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Add Narrative Topics to the Documentation

Most documentation projects consist of more than just a reference section. There are also custom topics such as tutorials, how-to sections, and frequently asked questions. You may also want to add boilerplate items such as company information, copyright, and licensing. These topics are not embedded in assemblies, and must be added manually.

You can make these additions using the standard Doc-To-Help features. When your assembly changes and you regenerate the reference part of the documentation, Documenter will detect and preserve your changes. This is one of the most important features in Documenter: you can integrate the reference and narrative portions of the documentation and always keep it always up-to-date and accurate with minimum effort.

Adding a New Document to the Documenter Project

Let's add a new document containing legal and licensing information. This type of information is not product-specific. It is usually written by lawyers and included in every product.

1.   Copy the CustomTopics.doc file from C:\Program Files\ComponentOne\DocToHelp\Tutorial\BarCode\BarCode Assembly\Document to your Source directory.

2.   To add the new document, select the Project | Add Documents menu.

3.   Browse for CustomTopics.doc, then click OK.

The CustomTopics.doc is added to your project.

If you examine the CustomTopics.doc , you will note that it already has a title formatted using the default styles and formatting used by Doc-To-Help.

Because CustomTopics.doc contains only general information, you can include it in all your help projects. If you want to change the information in that file (to introduce a new licensing policy for example), all you need to do is update CustomTopics.doc file and rebuild your help projects.

Adding Content to the Documenter Produced Document

You can also add custom content to the files that were generated by the Documenter.

1.   Going back to our example, open the C1BarCode.doc and add a paragraph below the sample code under the C1BarCode Class topic.


This sample shows how to use the Text property to encode the value "123456" as a Code39-encoded barcode.


              c1barcode1.CodeType = CodeTypeEnum.Code39;

              c1barcode1.Text = "123456";

              pictureBox1.Image = c1barcode1.Image;


For examples in other languages, please visit our on-line samples library at


2.   Save and close C1BarCode.doc.

3.   Rebuild your Help project. Note that the new content has been added to your Help file.

4.   Close the help file and Doc-To-Help project.

Note: Documenter is able to preserve the changes you make by tagging automatically generated paragraphs with a hidden header. You can add and remove as many paragraphs as you like, but you should not make changes to the automatically generated paragraphs. If you do, your changes will be lost.