The help site doesn’t suck as bad as did before. Make me feel better and take a look:

I’ll know if you don’t.

So I finally gave up on my last effort at getting help automated.  To recap my struggle: basically Sandcastle, the original help system I used, was a complete flop.  I spent days trying to get the thing to work and had untold nightmares working with it.  I think I only ever pushed one copy with it.  Then I thought I’d play around with Reflector.NET and build my own help generator that included the actual source code.  It actually worked pretty well although it was somewhat less aesthetically pleasing to view.  Trouble is Reflector.NET is no longer free and I’m a little upset by their choice.

Finally I needed to produce some documentation for work and needed a ‘real’ solution.  The API we were documenting at work had a rather unique need, the dll was generated from a COM import and had no source files.  So I went searching for a tool that could give me a WYSIWYG help editor for .NET assemblies.


Stumbling across Document! X was an absolute stroke of good fortune.  It did everything I needed for the project at work and I immediately knew I needed a copy for this project!  A little on the pricey side I requested an open-source license and they granted my request.

The results of Document! X I think speak for themselves so now go back and click on the help link before reading more.  I’ve been working with this product for almost a month now and I have to say I’m impressed by several aspects of it.  One of the grandest things is that all their templates are well laid out in a single ‘configurations’ folder.  A few personal preferences drove me to make a few tweaks here and there and it was easy and straight-forward to do.  Of course not every product is perfect and Document! X is no exception, but it is the best I’ve worked with since NDoc and FAR more capable.  My only real gripe is that the embedded source editor is not a text-area and I keep winding up with html getting pasted in there.  Still it’s a pleasure to work with, I didn’t have to learn anything new, just picked it up and started working.  Honestly this is a solid 9 out of 10 on my scale, so if you need documentation try it out.