Comparison of JavaScript API reference generation tools

Update: This list is now more social, shareable, embeddable, and improved at Vote or tag the existing tools or add the tools missing from this list.

JSDoc is JavaScript documentation–API reference content for your JS APIs. Recently I scanned the landscape of JSDoc generation tools looking for a good tool to generate JS API reference. I shortlisted the following open source software that served my purpose well. See if this information provides a starting point for you. My votes go to JSDuck and YUIDoc, in that order.

JSDoc tool

Salient info


JSDoc 3* Updated version of the old JSDoc Toolkit.
YUIDoc Slightly more verbose and generates very neat outputs; syntax similar to tools like Javadoc and Doxygen; provides Live previews; “generated documentation is an attractive, functional web application with real URLs and graceful fallbacks for spiders and other agents” output:
Docco “Quick-and-dirty documentation generator”; Produces output with explanation of code alongside the code itself
Natural Docs Very many options and neat outputs; Style of writing is similar to Javadoc
JSDuck Infers info directly from the code. Big projects are already using it; Supports references to images and videos; Single exe file for setup on Windows with everything bundled. JSDuck video here.

* A JSDoc 3 output sample, if it is useful: We ended up publishing an Adobe LiveCycle HTML Workspace documentation piece using JSDoc here.


Author: AshishG


3 thoughts on “Comparison of JavaScript API reference generation tools”

    1. Hi Steve, I am afraid I do not have the setup or the steps. I remember some manual changes in the default template were done. I would suggest posting this on stackoverflow or some such forum for the community to help you out.


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