.NET Documentation Tool - DocMounter

DocMounter purpose

DocMounter is a free .NET documentation tool that allows you to easily build help files and XML documentation for .NET assemblies:

Free .NET documentation tool, DocMounter

This .NET documentation utility can produce the following output:

  • An HxS help files in the MSHelp2 format which can be easily converted in the modern MSHC or MS Help Viewer 1.0 format introduced with Visual Studio 2010. These help solutions can contain both member topics and custom conceptual content.
  • A manual document for the conceptual content in a form of a single HTML which can be converted to a well-formatted printable PDF or another format.
  • The standard MS XML Documentation files to use with your .NET products in Visual Studio for IntelliSense and in the Object Browser.

Reasons to create and main benefits

From the first versions of Visual Studio .NET, it has been possible to document your classes directly in code and create the standard documentation sections (such as the summary, remarks, parameter descriptions etc) which contain the standard tags. But for us, developers, it was quite inconvenient to fully document our classes and create such long sections as remarks directly in code. The situation is worse in the case when the documentation is created by a technical writer and the code is created by a developer; it is not quite appropriate for them to work with the same source files simultaneously.

We also encountered all these problems while working on our .NET products. Finally, we decided to solve them by creating our own tool and gave it a name "DocMounter". DocMounter became a tool to separate the code from the documentation without loss of the conveniences provided by Visual Studio, and even more. The actual version implements many useful features you cannot get from the standard VS XML documentation technique. It also has a very handy topic editor based on the brilliant Editor.NET component provided by Quantum Whale for this project for free.

There are few open-source projects to build documentation, such as outdated NDoc and the modern SandCastle documentation compiler. But if you have ever tried to use them, you know how difficult to make them working for your practical needs. When we designed DocMounter, the simplicity of use was one of the main key features of the product. As a result, now we have a wonderful tool you can use to build help solutions from the first minutes after deployment with one mouse click!

You can also find a lot of well-known tools on the market which allow you to create help files for your products (among them are Macromedia RoboHelp and Doc-to-Help by ComponentOne), but those tools are quite expensive (about $1000 per each license) and none of them allows you to create XML documentation for your .NET assemblies. Our utility is free and easy-to-use without complicated interfaces, but also can be used to build help files for your products in addition to XML documentation.

Despite its simplicity, DocMounter has the complete set of tools you can use to build full-featured XML documentation and help files. We are using it widely in our company to document our .NET products such as the iGrid.NET grid control. Many customers throughout the world also found this tool very useful when building .NET-styled documentation for their libraries.

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