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GhostDoc Feature Tour

Automatic XML Comment Generation

You want API documentation for your code, but it's labor-intensive. Really labor-intensive. Even once you learn the "triple-slash" keyboard shortcut, filling in all of the fields for each method and class you create is time-consuming.

So let GhostDoc do it for you, with a single keystroke Ctrl-Shift-D

  • Generate properly formatted method and type documentation instantly.
  • Have parameter and return values pre-populated with intelligent starting descriptions of what they do.
  • Enjoy the perfect starting point for your codebase's help documentation.
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Customizable XML Comment Templates

The promise of automated documentation sounds good, but it couldn't work in your group because of specific code standards about comments and method documentation? Would you wind up needing to do something to each and every generated piece of code documentation? Luckily, that won't be necessary.

Customize the generated documentation precisely to your specific needs using templates.

  • Standard T4 templates allow you to customize the documentation generation exactly according to your needs.
  • Make use of the template editing and validation to ensure easy customization.
  • Customize code documentation for methods as well as interfaces, structs, fields, events, Javascript variables, and many more.

Easy Code Documentation Maintenance

Have you ever made changes to a method and forgotten to update the method's XML documentation? We all have. It's one of the biggest pain points with in-file documentation of the evolving source code.

But what if you had a tool that could detect code changes that would affect documentation, and produce updates accordingly? Well, you can, using GhostDoc's "Documentation Maintenance".

  • If you've renamed a method, have your documentation updated accordingly.
  • Likewise, revisit renamed parameters and return values.
  • If you've added parameters, have those put into the documentation.
  • Or, if you've removed parameters, have them taken out.
  • Find missing or outdated documentation.
  • Discover or remove the auto-generated documentation.
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Documentation in Your Preferred Format

Are you not producing actual help files for your users? Or, if you are, is it labor-intensive and something you're not overly proud of? API documentation is an afterthought all too often, but it can be a huge differentiator for your product.

Luckily you can instantly turn your code documentation into a proper help file deliverable.

  • Give your users documentation in multiple formats and let them choose their preferred format instead of the one you happen to know and maintain.
  • With a single click, generate CHM, MS Help, Intellisense file, or Web-based documentation for your entire solution.
  • Re-generating the documentation after you've modified your code is as simple as yet another single click.

GhostDoc Help Documentation Samples

Visual Comment Editor

XML Comments are powerful for code documentation. The strict nature of the XML makes it much too easy to break the formatting, and miss the required escaping for symbols.

Have you ever generated help documentation from comments, only to find that the end result is poorly formatted? Text running awkwardly onto separate lines, or garbled text caused by an omitted escape character? It's a frustrating, time-consuming experience to regenerate it until it looks right.

As software developers, we deal with that enough, compiling and running applications only to see that some GUI component is out of whack.

To avoid that frustration, GhostDoc allows you to edit documentation in WYSIWYG fashion, with the changes persisted back to the XML documentation in your code.

  • Edit inline in the actual help documentation so that you see the end result as you go.
  • Leave the result in your source code files as XML documentation when you're satisfied.
  • Never worry about hand-typing escape sequences or remembering how best to format the method or type summary.
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Custom Help Content

Can you picture this? You find yourself staring off into space while two of your coworkers bicker about a naming convention. Six of you sit around in a conference room, with someone's laptop projected on the flatscreen TV, and you're entering the fourth hour of a marathon code review. Does this sound familiar?

These reviews can be boring and contentious, and frankly, they can waste a lot of time. But you don't abandon the practice of reviewing; the underlying concept is important.

Well, you can have the sanity check without the expensive (and often soul-crushing) time investment. By automating your code review, you can completely eliminate the low-hanging fruit and save human interaction for concepts and overarching design discussions. CodeIt.Right will help you facilitate this change.

  • Build code review into everyone's routine.
  • Save countless person-hours in conference rooms.
  • Perform checks prior to commits, rather than after the fact.
  • Incorporate code review into the team build.
  • Avoid needless team conflict.

Documentation from the Build

Has documentation historically been a source of manual labor, and something that you have to remember to do as an afterthought? Commit the code, let the build produce a candidate release, test it, verify it, and get ready to ship... and, oh, right! The documentation!

We do everything from the build these days. Let GhostDoc make generating documentation just another part of a healthy build process.

  • Automatically generate documentation as part of each build.
  • Never worry about syncing the documentation and the code, as GhostDoc handles this automatically.
  • Treat your documentation as yet another artifact associated with releases.
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Smart Spell Check

Can you relate to this? You spend hours chasing down a maddening defect, only to discover that it has the stupidest of possible causes. In the GUI, you're binding to the "CustomerID" property, but, wouldn't you know it, in the source code, you misspelled "Customer" and have a property called "CustmoerID!"

Spelling mistakes in source code aren't just a problem for perfectionists. They cause real, maddening bugs that can waste lots of your time. Spell checking your code is a no-brainer.

GhostDoc has a spell checker built in that can help save you from these types of issues.

  • Have GhostDoc check your comments and your code for misspellings.
  • Enjoy a rich set of options to help you combat false positives, such as disabling checks on email addresses and URLs.
  • Work with a spell checker that understands Pascal and camel casing.
  • Enable in-editor spell checking, generate a custom report, or turn it off altogether -- whatever level of assistance you want is available.

Intellisense Control

Isn't it frustrating, as a .NET developer, to be working with some API and have the Intellisense for some method come up completely empty? You're stuck figuring out what to do, at wit's end, and it'd be nice if the author of the code you're using had provided even the slightest hint of how to use the method. But all you see on mouseover is a useless tooltip, telling you what you already know: the name of the method and its parameters.

Do you want this experience for the people consuming your API -- your users? Or would you rather they think of you as diligent and helpful when it comes to using your code?

Let GhostDoc help you produce a great Intellisense experience.

  • Design the exact Intellisense experience you want users of your API to have.
  • Produce your custom Intellisense file with a single click or as part of your build.
  • Control the content of the Intellisense file with the scope and tag filtering.
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Code Contract Compatible

Code Contracts help are a great technique to reduce bugs in code. They are a software artifact and, as such, should be documented.

GhostDoc is the perfect tool for taking care of that documentation.

GhostDoc consumes code contract XML tags and outputs their information in the help documentation and the Visual Editor.

To create the XML Comment tags for Code Contracts, we recommend using the CodeContracts tools for .NET

StyleCop Compliance

Generating code documentation at a click is convenient, but that convenience goes right out the window if the documentation runs afoul of a tool like StyleCop. When that happens, you need to either create a custom template for generating the documentation or else you need to manually fix each instance yourself.

You shouldn't have to live with either one of those situations.

As an active participant in the Microsoft ecosystem, GhostDoc won't force you to do either. It operates in lockstep with StyleCop, always generating StyleCop compliant documentation.

  • Instant StyleCop compliance out of the box.
  • No need to create custom templates, manually update documentation or reconfigure StyleCop to avoid warnings and false positives.
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