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Designing Windows Phone apps with Blend

Important note Important

The ability to design Windows Phone projects in Blend for Visual Studio 2012 is available only when you install the Windows Phone SDK 8.0.

The Windows Phone features in Blend are designed to make it easier and faster to design applications for Windows Phone.

When you create a Windows Phone project in Blend, the document window displays an application page (PhoneApplicationPage) that resembles a Windows Phone screen. You can add objects to the application page, arrange them, and then modify them so that they appear the way that you want them to appear on the screen. When you are finished designing the page, you can build and then run the project to preview them in the Windows Phone Emulator or on a Windows Phone device attached to your computer.

For more information about adding content to the application page, see Create content for Windows Phone.

For more information about previewing a Windows Phone project, see Preview a Windows Phone project.

PhoneApplicationPage

Phone application page

You can use the Device panel to select the orientation of your application page, to determine the background and accent colors, whether to show the chrome UI, whether to clip the display, and to choose whether to preview your application on the Windows Phone Emulator or on a Windows Phone device attached to your computer.

For more information, see Modify the Device panel settings.

Device panel

You can quickly and easily preview a text style before applying it to an object when you are designing a Windows Phone application. Right-click the text block in which the text appears, click Edit Style, then click Apply Resource, and then select the text style that you want.

Text preview for Windows Phone

When you add an application bar to your Windows Phone application, you can quickly and easily add built-in application bar buttons and menu items by selecting them from a list. You can also create custom application bar buttons and menu items and add them to your project. After you have added the customized items to your project, they will also appear in the drop-down list.

To add an application bar, in the Objects and Timeline panel, right-click PhoneApplicationPage, and then click Add Application Bar. Right-click ApplicationBar, and then click Add ApplicationBarIconButton. In the Properties panel, in the Common Properties category, select the button icon that you want from the IconUri drop-down list.

Built-in Windows Phone-style button icon

Choosing a phone button

You can quickly and easily define navigation for your Windows Phone application. To define the navigation, right-click the object on the application page that you want to define the navigation for, click Navigate to, and then click the page that you want to navigate to from the list of pages available.

Navigate to another page

Given the limited size of the keyboard available in a Windows Phone device, it is helpful to specify which keyboard to display when a user is entering data into a field. By modifying the InputScope property on a TextBox, you can specify not only the type of data to be typed into the field, but also which keyboard to display when the user is typing. With the TextBox selected in the application page, select the type of input that you want from the InputScope drop-down list in the Common Properties category of the Properties panel.

Windows Phone TextBox optimized for numeric input
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