Announcing the Microsoft Expression Blend Beta 1

Thanks for being patient! The previous CTP of Expression Interactive Designer was back in September. Since then the team has been focused on some major changes to the product ready for today’s announcement of our first beta. A list of all the new features is given below but something you'll notice immediately is that the product’s name has changed from EID to Microsoft Expression Blend. Also, Blend has a new look!

The Blend beta requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 on Windows XP, as described on the following download page.

Blend is a tool for creative designers to build rich, interactive user-experiences for Windows users. Customizable controls, animation, data binding, 3D and media can be blended together in the tool without the need to write code.

What's new in the beta?

Enhanced Properties panel UX

  • Context-sensitive UX makes finding associated properties a snap

  • Improved UX for event & property triggers

  • Support for editing almost all WPF properties such as bitmap effects

  • Built-in search to help you find properties without the need for scrolling

  • Ability to bind data such as a brush resource to any property using a rich UX

  • Unique value editors make it easier to set values without leaving the mouse

  • New editors for collections

  • A new plug-in model that 3rd-parties can use to add their own custom editors

Redesigned shell

  • Improved docking and panel management

  • New icons enhance usability

  • Darker theme brings focus to the design workspace

Improved artboard

  • Drag & drop to create elements via a rich asset gallery

  • Snap to grid and snap to alignment makes it easier to layout your controls

  • Enhanced context menu allows you to group into layout containers and set common layout properties

  • Right-click > View XAML allows you to quickly find the associated XAML for an element

Improved resource management & control template capabilities

  • Resources panel allows you to edit resource values used by your project

  • Support for dragging & dropping resources between dictionaries to re-factor your project

  • Built-in set of controls which are designed to be easy to edit and reconfigure

Support for Microsoft Visual Studio editing

  • Shared project format with Visual Studio allows easier development-designer workflow

  • Create event handlers in Expression Blend and edit your code in Visual Studio

Found a bug? Report it to us.

Have something to say about the beta? Join the discussion group:

Comments (6)

  1. So, if you haven’t heard, Expression Interactive Designer has been renamed to Expression Blend and is

  2. And it’s coming with lots of new features, a completely new UI, and… a new name (previously it was

  3. Die Microsoft Expression Serie wurde heute aktulisiert. Neben der neuen Hompage (,…

  4. News & Highlights [Announcements] Let the Games Begin! (XNA Game Studio Express) – Canadian Developers

  5. The Expression team just released the Dec Preview if Blend 2 to see what’s new check out the teams blog

  6. The Expression team just released the Dec Preview if Blend 2 to see what's new check out the teams

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