Is there an easy way to produce MSDN-style documentation from the Visual Studio XML output? I'm not patient enough to set up a good xslt for it because I know I'm not the first person to cross this bridge. Also, I tried setting up sandcastle recently, but it really made my eyes cross. Either I was missing something important in the process or it is just way too involved.

I know somebody out there has a really nice dead-simple solution.

I'm reiterating here because I think my formatting made that paragraph non-inviting to read:

I gave sandcastle a try but had a really hard time getting it set up. What I really have in mind is something much simpler.

That is, unless I just don't understand the sandcastle process. It seemed like an awful lot of extra baggage to me just to produce something nice for the testers to work with.

+6  A: 

You're looking for Sandcastle

Project Page:


NDoc ( used to be the tool of choice, but support has all but stopped.

Karl Seguin
+3  A: 

Have a look at Sandcastle, which does exactly that. It's also one of the more simpler solutions out there, and it's more or less the tool of choice, so in the long run, maybe we could help you to set up Sandcastle if you specify what issues you encountered during setup?

Michael Stum
+2  A: 

I've just set up Sandcastle again. Try installing it (the May 2008 release) and search for SandcastleGui.exe or something similar (it's in the examples folder or so).

Click Add Assembly and add your Assembly or Assemblies, add any .xml Documentation files (the ones generated by the compiler if you enabled that option) and then Build.

It will take some time, but the result will be worth the effort. It will actually look up stuff from MSDN, so your resulting documentation will also have the Class Inheritance all the way down to System.Object with links to MSDN and stuff.

Sandcastle seems a bit complicated at first, especially when you want to use it in an automated build, but I am absolutely sure it will be worth the effort.

Also have a look at Sandcastle Help File Builder, this is a somewhat more advanced GUI for it.

Michael Stum
+2  A: 

Follow this simple 5 step article and you are pretty much done. As a bonus you can use H2Viewer to view Html Help 2.x files.

+3  A: 

You should also use the Sandcastle Help File Builder. It provides you with a ndoc like GUI for generating help files so you don't have to do anything from a command prompt.


I use NDoc3