Create or open a document

You can open a variety of picture files in Microsoft Expression Design, including the native Expression Design file format (.design files). You can also import graphics by pasting them from the Clipboard and by importing them into already-opened files.

For more information, see Copy and paste objects, Import vector artwork, and Import bitmapped images.

To create a new document

  1. On the File menu, click New (or press CTRL+N).

  2. In the New Document dialog box, add the following information:

    • In the Name field, type a name for the file.

    • In the Width and Height fields, adjust the output area of your file. You can change these values by clicking each field, or select a width and height from the Presets drop-down list. Also, live effects are visible only in the artboard area. You should usually match the document size to your output size.

      tip noteTip

      If you have copied a graphic to the Clipboard, you can have Expression Design use its dimensions as the new document size by selecting Clipboard on the Presets drop-down list.

    • Choose a value in the Resolution field. This is the resolution at which live effects will be rasterized.

To change your file size and resolution after the document is open, on the File menu, click Document Size.

To open an existing document

  1. On the File menu, click Open (or press CTRL+O).

  2. In the Open File dialog box, click the file that you want to open. If the file has a built-in preview, it will be shown unless you clear the Show Preview check box. (For more information, see Options.)


    You can open more than one file in the Open File dialog box by using the SHIFT or CTRL keys to select multiple files.

Supported file formats include:

  • Photoshop 7 and later (.psd).

  • TIFF.

  • JPEG (or JPG or JFIF).

  • GIF.

  • PNG.

  • BMP (or DIB or RLE).

  • Adobe Illustrator (AI).

  • Windows Media Photo (WDP, HD Photo, or HDP).

  • ICO.

You can also import an Adobe Illustrator PDF file (or a native AI file, if Illustrator's Create PDF Compatible File feature is enabled) by clicking Import on the File menu. The objects in the PDF file will be converted to Expression Design objects as accurately as possible. In some cases, the objects may be changed; for example, text may be converted to outlines.

To open a recently edited document

  1. On the File menu, click Recent Files.

    A pop-up list appears that displays the 10 most recently edited documents.

  2. Select a document from the list.

To open a copy of a current document

  • On the View menu, click New View.

When you have multiple views of the same document, the document's title in the title bar and document tab is followed by a number. This number indicates the order in which you opened the window.

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