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XML Schema Documenter

XML Schema Documenter is a Sandcastle Help File Builder plug-in that allows you to integrate reference documentation for XML schemas in your help files.


  • XML Schema Documenter allows you to easily create XML schema documentation by extending Sandcastle Help File Builder.
  • XML Schema Documenter automatically utilizes the standard annotation Element for summary documentation.
  • You can leverage the power of Microsoft Assistance Markup Language (MAML) for documenting your XML schema items.
  • Since XML Schema Documenter emits the documentation as MAML the output style is always consistent with the rest of your help file.
  • You can document your XML schemas either inline or in an external documentation file.
  • Using a custom XSLT transform you can easily create or reuse your own inline documentation format.
  • You can effectively cross-link your XML schema with your MAML documentation using the MAML link element and the new xmlEntityReference element.


  1. Install Sandcastle Help File Builder (SHFB)

    After the installation, you need to reboot the machine to make sure the new environment variables become available

  2. Install XML Schema Documenter (XsdDoc)

  3. Read the documentation



  1. Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 (Professional, Premium or Ultimate).

  2. Sandcastle Help File Builder (SHFB)

  3. Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset Version 3.8


  1. Run build.cmd

  2. The folder bin will now contain the following subfolders:

    • help. Contains the help file.
    • raw. Contains the binaries (compiled in Release configuration).
    • release. Contains the zipped setup, samples, and source code.
    • samples. Contains several sample .chm files.
    • setup. Contains the setup.
    • src. Contains the complete source code.

To be done

  • xmlEntityLink: should render bold when the target is the current topic.
  • Investigate how we can use shared content for localization
  • Consider qualifying names within parents/usages so that they are unqiue.
  • Redefinition?
  • Substitution groups?
  • Currently the TopicType.SchemaSet's LinkUri is set to ##SchemaSet, which means no matter the source, the schema set topic identifier will be the same. This will lead to problems when different documents are installed into help collection like the Microsoft Help Viewer 1.x. The root container generated by Sandcastle reference document is having the same issue.


XML Schema documentation plug-in for Sandcastle Help File Builder (SHFB)




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