I wonder if you mean the Panorama 3 manual, which really was the Panorama II manual plus a separate supplement.That was the last printed documentation that came “in the box” with Panorama.
It was possible to purchase printed Panorama 6 manuals, so maybe you do have one on the shelf. I say “manuals” plural because it wasn’t just one manual, but a set of seven different manuals that cost a few hundred dollars for the complete set (several thousand pages). Naturally very few users purchased even one volume of this set, which helped make the decision to completely discontinue printed manuals a no-brainer.
We got so many complaints that earlier printed and PDF versions of the manual were too long! Very discouraging after all the work that went into producing them. Of course the Panorama X documentation is actually even longer, but that is kind of disguised by the fact that there is no way to know the actual page count (I don’t even know what it is).
For tech support, and here on this forum, it has been a godsend to be able to simply provide a direct URL link to a topic. Most users don’t want to read a book, they just want the answer to their immediate question, and now we can point them right to that. In the past we would have to point to a page number in a PDF file, and that would often engender the question “how do I get this PDF file?” “Where do I find that?” even though the PDF files were automatically installed with Panorama. Now that is no longer a problem.
By the way, I think perhaps an underappreciated advantage of Panorama X’s online documentation is the hundreds of animated illustrations. Can’t do that in a book or a PDF file. This combines the quick access and searchability of textual documentation with the “watch how it’s done” advantages of video. Creating hundreds of animated images took a lot of time, but I think it was well worth it.
Unfortunately, the last Panorama manual with an index was Panorama 3, almost 25 years ago. Creating a good index is an incredibly time consuming (i.e. expensive) process, and one we haven’t been able to afford for a long time. The good news is that now you can instantly do a full text search of the entire documentation. For example, doing a full text search for “total” or “sum” will return aggregate( as one of the results. Yes, you’ll get about a hundred results to sift through, but that’s a lot faster than trying to look through everything.
You don’t need to tell an Apple developer that! Apple is famous for not providing any documentation beyond a WWDC video to document a complex API.
On the other hand, videos are an excellent way to get a sense of what is available, so that later, you can hopefully remember “wasn’t there some feature that could calculate totals on the fly?” You probably won’t remember the details, but hopefully you’ll remember that a feature exists and then you can search for it, or ask about it here. At least that is how I use video training materials like Lynda.com.
At the end of the day, there is unfortunately no shortcut to mastering a powerful technology like Panorama. I want Panorama to be as easy to learn and master as possible, and sometimes I’m discouraged thinking about how much Panorama users need to learn to get the most out of it. But then when I go to learn some other technology out there, for example an Apple API, or a web technology, I see that this is really an industry wide problem, and that Panorama is really pretty good on this score. It’s always possible to do better, but resource constraints are always an issue as well. Even a large company like Apple really struggles with technical documentation – or try to figure out how to use Google AdSense using Google’s documentation. So I definitely appreciate the problem, and will keep working to make Panorama’s documentation the best that I can.