Workspace layout

Workspace layout

The workspace in Microsoft Expression Blend consists of all the visual interface elements. These include the artboard, panels, Tools panel, workspace configurations, authoring views, and menus.


Document windows   This area shows all the XAML documents that are currently open, including windows, pages, resource dictionaries, and user controls.


Views   Expression Blend has three real-time authoring environments: Design view, XAML view, and Split view. You can use the design view to author documents, so that you have a visual representation on the artboard, or you can use the markup view to author in the Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) itself. Split view displays both, and you can change the orientation of the windows using the Split View Orientation item on the View menu.

The Expression Blend workspace is customizable and uniquely scalable. You can change panel orientation, dock or float panels, resize the panels by dragging the edges, zoom the artboard, and toggle the snapping of objects on the artboard. Additionally, you can change the workspace color scheme by using the Theme property in the Options dialog box (available through the Tools menu).

Expression Blend has two default workspaces: the Design workspace and the Animation workspace. You can switch between them by pressing F6. The design workspace lets you focus on general authoring. The Animation workspace moves the Objects and Timeline panel under the artboard so that the timeline has more room to be displayed.


The workspace looks slightly different depending on whether you are working on a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) project or a Microsoft Silverlight project.

The Design workspace (left) and the Animation workspace (right)






Tools panel

Some tools are not available when you work on a Silverlight project.

Projects panel, Properties panel, and Resources panel


Objects and Timeline panel


Results panel (layered in the Objects and Timeline panel when in the Animation workspace)

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