.NET Documentation Tool - DocMounter

DocMounter purpose

DocMounter is a .NET documentation tool allowing you to build MSHC help files, manuals and XML documentation files for .NET assemblies:

.NET documentation tool, DocMounter

This .NET documentation utility can generate output files of the following formats:

  • An MSHC help file in the MSHelp3 format that can be viewed in Microsoft Help Viewer (read more). Help solutions of this kind can contain both member topics and custom conceptual content.
  • A manual for the conceptual content as a single HTML that can be converted to a well-formatted printable PDF or a document of another format.
  • Standard Microsoft XML Documentation files for .NET assemblies used by Visual Studio for IntelliSense and in the Property Browser.

Originally DocMounter was created as a tool for our internal needs - to generate the whole set of documentation files for .NET controls like iGrid.NET. But eventually we decided to make this tool public to help other developers to build .NET documentation.

Reasons for creation and main advantages

From the first versions of Visual Studio .NET, it has been possible to document .NET classes directly in code by writing content for standard documentation sections - such as summary, remarks, or parameter descriptions. But if we want to fully document our classes and create detailed member descriptions including samples of usage, this approach is quite inconvenient because the source code becomes bloated and overloaded with documentation. The situation is even worse if the documentation must be created by a technical writer who cannot edit the source code files simultaneously with the developer working with them.

We faced all these problems when we needed to document our WinForms grid control iGrid.NET. First we tried to find a ready-to-use .NET documentation tool. The market offered a wide range of help authoring tools, but not all of them provided the ability to document .NET assemblies. Those that have this functionality did not provide all features we wanted to have in our first-class documentation for .NET assemblies - for example, the ability to create links to conceptual topics from member topics or insert pictures into member topics. And most of those tools were so complex so that you may have spent several days trying to prepare documentation for .NET assemblies using a special documentation language.

Taking into account all this, we decided to create our own tool to document .NET assemblies that would suite all our needs. We did that and named this documentation utility "DocMounter". We have been using DocMounter successfully for decades to generate documentation for our .NET assemblies. The tool has a nice topic editor with the syntax highlighting, code outlining and built-in spell checker features provided by the brilliant Code Editor component from AlterNET Software. When we designed DocMounter, the simplicity of use was one of the key features of the product. As a result, now we can provide a tool one can easily master and generate .NET documentation in 5-10 minutes!

Main features of DocMounter »