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I was doing some searches for MSDN documentation and see it's online for free. It appears now they have a way to download it from the web, but I wasn't able to find out exactly how to do so.

For the offline content, do you have to have Visual Studio installed and if so, will the express version work for this? Or can you download and run the MSDN help files standalone?

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Here is the link to download the Windows 7 SDK, which is the one I'll be getting: microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=18950 –  James Drinkard Nov 7 '11 at 15:44
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Check http://blogs.msdn.com/b/seealso/archive/2010/07/26/viewing-the-msdn-documentation-offline.aspx.

It seems that you need to download the web installer for the latest Visual Studio/Windows if you don't have any SDK already installed. Then, uncheck everything and select the MSDN documentation only.

It was always free, and was available before as a standalone download (a few years ago?). There may be a direct link for the standalone installer, but I'm not so sure it is the case now, either way I could not find it.

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