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Creating a Very Simple Gel-button

(2-Minute Training)

Welcome to Expression Design. When you first launch the program, you'll find the artboard (white area you draw or create in), the tool box to the left. This is where the main tools for creating and manipulating exist. To the right is the property inspector; here you can organize your artwork/ objects using the layers panel, change the color or other various properties using the appearance panel.

You can customize the interface by docking and undocking Toolbars, and changing Option settings.

Let's get started.

  1. So to begin with open Expression Design and create a new document. File/ New or CTRL + N- These are the settings I used. Although, it really doesn't matter for this lesson. Rename the file whatever you want. Click OK or press enter to create the new document.

  2. Select the Ellipse tool by pressing "L" , somewhere around the middle of your artboard, click and drag out, while dragging hold the Shift and Alt keys to drag from the center and constrain its proportions so that we draw a perfect circle. Use the fill tab in the appearance panel and give this circle a solid Dark Blue fill, and the stroke should have no color.

  3. Activate the selection tool , Select the blue circle.

    Go to Edit/ Copy and then Edit/ Paste in Front. Change the fill color to white. Reduce the objects opacity to 50% . Navigate to the options cog on the Action Bar, Select Scale as Percentage . Be sure the Width (W) and Height (H) are linked then set the value to 90% . Activate the direct selection tool by pressing "a" select the bottom most point click and start dragging toward the center of the object. After you start dragging hold the Shift key to constrain its axis vertically.

  4. Activate the Polygon tool by pressing "j" , Position the cursor in the middle of your artwork.

    Use the appearance panel and set the fill to a black color. Click and Drag out while holding the Shift key to rotate the shape so that it points to the right.

    Be sure these values are set in the Edit Polygon Panel:

    Your artwork should look similar to this:

    Expose the layer in the layers palette. Target the black triangle shape we just created. Drag it so that it is positioned below the white semi-transparent highlight object.

    The final result should look similar to this:

This lesson was designed to provide a quick introduction to using Warp Groups with bitmap images and/ or vector artwork in Expression Design.

This short lesson was created by Jesse Brown, a freelance designer and presenter for Total Training. Jesse's keen design sense and "big picture" sensibility are among the reasons his skills are in high demand. Total Training, Inc. (, with offices in California and New York, is a pioneer in innovative video-based training for leading software applications. Total Training is best known for its superior product quality, entertaining content, and strategic partnership with Microsoft which includes tutorials in Microsoft software boxes.