Helixoft Blog

Peter Macej - lead developer of VSdocman - talks about Visual Studio tips and automation

How you can visually improve your documentation

Since the very first version of our VSdocman (.NET class documentation generator) one of the most wanted features was the ability to create additional non-API custom topics.

Overview
SampleClassLibrary Usage
  Basic Functionality
  Advanced
SampleClassLibrary Reference
  Namespace2 API
   ...
  NamespaceN API
License Agreement
About
Appendix: Demo Reference
  Namespace1 API

When we implemented this feature, we made many customers happy, judging on their response. Many of then are skilled technical writers so they could immediately create professionally looking documentation with additional topics such as general overview, examples, license agreement, usage descriptions, etc. I had the opportunity to see some of their docs and I could see that they used a lot of screenshots and diagrams. Especially in the introductory topics that described functionality of a technical component.

Recently, for our web site, we needed some basic visualisation of what our VSdocman does. I really liked the hand-drawn objects from infoDiagram. I got a set of charcoal objects from them and within a few minutes I was able to create the first draft of diagram. After some tweaking I was satisfied with the result.

VSdocman infodiagram

I'm not a graphic designer but it was really a fun to compose the diagram from predefined shapes. The icons were in PowerPoint format but my LibreOffice Impress imported everything without any problems. When I finished, I just exported the slide to the PNG format.

You can find many other visual sets at infoDiagram that you can use in your documentation or presentations. Those especially interesting for us are IT related icons:

And now something for team leaders (did you try the Scrum methodology?):

I know Peter, a guy from infoDiagram, for a longer time. So we arranged a 15% discount on any package for all our customers (VSdocman and VBdocman). If you are interested, just contact us with your order number or registration key and we'll send you a discount coupon code. This offer is time limited and expires on May 2nd 2014.

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