Helping hand for Visual Studio

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
A tailored version of the Innovasys HelpStudio, HelpStudio Lite, is being included in the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Software Development Kit. This will give developers building components that integrate with Visual Studio 2005 the means for authoring help materials that share a consistent style. HelpStudio Lite ships with two default templates; one that reflects the look and feel of Visual Studio .NET 2003 technical documentation, and another implementing the style introduced with Visual Studio 2005.

Developers can upgrade to the full version of HelpStudio for extra functionality, including pure HTML and HTML Help 1.x output, PDF booklet creation, conditional content, customisable ‘content helpers’ library, source code control integration, imaging and screen capture tools and a full automation and extensibility API.

Both HelpStudio Lite and the full version of HelpStudio integrate with Innovasys Document! X, which automates the production of technical documentation for .NET Framework-based and COM-based components, type libraries, SQL Server and Access databases, and XSD schemas. Document! X features a Visual Comment Editor integrated into Visual Studio 2005, which enables developers to edit their XML format source code comments within a WYSIWYG preview of the generated page. Also included is a stand-alone authoring environment for creating content external to source code comments.

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