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Apply, modify, or delete an effect

You can add a visual or graphic effect, such as a drop shadow or blur effect, to any object in your project. If you apply an effect to a layout container (such as a Grid container), the effect will be applied to all the child objects in the container.

Drop shadow effect applied to a Grid layout container that contains three rectangles

Ee371153.6f1475c5-90b2-4b49-b264-225f9a531bee(en-us,Expression.40).png
tip noteTip

By default, the rendering of effects on the artboard is turned off. To make effects appear, click Turn on rendering of Effects Ee371153.f9b06cda-78d5-4e53-9a42-398e062499d0(en-us,Expression.40).png at the bottom of the artboard.

To apply an effect to an object

To add multiple effects, see "To apply more than one effect to an object," later in this topic.

To drag an effect from the Assets panel

  1. In the Tools panel, click Assets Ee371153.0d8b8d29-1af9-418f-8741-be3097d76eab(en-us,Expression.40).png.

  2. In the Assets panel, click the Effects category.

    The Effects tab shows all the effects that are available to your project. If you have imported third-party or custom effects, they will appear here, as will the default effects of Microsoft Expression Blend.

    For more information, see Import third-party or custom effects.

  3. Drag an effect from the Assets panel to an object on the artboard or in the Objects and Timeline panel.

    The effect is visibly applied to the object, and the effect name appears as a child of the object in the Objects and Timeline panel.

To apply an effect by using the Properties panel

  1. Select the object to which you want to apply the effect under Objects and Timeline.

  2. In the Appearance category of the Properties panel, locate the Effect property.

  3. Click the New button next to the Effect property.

  4. In the Select Object dialog box, select the effect that you want to apply. For example, you could select the BlurEffect, and then click OK.

    The Properties panel changes to show you the type of effect you have applied.

Caution noteCaution

If an effect has already been applied to the object, clicking OK in the Select Object dialog box will replace the existing effect with your new one.

If an old bitmap effect created in an earlier version of Expression Blend has already been applied the object, an error message will appear on the artboard and in the Results panel to let you know that the old bitmap effect and the new effect cannot be applied to the same object. You can either undo (CTRL+Z) your change to remove the new effect, or you can reset the BitmapEffect property (visible in the advanced properties section Ee371153.de239c9d-42ce-4f5e-83b9-5f9924c0431f(en-us,Expression.40).png of the Appearance category) to remove the old bitmap effect.

For more information, see Modify previously existing bitmap effects.

To apply more than one effect to an object

An individual object in your project can have only one effect applied to it at a time. However, you can group an object into a layout container and then add an effect to the layout container, resulting in two effects being applied to the object. You can nest objects in this way, adding different effects to each container to achieve the results of multiple effects.

  1. Right-click the object to which you want to apply another effect, point to Group Into, and then click the name of a layout container, such as Border.

    The object is wrapped by a layout object.

  2. Apply an effect to the layout object. For more information, see "To apply an effect to an object," earlier in this topic.

    The appearance of the object is updated to show the both the effect applied to itself and the effect applied to the parent object. You can repeat this procedure to add more effects.

To modify an effect

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Under Objects and Timeline, expand the object to display the effect that is applied to it, and then select the effect.

      The Properties panel displays the properties of the effect in the Miscellaneous category. (Third-party effects might display properties under a different category.)

      tip noteTip

      You can select multiple effects of the same type to modify all their properties at the same time. Hold down the CTRL or SHIFT key to select multiple effects.

    • On the artboard or under Objects and Timeline, select the object to which an effect is applied.

      Under the Appearance category of the Properties panel, expand Ee371153.6375953d-074c-421a-bbb3-6f5055b67b64(en-us,Expression.40).png the Effect property to display its properties.

  2. Type new values for the effect and view the changes on the artboard. For example, to change how far away a drop shadow appears from an object, change the value of the ShadowDepth property.

To delete an effect that is applied to an object

Do one of the following:

  • Under Objects and Timeline, expand the object to display the effect that is applied to it, and then press DELETE.

  • Under Objects and Timeline, expand the object to display the effect that is applied to it, right-click the effect name, and then click Delete.

  • On the artboard or under Objects and Timeline, select the object to which an effect is applied, and then, under the Appearance category of the Properties panel, reset the Effect property.

    For more information, see Reset a property to its default value.

See also

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