CD-ROM" versions they had before the 2011 when they stopped that version? It was much easier and faster to navigate then a PDF file is. It had a "tree" on the left side of the screen that you could quickly click your way through the tree reading section titles. With the PDF you can't do that, you need to know more detail of what you are looking for to put into a search and come up with the right results the first time. If I did a search for the word "white" in those CD-ROM it would not take 2 minutes it would have found all 68 of them in less then 2 seconds after hitting enter, unless maybe you had a really slow computer.

With 2011 NEC they did away with the CD ROM and offered a subscription service "NEC plus". I though it took a little bit of a step backward when talking about how easy it was to navigate through the code, but still was better then a PDF file for navigation. Then just a month or two ago they decided to stop that service - even though many people are still using 2011 nec:( Now my only electronic option for 2011 is PDF files, and I just don't like it after having something that was easier to navigate. But I need to get into the 2014 anyway as it will go into effect very soon here. I think they have an E-book version for 2014 that has basically replaced the CD-ROM's and the NEC Plus of the past. But probably will have issues with it as well once 2017 comes around because they will likely end services or support even though some people will not switch to 2017 NEC right away:(
That change really put a damper on a whole bunch of forum experts who answered code questions lightning fast on the internet. Now they have to look up the section just like the rest of us peon's do.
 

HackElectric

Senior Member
Location
NJ
Have either of you used the "CD-ROM" versions they had before the 2011 when they stopped that version? It was much easier and faster to navigate then a PDF file is. It had a "tree" on the left side of the screen that you could quickly click your way through the tree reading section titles. With the PDF you can't do that, you need to know more detail of what you are looking for to put into a search and come up with the right results the first time. If I did a search for the word "white" in those CD-ROM it would not take 2 minutes it would have found all 68 of them in less then 2 seconds after hitting enter, unless maybe you had a really slow computer.

With 2011 NEC they did away with the CD ROM and offered a subscription service "NEC plus". I though it took a little bit of a step backward when talking about how easy it was to navigate through the code, but still was better then a PDF file for navigation. Then just a month or two ago they decided to stop that service - even though many people are still using 2011 nec:( Now my only electronic option for 2011 is PDF files, and I just don't like it after having something that was easier to navigate. But I need to get into the 2014 anyway as it will go into effect very soon here. I think they have an E-book version for 2014 that has basically replaced the CD-ROM's and the NEC Plus of the past. But probably will have issues with it as well once 2017 comes around because they will likely end services or support even though some people will not switch to 2017 NEC right away:(
Ya see, this is what I am saying about your computer being slow.

I just opened my 2011 NEC PDF in Adobe Reader on my iMac, searched for "white" like you said, and in less than a second (literally) there was a list of 56 results (not 68).

Also, there is a directory tree to the left. It shows the chapters and then if you click on the arrow it will show different articles such as 210, 215, 220, 225 with their titles.

If you'd like I'll show screen shots.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I agree with Hax-- I search and the results are instantaneous however I do remember at one time that I would have to wait minutes for the search-- not sure why that happened then and not anymore.
 

HackElectric

Senior Member
Location
NJ
I agree with Hax-- I search and the results are instantaneous however I do remember at one time that I would have to wait minutes for the search-- not sure why that happened then and not anymore.
Is it the same computer and same PDF viewer?

Maybe the viewer you are using today is pre-caching the entire PDF upon opening it? Maybe if you are using a newer computer it has more RAM to allow the pre-caching?
 

HackElectric

Senior Member
Location
NJ
If you go into edit and then preference scroll down to search and click fast find enabled. See if that helps
Ok, you're on to something.

I went to that setting, it was enabled. But for the sake of figuring this out I purged my cache which was an option right underneath.

After doing that, it took about 10 seconds to search for "white". It also took about 10 seconds to search for "black".

So what I assume the problem with kwired is, is that he didn't use the PDF enough to cache it. If he scrolls thru the whole PDF looking around and does a couple of searches, I am willing to bet that it will speed things up for him.

But of course, the speed of his computer is still a big factor.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I don't have an issue with speed on the pdf. It seems the cd was done away with to prevent piracy and save money
I understand that - to some extent. Why do away with some of the handy navigation features, as well as go to an online subscription service and discontinue it shortly after the next edition comes out when many will still be using the 2011 for some time? I have little use for my 2005 and 2008 CD programs, but at least I can still use them if I wanted to.

Save money:roll:

You would think they could pass a little savings along to the consumer, check the NFPA website store, the E-book, the soft cover, and the PDF are all the same price.

Ya see, this is what I am saying about your computer being slow.

I just opened my 2011 NEC PDF in Adobe Reader on my iMac, searched for "white" like you said, and in less than a second (literally) there was a list of 56 results (not 68).

Also, there is a directory tree to the left. It shows the chapters and then if you click on the arrow it will show different articles such as 210, 215, 220, 225 with their titles.

If you'd like I'll show screen shots.
My comments were a response to other comments and not necessarily exact results I would have, in particular the number of hits to a search, my point was it doesn't take two minutes even on a somewhat slow computer to find 68 hits in a search.

I just searched my 2011 PDF for "white" I did not come up with a list, instead it went to where the word appeared and gave me options to go to next hit or back to the last one. Now maybe there are other search modes but this was first thing that came up for me. I have Adobe reader XI and Windows 8 on a machine that is only about a month old - I sure hope it is fast enough to use Adobe reader without any noticeable changes in performance. I don't keep up so much with processor speeds and amount of memory needed anymore on these machines but even the low cost machines you can get at big box stores have plenty of capacity to run Adobe reader.

The tree menu is there, but it only has main branches - like I said earlier try to quickly navigate to a spot in the second half of art 250 or 430 using only the tree, compared to past products they had it stinks. Even if you know the exact section you want to go to, you may not go directly to it with a search because you will hit any references to that section along the way.

Another big thing that was handy was when there was a reference to another code section it was an embedded link and you could click on it to go directly to that section. No such thing in the PDF's.
 

HackElectric

Senior Member
Location
NJ
I just searched my 2011 PDF for "white" I did not come up with a list, instead it went to where the word appeared and gave me options to go to next hit or back to the last one. Now maybe there are other search modes but this was first thing that came up for me.
Yes, you need to choose "Advanced Search" to see the list. If you choose "Find", then it goes thru each instance of the word 1 by 1 which is better for small documents.
The tree menu is there, but it only has main branches - like I said earlier try to quickly navigate to a spot in the second half of art 250 or 430 using only the tree, compared to past products they had it stinks. Even if you know the exact section you want to go to, you may not go directly to it with a search because you will hit any references to that section along the way.
If I want to go to something in 215, I click on 215 in the directory and then use the scroll wheel on my mouse to go thru the couple pages. Or, I just type "Control - F" which brings up the Find box and type (or paste) in the exact article.
 

c_picard

Senior Member
Location
USA
"Tree menu" is the bookmarks I was referencing, in my 2011 pdf I was able to modify the tree and delete/add bookmarks as needed. I could also add hyperlinks internal to the document like you mentioned. Basically the 2011 version came with full admin rights, digging a little deeper I see that "special permissions" are disabled for all users in 2014. Confirmed by NFPA tech support.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Yes, you need to choose "Advanced Search" to see the list. If you choose "Find", then it goes thru each instance of the word 1 by 1 which is better for small documents.

If I want to go to something in 215, I click on 215 in the directory and then use the scroll wheel on my mouse to go thru the couple pages. Or, I just type "Control - F" which brings up the Find box and type (or paste) in the exact article.

I know all of this, but the tree menu (bookmarks) went at least one level deeper in the CD ROM versions they used to have. There may be some navigation tricks I am not aware of, but in those other versions it was still simpler. If I want to see table 250.122 I have to go to 250 and scroll most of the way through the biggest chapter of the book. I could use search features, but 250.122 is mentioned in several other sections, so I may have multiple actions in the search process as they will all be part of the search results.

With those previous electronic NEC versions I could find my way directly to it just through the tree menu. Or if I was already looking at a reference to 250.122 that is in another section all I have to do is click on the reference which is a link to the referred section and I am there in one click. Want to go back to where I came from - use the "back" (or something similarly named) button and I am back in one click.
 
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