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Release Notes for the DocProject 1.6.0 Release Candidate

Please read this document carefully before installing DocProject.

Additional Software

DocProject requires additional software to be downloaded and installed separately. Some of the software is optional depending upon the DocProject features that you will use.

Please read Required Software and Optional Software below to determine which software you must install before installing DocProject.

Required Software

The following software is required by DocProject:
  • Visual Studio 2005 with Service Pack 1 must be installed on your system before installing DocProject.
    • English only; Other languages may not be compatible.
    • There is now limited support for Visual C# 2005 Express and Visual Basic 2005 Express editions with SP1 (see below for details).
  • Sandcastle, March CTP is required to use the Sandcastle and Sandcastle/Deployment build engines in DocProject (these are the only engines provided by DocProject).
Required Software for DocSites
The following software is required to use the DocSite templates, although it's not required to use the DocProject templates:
Supported Browsers for DocSites
The DocSite templates build a website that has been tested for compatibility with the following web browsers only:
  • Firefox
  • Opera 9.21
  • Windows Internet Explorer 7.0.6000.16448
Earlier versions of MSIE, such as 6.0, are not compatible with DocSite output.

Optional Software

DocProjects and DocSites can automate the process of building compiled help 1.x and 2.x if the following software is installed:

HTML Help Workshop (Help 1.x)
Install the workshop compiler if you want DocProject to build a distributable help package (.chm file) that can be opened on any Windows system, stand-alone or included as part of the documented application for context-sensitive help.

Visual Studio 2005 SDK (Help 2.x)
Install the SDK if you want DocProject to build a help collection (.HxS file) that can be merged with Visual Studio's help collections. This is useful for add-in, control and package developers that integrate their products into Visual Studio.

Important Installation Notes
If you install the Visual Studio 2005 SDK after the Sandcastle March CTP then you must manually reset the DXROOT environment variable on your system to the location of the March CTP (commonly, C:\Program Files\Sandcastle).

Note: Do this before installing DocProject; otherwise, if you choose to install DocProject for Everyone, not Just me, then you will have to make the same changes to the DXROOT variable with machine-scope, as well as the DXROOT variable with user-scope.

Please be aware that the DXROOT variable may not reflect the SDK's location until after you reboot your system (this seemed to occur in testing on a Windows Vista system but not a Windows 2003 system), so you may need to reboot immediately after installing the SDK and then update the DXROOT variable when Windows restarts. Make sure that Visual Studio is not opened before updating the DXROOT environment variable or else it may reference the previous value (the SDK location) until you restart it.

Windows 2003/XP Instructions
  • Open System Properties: Start > Control Panel > System or right-mouse click the My Computer icon and select Properties.
  • Go to the Advanced tab.
  • Click the Environment Variables button.
  • In the User variables list, highlight the DXROOT variable and click Edit.
  • Change the Variable value to the root installation directory of the Sandcastle March CTP (commonly, C:\Program Files\Sandcastle).
  • Click OK three times to exit all of the dialogs.
Windows Vista Instructions
  • Open System Properties: Logo > Control Panel > System or right-mouse click the Computer icon and select Properties.
  • In the pane on the left click Advanced system settings
  • Go to the Advanced tab.
  • Click the Environment Variables button.
  • In the User variables list, highlight the DXROOT variable and click Edit.
  • Change the Variable value to the root installation directory of the Sandcastle March CTP (commonly, C:\Program Files\Sandcastle).
  • Click OK three times to exit all of the dialogs.
  • Close the System window.


The DocProject installer installs the templates, Add-In and the complete source code, including the Visual Studio solution and project files.

To install DocProject on your system:
  1. Download the latest release.
  2. Close all running instances of Visual Studio 2005.
  3. Double-click the installer to begin the installation.
    1. Vista users: right-mouse click and select Run as administrator instead.
The installer will install DocProject for Everyone or Just me in the following versions of Visual Studio if they are detected on your system:
  • Visual Studio 2005 Standard or higher
  • Visual C# 2005 Express
  • Visual Basic 2005 Express
Detailed instructions for installation, configuration and general usage can be found in the How To... wiki.

Note: Existing DocProjects and DocSites created for earlier versions of DocProject are not compatible and should not be used.

New Features

  • Preliminary support for Visual C# 2005 Express and Visual Basic 2005 Express (see below for details).
  • Support for Managed Visual C++ projects.
  • DocProjects and DocSites use an MSBuild task, enabling them to be built in Visual Studio, on the command-line or by a build server without any required modifications to the project files.
  • Sandcastle presentations are registered in DocProject's configuration file and custom presentations can be registered with DocProject as well.
  • The API Topic Designer allows users to edit shared API content (currently, the header and footer only) using an HTML editor.
  • The API Topic Management dialog enables users to edit project and namespace summaries in both text and HTML.
  • The API Topic Management dialog provides some new search options such as, "Find/Apply next match only" and "Show matching topics".
  • Users have the option to use friendly names or GUID names for the html files generated by Sandcastle. (Guid names are the default.)
  • A Sandcastle toolbar is installed in Visual Studio Standard edition or higher, with commands that open the API Topic Management Dialog and API Topic Designer for the currently selected project in Solution Explorer.
  • The width of the DocSite sidebar is now persisted in a cookie and preserved across post-backs and new sessions.

Preliminary support for Visual Studio Express editions

Support for express editions is limited now but may be extended in the future. Preliminary support includes:
  • identical installation as the full version, except that the Add-In is not installed in express editions.
  • support for both Visual Basic and Visual C# DocProject templates, depending upon the versions of Visual Studio that are installed.
    • Note: DocSite templates are not currently supported in Visual Web Developer 2005 Express.
  • the New Project Wizard, which starts when a new DocProject is created.
  • the MSBuild task that starts the help-build process inside Visual Studio and outside, such as on the command-line or a build server.
  • a custom Build Process Component, without Visual Studio automation capabilities.
  • configurable project folders and presentation files for Sandcastle (e.g., sandcastle.help1x.config).
The following features are currently unavailable to express editions:
  • the ability to cancel help-builds.
  • tools options pages for managing build engines and active project settings.
  • content and topic management dialogs.
  • the Include Project Output Dialog that allows users to easily import project items after each build.
    • Note: Although you can change the default settings manually in the project file, your changes will not have any effect.

Source Code

The Visual Studio solution and projects that are installed along with DocProject have been tested on multiple systems in an attempt to make them usable, out-of-the-box.

For help using DocProject's Visual Studio solution and projects, see How To Use The Source Code.

DSZip Utility

Download and install the DSZip utility if you plan on using the supplied Visual Studio solution to build the Visual Studio Content Installer file (.vsi) or the Windows Installer package (.msi) using the DaveSexton.DocProject.InstallPrep project.

If you are not planning on using the solution file or projects to build the installers, or if you're not even planning on using the source code at all, then you do not need the DSZip utility.

Note: DSZip version 1.1.0 is provided on the release page. This is the same version that was provided in 1.5.0, so if you've already installed it then there is no need to download DSZip again.

For more information, see How To Use The Source Code, Projects.


Thanks for your interest in DocProject.

Please tell us what you think about DocProject and how it can be improved for you and your organization: Feedback

Last edited Jun 11, 2007 at 7:19 PM by davedev, version 1


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