Using A GUI (Package Explorer) to build packages

Not everyone is a command line junkie. Some folks actually prefer the comfort of a Windows GUI application for performing tasks such as package creation. The NuGet Package Explorer click-once application makes creating packages very easy. It's also a great way to examine packages and learn how packages are structured.

If you’re integrating building packages into a build system, then using NuGet.exe to create and publish packages is a better choice.

Installation

Installing Package Explorer is easy, click here and you’re done!

Package Explorer is a click-once application which means every time you launch it, it will check for updates and allow you to keep the application up to date.

Package Explorer Update Available

Creating a Package

To create a package, launch Package Explorer and select File > New menu option (or hit CTRL + N).

Creating a new package

Then select the Edit > Edit Package Metadata menu option (or CTRL + K) to edit the package metadata.

Editing Metadata with the Package Explorer

The metadata editor provides a GUI editor for editing the underlying nuspec file. For more details about these fields, read the NuSpec reference.

The final step is to drag in the contents of your package into the Package contents pane. Package Explorer will attempt to infer where the content belongs and prompt you to place it in the correct directory within the package.

For example, if you drag an assembly into the Package contents window, it will prompt you to place the assembly in the lib folder.

Package Explorer Infers content location

And clicking OK places the file in the appropriate folder.

Package Explorer Lib Folder

You can also explicitly add the special folders via the Content menu.

Package Explorer Content

Don’t forget to save your package via the File > Save menu option (or CTRL + S).

Publishing a Package

Once you've created and saved your package, navigate to the File > Publish menu option (CTRL + P) to publish your package.

This brings up the Publish Package dialog.

Publish Package Dialog

Enter your API Key and click Publish to publish your package to the NuGet package feed. If you don’t have an account yet, visit the NuGet Gallery and register for an account.

After you register and login, click on the My Account link to see your API access key.