DocProject consists of two major components:
DocProject's Visual Studio Project Templates
To build help using DocProject you must add a new project to your Visual Studio solution that is based on one of DocProject's
Visual Studio Project Templates
, which come in two flavors:
build help for project references
and/or references to
sources; e.g., individual assemblies, reflection files or entire folders. Dependency information is discovered automatically.
Custom conceptual topics written in
Microsoft Assistance Markup Language
(MAML) and even raw HTML topics can be added to the project as well.
The Add-In provides a Topic Explorer
tool window that allows you to create and organize the table of contents (TOC), which consists of custom conceptual topics and the TOC that is automatically generated by Sandcastle for reference documentation.
Using the Sandcastle
build engine, documentation for all referenced assemblies is built into a series of HTML topic files. Optionally, a
compiled help file can be produced consisting of both conceptual and reference documentation. HTML Help 1.x (.chm) and Help 2.x (.HxS) are both supported and are generated by a single build, although both are optional.
DocProject can also produce an AJAX-enabled ASP.NET documentation web site called a
if you use a
Templates are available in Visual Basic
and Visual C#
is supported as well. The language that you choose for your DocProject
template does not affect which projects can be referenced. Any
, regardless of the chosen language, can be used to build compiled help for any
, Visual Basic
, Visual J#
and Managed Visual C++
library or executable project within the same solution.
Currently, Sandcastle is used exclusively to build HTML help but DocProject is extensible, with
plug-in support for other build engines
as well. You can even customize the entire process using your favorite language (e.g.,
, Visual Basic
or Visual J#
) with a
Build Process Component
, which hooks into the
of your DocProject
The templates that are supplied with DocProject
come with a concrete Build Process Component
implementation, automatically registered with the containing project, that outputs the elapsed time for each build step and the entire help build process.
You can customize the component by injecting your own build steps, for example.
DocProject's Visual Studio Add-In
The Add-In is available in Visual Studio Standard
edition and higher. It provides features to
- the ability for users to cancel help builds.
- support for partial and skipped builds.
- the ability for users to choose build output to be included as project items after a help build completes.
Topic Management Dialog.
- the Topic Designer.
- various tool windows such as Topic Explorer, Topic Filters,
Topic Editor and DocProject Properties.
- The DocProject tools options pages, which provide the ability to configure build engines and each individual
DocProject and DocSite in the current solution.
Visual Studio Express Support
The Add-In is not available in express editions of Visual Studio; however, express users can use the
DocProject External UI
), which provides the same tools to configure and build their projects as Visual Studio Standard and higher.