Properties panel

The Properties panel in Microsoft Expression Blend 2 is where you can view and modify the properties of an object that is selected on the artboard or under Objects and Timeline. If you modify an object directly on the artboard with your mouse using the object handles, the property changes will be reflected in the Properties panel. The reverse is also true—if you scaled an object by using the value editor under Transform in the Properties panel, you would see the object scale on the artboard.

You can view the Properties panel in either of the following two modes:

  • Full mode, which has expandable and collapsible categories

  • Mini mode, which has pop-up editors

You can toggle between the two modes by pressing TAB or F4 to hide or show all the panels on the workspace.

The Properties panel in full mode, undocked, in front of the Properties panel in mini mode


Expandable and collapsible categories of properties


Name and type of the selected object


Alpha channel slider, to change the transparency of this particular brush property (not the whole object)


Toggle buttons for displaying either the Properties or Events view


Color chips   Initial color, current color, last color


Search box for filtering the properties that are displayed by the text that is entered


Color eyedropper


Various visual properties (brushes) such as Fill brush, Stroke brush, Foreground brush


Convert this color to a color resource, which will make it selectable from the Color resources tab


Button for opening the Advanced property options pop-up menu, to reset the property to a default value, to apply resources, or to bind the property to data


The hex value of the color


Brush editors   The selected property under Brushes can be set to No brush, Solid color brush, Gradient brush, Tile brush, or to a Brush resource


Gradient slider with gradient stops, which appears only if a gradient brush is selected


Color editor   Available for solid color and gradient brushes


Gradient eyedropper


Color resources   Local Resources and System Resources, which allow you to apply the exact same color to different properties


Gradient types: Linear Gradient, Radial Gradient


Color picker with color slider


Gradient options   Pad, Reflect, Repeat, Absolute, Bounding Box


Color spaces   The RGB (red, green, blue) color space is shown in this image, but you can change to one of the other three supported color spaces by clicking one of the underlined letters (for example, R in the RGB color space) to see a pop-up menu with the alternative color spaces listed


Convert the current brush to a brush resource, which will make it available from the Brush resources tab.


Brushes category


Transform category


Appearance category


Miscellaneous category


Layout category


Attached Properties category


Common Properties category


Light category (3D only)


Text category


Camera category (3D only)

The Properties panel presents a number editor for entering values such as degrees, pixels, percentages, and so on. For example, the RGB color space text boxes in the preceding image are number editors. You can single-click an existing numerical value and type in the exact value you want, or you can use the unique slider to change values by moving your pointer over the property's text box, and then clicking and dragging when the numerical adjust Cc294866.1ac1b6df-d5d6-4ad9-aba5-0712dc9a9036(en-us,Expression.10).png pointer appears.

Most categories of properties in the Properties panel have an expandable advanced section, which you can open by clicking the Show advanced properties Cc294866.cd646a24-b6e4-4f8d-9d64-8349ceb9c013(en-us,Expression.10).png button at the bottom of the category. The advanced properties are less commonly used, or they involve subproperty and collection editors.

In the Properties panel, some properties are more complex than a single value. For example, some properties represent a collection of values, or represent an object with properties of its own. For example, if you add a single bitmap effect to an object (the BitmapEffect property is located in the advanced properties section of the Appearance category), a collapsible subproperty editor appears in which you can set the bitmap subproperties. If you add a BitmapEffect Group to an object instead of a single bitmap effect, the subproperty editor displays a Children property with an Edit items in this collection Cc294866.180d50dc-77e2-4d23-a353-1822e9056f2f(en-us,Expression.10).png button that allows you to modify the collection of child bitmap effects that will be applied to the object.

Another way that you can set a property is by using the advanced property options pop-up menu (shown in the following image). You can set a property to a custom expression, a resource, a data-binding, or reset the property to a default value by clicking the Advanced property options Cc294866.d6ba8f4a-b8a2-445a-af0b-a267dfade6e1(en-us,Expression.10).png marker, and then selecting from the items in the pop-up menu. After you set a property by using the advanced property options pop-up menu, the name of the property is given a colored border so that you know what type of value it is set to. For example, if you set the value of a property to a System Resource, the property name will be given a green border.

Advanced property options pop-up menu


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