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IBM Documentation Offline and PDF Management Features for IBM Z and z/OS Content

An offline version of IBM Documentation is available for IBM Z and z/OS content. Learn about the choices you have for accessing and managing IBM Z and z/OS offline content, and PDF files that are available from IBM Documentation.

IBM Documentation Offline and PDF Management Features for IBM Z and z/OS Content

Using an Offline Version of IBM Documentation for IBM Z products

To provide clients with a more complete content experience, IBM® Documentation supports an Offline documentation function. With this function, you can install a local client of the IBM Documentation interface and download a complete collection of content for products that are served through the IBM Documentation site. To learn more about IBM Documentation, go to:

Before you can download content for IBM Documentation Offline, you must first register to create an IBMid account. You can register for an account by selecting the “User Profile” icon on any IBM Documentation page and clicking “Log in”. You can also go directly to the “Log in to IBM“ page and select “Create an IBMid”. Figure 1

After you create an IBMid, you can download IBM Documentation Offline. Go to the IBM Documentation Offline page and log in with your IBMid if you haven’t already. Then select the application platform that you want to download and install for downloading. Follow the instructions to complete the installation.

Now that you have IBM Documentation Offline installed locally, go to the IBM Documentation page for IBM z/OS and select the release you would like to work with (for example, z/OS® 2.5).

At the bottom of the table of contents for the release, you should see an “Offline docs” download button: Figure 2

When you select the button, all the content for that z/OS release as a package (.zip) file is downloaded. The downloaded package file will have the IBM Documentation product key and the date the package was last updated as the file name. For example, the latest download package for z/OS 2.5.0 content might be:

Uploading content to your installed Docs Offline application

Once you have the IBM Documentation Offline application installed on your workstation and have downloaded a z/OS release package from IBM Documentation, you can upload the package by using the “Add or update docs” function.

After starting the application, locate and click either “Upload Documentation” or the “Add or update docs” link in the “Product list” pane: Figure 4

Following the dialog, you can locate the z/OS release package that you want to upload to the IBM Documentation Offline application: Figure 5

Click the “Select product files” button to locate and select the package you downloaded earlier: Figure 6

Due to the size of the z/OS IBM Documentation Offline package (National Language translated content is also included), you might see a warning about the size of the archive being too large to verify: Figure 7

If you only require English-language content, click the “Upload products” button to proceed. If you require a different language, you might need to experiment with selecting a different language from the “Languages” dropdown menu. After you click “Upload products,” it will take some time to upload the package. The following message appears when it begins to import the files and you can view the progress on the product release tile that appears: Figure 8 Figure 9

After the upload completes, you will see the release content tile as an active item: Figure 10

Click the tile to open the installed offline documentation content. The following landing page appears: Figure 11

Using the content from your installed Docs Offline application

Use the navigation table of contents or search functions to locate and browse the content in the same way you would with the IBM Documentation site:

Figure 12 Figure 13

Managing your z/OS release PDF files through IBM Documentation

IBM Documentation is quickly becoming your “one-stop shop” destination for IBM Z® content. In addition to accessing your IBM Z technical content for hardware models, firmware, and z/OS releases (online and PDF output), you can also access IBM announcement letters and IBM Redbooks® for IBM Z.

If you are interested in working with PDF format, you can access and manage your use of the z/OS release PDF files that are made available through IBM Documentation in three distinct ways:

  • Display and download individual files, as needed.
  • Download all the PDF files for a release as part of the IBM Documentation Offline feature.
  • Download an indexed collection of PDF files for the z/OS release, which is periodically refreshed, for use outside IBM Documentation.

We explain how to take advantage of each method to view z/OS content in PDF format.

Using the element landing pages to access individual PDF files

To view or download individual z/OS release PDF files, as needed, you can browse the landing pages for individual z/OS release elements on IBM Documentation (for example, for z/OS Data Gatherer) and then select the PDF link for a specific PDF file to view:

Figure 14

If you’d like to work with a list of links for the various z/OS release elements, to navigate more easily to the PDF files you’d like to view or download, you can use the element PDF page to find links to specific z/OS element content available for the release: Figure 15

If you are interested in storing the z/OS release PDF files separately as a collection and using a pre-built index to specify global searches to find information, you can do that.

To begin the download selection, click the Download PDF link at the bottom of the navigation from IBM Documentation z/OS release:

Figure 16

You will then be presented with a choice to download individual PDF files (through a link to IBM Documentation element landing pages for the z/OS release) or to download the most recent indexed PDF collection package for the z/OS release:

Figure 17

If you choose to download the indexed PDF collection package, then select the location for downloading the package and extract the contents of the package. This will take a while.

To begin searching the z/OS PDF file collection included with Offline docs using the provided index, locate and open the .pdx file (for example, zOS-250_Index_for_PDF-files_20230202.pdx) with the Adobe Acrobat™ Reader.

You might need to give Adobe Acrobat authority to search through your drive space in order to have all the PDF files located by the index search: Figure 18

Once Adobe Acrobat Reader has opened the .pdx file, you should see the following interface indicating that you are ready to begin searching the PDF files using the index: Figure 19

The previously-created index is already selected for use. You can enter a search value in the What word or phrase would you like to search for? field and use the check box options to tailor the search more specifically.

For example, to search for the phrase “deep neural network”, you could specify that and then click the Search button: Figure 20

After the indexed search completes, you would see the following PDF book files flagged as having that string found: Figure 21

You can open any of the twisty ( > ) links to see a list of the search results: Figure 22

If you select one of those results, Adobe Acrobat will open the flagged PDF file to the selected reference:
Figure 23

You can keep reading for more information, select another search result to view, or refine your search criteria and try another search.

Using IBM Documentation Offline to download a complete set of z/OS release PDF files

If you need to keep a complete set of the available PDF files for a z/OS release locally, without the benefit of a provided search index, you can use the Offline docs / Update available link to download the release package and copy the .zip file to a location on your local system storage. Then unpack that file and extract PDF files for storing or replacing.

Unpacking the Docs Offline package to store and use the PDF files separate from Docs Offline

To extract the Offline docs z/OS release zip file to save the PDF files, copy the package file to a separate folder destination. For example, if you downloaded the previously, you can open it using a packaging utility on your workstation operating system such as Windows™ Explorer or Mac Archive Utility. From the package, extract the contents of the following path to a local directory on your workstation:

Figure 24

Because IBM Offline docs provides a fast, reliable search of the provided topic content and the z/OS content also provides element landing page with links to the PDF files directly, you can use z/OS Offline docs content to search and open PDF files directly through the IBM Offline docs interface.

About the authors

Rob Paquin is a Technical Content DevOps Specialist for IBM Z. Rob helps provide DevOps support for building, debugging, and publishing technical content for the z/OS product family, as well as other related products. He also collaborates with z/OS Content Development teams and IBM’s corporate Content Services and Documentation teams to help test and implement new content infrastructure functionality in order to provide a better experience for clients and users. Rob holds a B.S. degree in Information Technology and Systems and a minor in Computer Science from Marist College.

Bob Pfeiffer is a Senior Technical Content DevOps Specialist for IBM Z. Bob and his team provide content DevOps support for building and publishing the technical content for the z/OS product family. He collaborates with z/OS Content Development teams and IBM’s corporate Content Services and Documentation teams to implement strategic content infrastructure and best practices and to integrate and scale that infrastructure for IBM Z to provide the best possible customer experience. Bob holds an M.S. degree in Technical Writing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.