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Using Transparency

How to Affect the Opacity of Objects

(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 Select whatever presets you want. In not important in this lesson.

    Using Transparency

  2. Activate the rectangle tool , click and drag a rectangle onto the artboard. Give the rectangle a colored fill and a colored stroke. Use the Stroke gallery control to select a custom stroke. Be sure that stroke is large enough to see. Use the width slider or keyboard shortcuts to increase the size of the custom stroke if it's not visible.

    Using Transparency

  3. Using the selection tool; click and drag the rectangle while holding the alt key to make a duplicate of the rectangle. Navigate to the opacity slider and un-link the fill from the stroke drag the fill opacity down to 50%.

    Using TransparencyUsing Transparency

Unlinking the "fill" from the "stoke", naturally allows you to adjust the properties individually.

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.