Sandcastle Tools

Collapse image Expand Image Copy image CopyHover image


Code Block Component

A custom build component that can be used to colorize code, add line numbering and/or collapsible section, and import code from working source code files. It can be used in both conceptual and reference builds. The component is integrated with the

Sandcastle Help File Builder and is also available as a standalone component from the same project site for use in other tools or your own build scripts.
code snippets file

A file used to store commonly used code snippets. The snippets can be inserted into a conceptual topic using the CodeEntityReference element.

conceptual build

A build that uses Sandcastle to produce help file topics using information extracted from conceptual content topics and their related files.

conceptual content

A topic file that contains conceptual content. These can be used to add usage notes, walkthroughs, tutorials, etc. to a help file. Conceptual topics use MAML rather than HTML to define their content.




documentation source

An individual assembly (executable or DLL), an individual XML comments file, a Visual Studio project file (C#, VB.NET, or J#), a Visual Studio solution file containing one or more of the noted project types, or a wildcard item that results in a list of one or more of the previously mentioned file types. These are used to produce API documentation in a help project. At least one assembly must be specified as a documentation source in order to produce API help content. Documentation sources are managed using the Documentation Sources project node in the Project Explorer window.



Sandcastle is a set of tools produced by Microsoft that can be used to build help files for .NET managed libraries, conceptual content, or a mix of both. Microsoft officially discontinued development in October 2012. The Sandcastle tools have been merged with the

Sandcastle Help File Builder project and are developed and supported there now as part of that project.
Sandcastle Help File Builder, SHFB

The Sandcastle Help File Builder is a standalone tool used to automate Sandcastle. It consists of a GUI front end that helps you manage and build help file projects. It uses a standard MSBuild format project file which can also be built from the command line using MSBuild or integrated into Visual Studio builds or other build scripts to produce a help file when your application projects are built. In addition, it provides a set of additional features beyond those supplied with Sandcastle that can improve your help file and make it easier to deploy. A Visual Studio integration package is also available for it that integrates the project management and build features into Visual Studio 2010 or later.

See Also:  Sandcastle