How To Build Compiled Help With MSBuild

Building help on the command-line is easy with DocProject. All that you need is DocProject installed on your system, a DocProject or DocSite created in Visual Studio and the MSBuild.exe program.

These instructions can be used to build on the command-line without Visual Studio installed as well; however, MSBuild and DocProject must be installed.


First, create a DocProject or DocSite. For more information, see Creating a DocProject for a new solution or Quick Start: Creating a DocSite.

Next, read How To Build Compiled Help With DocProject to make sure that you can at least build help within Visual Studio first. It may be easier to troubleshoot issues when they occur inside Visual Studio instead of in a command prompt.

Then run the Visual Studio Command Prompt. A shortcut is usually located at Start > Programs > Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 > Visual Studio Tools > Visual Studio 2005 Command Prompt.

Note: Visual Studio Express users must open a regular command prompt (Start > Run > cmd.exe) and then change the current directory to:

cd %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727

This is the directory in which the MSBuild.exe program is installed. The Visual Studio Command Prompt adds this path to the Path environment variable so MSbuild.exe can be executed from the current directory.

Start a build

Enter the following in the command window:

msbuild "{path}\{project}"

where path is the full path to the DocProject or DocSite that you want to build and project is the DocProject or DocSite project file.
For example:

msbuild "C:\projects\test\test.csproj"

The build output that is normally displayed in Visual Studio's Output window will be displayed in the command prompt as the build proceeds.

Note: If your DocProject or DocSite has any Managed Visual C++ project references then you must build the solution file instead of the project file; e.g., c:\projects\test\test.sln

Last edited Jun 20, 2007 at 12:35 AM by davedev, version 3


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