Creating Documentation with Sandcastle Help File Builder

SC_SandCastle

Creating Documentation with Sandcastle Help File Builder

Introduction:

“If you’ve ever used a library that has accurate MSDN-style API documentation, you know how useful it can be. There are lots of ways to create HTML documentation. But the easiest way that I’ve found is to use Sandcastle. It’s an open source documentation generator from Microsoft that reads your assemblies (DLL or EXE files) and their XML comments and automatically generates HTML documentation. Sandcastle is a very flexible tool, which means it’s also a very complex tool. Luckily, there’s a companion tool, Sandcastle Help File Builder, that makes it really easy to get up and running with Sandcastle in minutes.”

Andrew Stellman

How to use:

Step 1: Access https://shfb.codeplex.com/ => Download

SC_Step1_DowloadSandCastleHelpFileBuider

Step 2: Unzip downloaded file => Run SandcastleInstaller.exe

SC_Step2_RunExe

Step 3: Follow steps to install

SC_Step3_StepByDefault

Step 4: Create new Project => Class Library

SC_Step4_CreateNewClassLibrary

Step 5: For example: Create new User class with comments like below

SC_Step5_CommentDocument

Step 6: Right click on Project => Properties

SC_Step6_GoToProjectProperties

Step 7: In Build Tab, check XML documentation file => Input path for XML file

SC_Step7_SetOutPutWithXML

Step 8: Go to output path => Check if CustomLibrary.XML is generated

SC_Step8_BuildSource

SC_Step9_BuildResult

Step 9: Run Sandcastle Help File Builder GUI

SC_Step10_RunSandCastle

Step 10: In Project Explorer => Add Documentation Source…

SC_Step11_AddDocumentationSource

Step 11: Select dll file from CustomLibrary Project

SC_Step12_OpenDll

Step 12: Check if xml file is included

SC_Step13_CheckIfDllExist

Step 13: In Build Tab => Select the Help File Format that you want to export

SC_Step14_ChooseExportType

Step 14: In Help File Tab => Input all information about the Help file

SC_Step15_InputInformation

Step 15: Select options of the Visibility for API document also

SC_Step16_ChooseVisibility

Step 16: Or display if documentation is missing

SC_Step17_MissingTag

Step 17: Define the Output path and Working files path for Help file

SC_Step18_ChooseOutPut

Step 18: Then left click on Build the help file icon

SC_Step19_BuildHelpFile

Step 19: Wait until Building process is finished

SC_Step20_BuildSuccess

Step 20: Open output folder

SC_Step21_Index

Step 21: Here is output files

  • WebsiteSC_Step22_Success
  • HTML Help (chm)SC_Step23_ChmFile

Good luck !

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