Distributing my documentation?

Apr 19, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Hello, I have 2 very simple questions:

1) How do I enable my documentation to function with intellisense...is there a file that has to be included in my class library project?

2) How do I distribute my documentation? Do I just provide the "Documentation.chm" file or are other files needed as well?

Thanks in advance.


Apr 19, 2012 at 8:24 PM

IntelliSense is handled by the XML comments file.  As long as you deploy your XML comments file to the same location as your assembly, Visual Studio will find it can use it when you add the assembly as a reference to a project.  See the Build property page in your assembly project's property pages.  There is an XML Documentation checkbox that needs to be checked for the build to produce the comments file.  Be sure you check it in both the Debug and Release configurations.

How you distribute the file depends on how you want it accessed.  A CHM file is fine for standalone access where you can create a shortcut to it perhaps.  If you want your help integrated into Visual Studio,  you need to build it as a Help 2 file (VS2005 and VS2008) or as an MS Help Viewer file (VS2010 and VS2011).  There are additional steps required to actually perform the integration of your content into the Visual Studio help collections.  If you are using the Sandcastle Help File Builder, see the sub-topics under the MS Help 2 and MS Help Viewer Category Properties in the table of contents in the SHFB help file.  They cover integrating the help files into the collection and removing them using the scripts files produced as part of the build.



Apr 19, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Thanks for the quick and helpful reply Eric, but there's a problem:

I'm experimenting with implementing download functionality on my website (which is running locally on the hard disk at the moment). I send my Documentation.chm file to a compressed folder (it barely undergoes any compression though) and then try to download, unzip to a new folder and view this file. The download works, I unzip the file into a new folder as "Documentation.chm". It's the same size as the original.  If I double-click the file I can see the content headings on the left but I'm unable to view any content when I click on it. The content pane just says "Navigation to the webpage was cancelled". Any idea what might be going on here? Thanks very much in advance.


Apr 19, 2012 at 11:44 PM

Okay, it seems that this is security behavior by design. I bypass it by right-clicking on the downloaded file, select Properties and click Unblock.