Handmade Hero » Forums » Code » Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
vexe
51 posts
#5452 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 12 months ago

Greetings!

I was looking online for a way to download MSDN's Win32 documentation so I can quickly and more conveniently browse for things because I have a really bad internet connection.

So far there doesn't seem to be a straight-forward way of doing it. I found this Visual Studio Help Downloader from a SO question but it doesn't seem to have links for Win32, just .NET stuff.

Does anyone know how to obtain it or has a version you could maybe share?

Thanks!
elxenoanizd/vexe

Whether you think you can do it or not you're right in both cases!
marius_a
Marius Adaškevičius
22 posts
#5453 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 12 months ago

Unfortunately, Microsoft has stopped providing an offline version of MSDN documentation. If you don't mind having an older reference you can download the last release (MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 SP1) from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20955. You don't need to have Visual Studio 2008 installed to use it.
mmozeiko
Mārtiņš Možeiko
1518 posts
1 project
#5454 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 12 months ago

While it is not available standalone, you can still download win32 API documentation offline as part of VS2013 or VS2015 help. To do that select Help -> Add and Remove Help Content. In the list click "Add" for "Windows Desktop Application Development". Then click "Update" and it will download docs offline. You can also select "Visual Studio 201X: Visual C++" for C/C++ language documentation and C/C++ runtime documentation.

The "Visual Studio 2012/2013 Help Downloader" utility from your SO link also can download it. Win32 API is "Windows Desktop Application Development" item in that list. But to view this help you'll still need to use Visual Studio Help (by importing downloaded files).
vexe
51 posts
#5458 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 12 months ago

I tried the Visual Studio Add/Remove Help Content and downloaded the downloaded the Windows Desktop App development docs but it wasn't all there, like doc for DirectSound SecondaryBuffer, it says the content I'm trying to view isn't on my computer. But it's better than nothing thanks mmozeiko!

And yeah marius_a I've been downloading that package since yesterday 2.2GB, really bad internet here...

Whether you think you can do it or not you're right in both cases!
mmozeiko
Mārtiņš Možeiko
1518 posts
1 project
#5459 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 12 months ago Edited by Mārtiņš Možeiko on Dec. 20, 2015, 11:16 p.m.

Yeah, DirectSound is deprecated. You're "supposed" to use XAudio2 for which it has docs :)

For DirectX you can install good old DirectX SDK - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6812

It will have two chm files - one for Direct3D (except D3D12), and one for other DirectX API's (like DirectSound).
cmuratori
Casey Muratori
803 posts
1 project

Casey Muratori is a programmer at Molly Rocket on the game 1935 and is the host of the educational programming series Handmade Hero.

#5478 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 11 months ago

Yeah, it's a completely shitshow now. I tried to use the downloadable help, but it's totally broken now, too, since they don't maintain it :( I ended up with a database that didn't have any of the kernel32 calls! It would just say "the documentation isn't on your machine" or some such nonsense.

Totally sucks, because I hate having to have an internet connection just to read MSDN. Super fucking lazy, and lame. There's absolutely no reason a bunch of HTML pages can't be downloadable to a local machine.

- Casey
aameen951
Ameen Sayegh
49 posts
#5503 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 11 months ago Edited by Ameen Sayegh on Dec. 28, 2015, 8:21 a.m.

I have written c program that use curl library and html parser to download msdn documentation it is all hack but it strips out scripts and the panels, the header and the footer.

It is all janky. And I don't have a convenient way for navigating because I have to remove the tree on the left because it uses AJAX. if I want to create a tree myself I have to put the tree in every webpage because you can't use ajax for file protocol. and that is impossible because the tree is super super huge. The other problem is the URL is id so you can't just navigate the webpages.

The nice thing about this program is you can control (in lame way) what pages you want download let say winsock2.

If that is legal I can give it to WITH NO GUARANTEE. I might spend some time on it to make more stable and usable and less verbose!
mmozeiko
Mārtiņš Možeiko
1518 posts
1 project
#5504 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 11 months ago

It would be ideal if you could create docset for https://zealdocs.org/
I use it for all kinds of offline help, and was considering to create WinApi scraper for it myself. But if you have one ready then that's good.

If you create docset right, then Zeal/Dash would provide automatic search over all functions/strucs/enums etc. That would require a bit of parsing text though (what is function, what is struct)...

Here's the documentation how you create it: https://kapeli.com/docsets
And here's how to submit to official list: https://github.com/Kapeli/Dash-Us...ributions#contribute-a-new-docset
aameen951
Ameen Sayegh
49 posts
#5505 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 11 months ago Edited by Ameen Sayegh on Dec. 28, 2015, 11:48 a.m.

Hmm, you mean I use zealdocs for browsing the pages the pages I downloaded?
And what is docset exactly?
Trevor266
Trevor Adrial Hart-Maloney
9 posts
#5506 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 11 months ago

Yeah I went to see if maybe you could just save the html file and have a super ugly version that got the job done but it's so crammed full of JavaScript and CSS classes that you're better off just trying to save the entire page for offline use...Which sucks but it's possible, you could just drag the file into the browser from your machine and it would never need an internet connection...I haven't tried this though so maybe it doesn't work because they have some stupid server side thing that they do. Oh well, best of luck on this!
mmozeiko
Mārtiņš Možeiko
1518 posts
1 project
#5507 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year, 11 months ago Edited by Mārtiņš Možeiko on Dec. 29, 2015, 7:12 a.m.

aameen951
Hmm, you mean I use zealdocs for browsing the pages the pages I downloaded?
And what is docset exactly?

Yes, exactly. Docset is special format for help files zeal/dash uses. It's basically a package of html files. Zeal/Dash is a GUI frontend for help documentation. Author and contributors have created such docsets for many different languages/frameworks. Like C, C++, Python, Java, etc...
lclhstr
29 posts
#9467 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
1 year ago Edited by lclhstr on Nov. 20, 2016, 3:58 p.m.

Late reply, but hopefully still useful for anyone wanting this.

Microsoft provides this: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34794
You can "install" it in the Visual Studio's Help Viewer.
The thing you *have* to install from the VS2012 iso is "Windows Desktop App Development".
You can see the process if you watch the "Day 000" video on this page (scroll all the way to the bottom, play the last video, around minute 8:30).
sonictk
Siew Yi Liang
4 posts
#12280 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
5 months, 3 weeks ago

I know this is a bit of an old post, but I found exactly what the OP was looking for: a Dash/Velocity/Zeal-compatible MSDN docset available over at:

https://www.rotemy.com/dash/

There seems to be another repository with some Python scripts for generating another one on OSX: https://github.com/wiggin15/msdn_docset I haven't tried it yet though; the first one works great!
Todd
94 posts

I use x86-64 assembly, Python, C, and SQL to fight malware.

#12604 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited by Todd on July 23, 2017, 5:20 p.m.

Wow, sonickt I just wanted to say thank you so much. I can't believe this thread has existed for over a year and you got us a solution! Luckily I had Zeal but the Zeal homepage makes no reference to the MSDN docset.

Im going on a long trip and I will have my laptop, a power inverter, but no Internet conn. Now I can program C all I want. You're a hero... A Handmade Hero. :)

I'm the smartest man in Athens because I know that I know nothing. ~ Socrates
Sailor
3 posts
#12963 Download MSDN Win32 Documentation for offline view
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Greetings, all.

I just found this thread an hour ago, and I simply had to sign up just so that I could say THANKS.

I'd never heard of Dash/Velocity/Zeal, but seeing sonictk's post prompted me to immediately d/l zeal and then the MSDN feed that he linked.

Absolute magic. My wife would kill you if she found out - now I'll be able to code while we're on holidays !

Great stuff!