View your design or the XAML that defines your design

You can change the artboard to show the visual design of your XAML document or the XAML markup that describes your visual design. Alternatively, you can display both.

The connection between Design view and XAML view

The connection between Design and XAML view
  • Design view Cc304469.32be2832-9f81-4617-97e6-a4a3988a136c(en-us,Expression.40).png   Changes the artboard to Design view, the visual design view of your document. In this view, you can use the tools from the Tools panel to draw or modify objects on the artboard, view the objects that make up your design in the Objects and Timeline panel, and view the Properties of selected objects.

  • XAML view Cc304469.d62c8271-e5e5-4bfd-8aba-9f6f8f5b7a3d(en-us,Expression.40).png   Changes the artboard to XAML view. In this view, you can edit XAML code manually, and use XAML IntelliSense. You can go to a specific line or search for and replace text, just as you can in any text editor. However, in this view, you cannot use the tools in the Tools panel, view the tree of objects in the Objects and Timeline panel, or use the Properties panel to modify objects. Additionally, most menu items are disabled in this view.

  • Split view Cc304469.5b79e600-984e-4f44-b8cd-6c1522832ad4(en-us,Expression.40).png   Changes the artboard to a panel layout that shows both Design and XAML views. In this view, all the Expression Blend tools and features are available as if Design view were selected, and when you select an object, the respective line of XAML is highlighted. You can further configure the panel layout in this view.


Code-behind files do not have different authoring views. For more information, see Modify a code-behind file.

To change the authoring view of the active document

Do one of the following:

  • Click one of the tabs on the upper-right area of the artboard: Design, XAML, or Split.

  • Press F11 to cycle through all three views.

  • On the View menu, click Active Document View, and then select one of the following options: Design View, Split View, or XAML View.

To change the default authoring view

You can set an option that will specify how to display all future documents that are opened. You can still change the authoring view of individual documents that are open.

  • On the View menu, click Active document view, and then click one of the views: Design view Cc304469.32be2832-9f81-4617-97e6-a4a3988a136c(en-us,Expression.40).png, XAML view Cc304469.d62c8271-e5e5-4bfd-8aba-9f6f8f5b7a3d(en-us,Expression.40).png, or Split view Cc304469.5b79e600-984e-4f44-b8cd-6c1522832ad4(en-us,Expression.40).png.

To change the Split view panel layout

  1. Make sure Split view Cc304469.5b79e600-984e-4f44-b8cd-6c1522832ad4(en-us,Expression.40).png is selected.

  2. On the View menu, click Split View Orientation, and then select one of the following options: Arrange Panes Horizontally, Arrange Panes Vertically, or Swap Design and XAML Panes.

    You can drag the border between the two panes to resize them.

See also

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