Workspace layout

Visual Studio 2012

The workspace in Blend for Visual Studio 2012 consists of all the visual interface elements. These include the artboard, panels, Tools panel, workspace configurations, authoring views, and menus.

Callout 1

Document tabs   Shows all the project documents that are currently open, including windows, pages, resource dictionaries, and user controls.

Callout 2

Active files   Shows the current open document on the artboard and also lists all the files that are currently open in the Document tabs.


Views   Displays one of three real-time authoring environments:

  • Design view   Use Design view to author documents by using a visual representation on the artboard.

  • Code view   Use Code view to author or edit your XAML code.

    Note Note

    The Tools panel, Objects and Timeline panel, and Properties do not work in Code view. In addition, most menu items are disabled in this view.

  • Split view   Displays both Code and Design view. You can also change the orientation of the windows using Split View Orientation on the View menu.

The 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).

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.

Note Note

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

Note Note

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)