Expression Web 3

As the web continues to play an increasingly central role in terms of enabling people to create and deliver experiences and applications for consumers around the world, it is important to have a tool that is up to date with modern web standards and relevant to the needs of web designers.

Earlier this year at MIX ’09, we released a preview of Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer.  This is a tool that helps web designers diagnose page layout problems across multiple browsers. SuperPreview will be released as a feature of Expression Web 3, and SuperPreview for Internet Explorer will be available as a free download. We are putting the final touches on Expression Web 3 now, and it will be available this summer 2009.

Here is a quick look at some of the new features in Expression Web 3, including SuperPreview.


SuperPreview is a tool that shows how pages display in multiple browsers and helps diagnose the root cause of any display differences. We recognize that customers have a choice over their preferred browsers – and so do web designers. Unfortunately, all browsers do not render pages exactly the same, so it is important to test pages across multiple browsers to ensure compatibility and design fidelity.

SuperPreview shows what a web page looks like in multiple browsers, including IE6, IE7, IE8 and Firefox 3. You can view the web page side-by-side or as an overlay and use rulers, guides, and pan and zoom tools to precisely identify layout differences. You can even overlay the page on top of a Photoshop image to verify that a page is visually close to the original design.  Below, you can see how minor rendering differences between Firefox 3 and IE6 can impact the look of your website.

SuperPreview Mirror 

Since announcing SuperPreview at MIX09, we have added many new features. Now you can view the HTML Document Object Model (DOM) of your page in each browser.  As you click on any visual elements in the rendering, they’ll appear selected in the DOM.

SuperPreview DOM

When you select an HTML element, Expression Web also shows a small bubble with additional information, such as size, distance from the left, and distance from the top. When these values differ from what they should be, the differences are highlighted.  Below, the differing Left, Top, and Height values are shown in red text.

SuperPreview Bubble

Often, you will want to preview your web page at different resolutions to ensure that your customers are getting a great experience at every screen resolution.  You can select a preset browser rendering resolution, or enter any resolution using the Browser Size option.

SuperPreview Resolution

Finally, if you are developing an ASP.NET or PHP web application and you preview an ASPX or PHP file, SuperPreview will launch ASP.NET or PHP to render the page and display the page as it would appear in each browser.

Snapshot Preview

SuperPreview is a useful feature if you want to use a comprehensive set of tools to validate that your web page appears as desired in multiple browsers. While designing a page though, you may want to take a quick look at how a page is progressing in other browsers.

Snapshot Preview shows a browser preview of local HTML, ASPX, or PHP pages and updates live as you edit your markup, saving you the time and effort of loading the page in a browser to verify markup changes.

Snapshot Preview

The Snapshot Preview panel can be dragged and docked anywhere in Expression Web 3 – you can even let it float on a secondary monitor. On the top left of the panel, you can choose the browser for the page rendering in Snapshot Preview. Snapshot Preview renders the page with true fidelity based on the chosen browser. It uses SuperPreview technology so the rendering is fully accurate, using the browser’s actual rendering engine.

Publish with SFTP or FTPS

We recognize that the web is a diverse place, so web designers need a standards-compliant tool that supports as many publishing standards as possible. Expression Web 3 supports publishing sites using WebDAV, FTP, SFTP, or FTPS to multiple destinations with real-time status of publishing progress.  Expression Web 3 also supports multiple publishing destinations per site and multi-channel file transfer for fast performance.


Photoshop PSD

With Expression Web 3, we have significantly improved capabilities and workflow when working with Photoshop files.  When you import a PSD file, you can choose just the layers you want to import in to your website. You can save the layers as JPG, PNG, or GIF and scale the image before saving the individual layers in Expression Web 3. If the source file has changed, Expression Web 3 prompts you to update it.

Import Photoshop Image

Silverlight Video

Expression Web 3 allows you to quickly encode and insert Silverlight video into your website with a wide range of encoding and transcoding features using Expression Encoder 3. You can even choose from a set of video player skins that best matches your site graphics.  Expression Encoder 3 supports high quality VC-1 and H.264 Silverlight video for streaming.

Silverlight Video

Other improvements in Expression Web 3 include support for Team Foundation Server source code control and Deep Zoom Composer for building arbitrarily large zoomable images.

For more information, please visit the Expression Web Team Blog.


Comments (112)
  1. F says:

    I hate the black color scheme. It’s one reason for me not to use any of the Expression products, Expression Blend is even worse. I just cannot see anything.

  2. dREDY says:

    Only a stupid can discuss about the color of a software… no way!

  3. Curious about what’s coming for Expression Web 3, and our latest progress on SuperPreview? S. Somasegar

  4. Matt S. says:

    I for one prefer the dark color scheme of Expression Web. It does what its supposed to do, which is keep your focus on the code. I think sometimes with apps that require alot of concentration, if the scheme is light then it becomes to bright and can distract you from your work.

    I’m actually looking forward to whats coming EW3. Especially snapshot preview since it has the ability to take advantage of my secondary monitor.

    MS regained my confidence in your HTML/PHP/ASP tools since the very first version of Expression Web and just keeps getting better its come along way from the days of Frontpage.

  5. Jeff Biesecker says:

    First, I want to thank the various writers for blogging about new enhancements. I have attended MIX for the past 3 years. The software for the Expression Products was not to the point of being for the end users to get the best of some of the best features. I hope Sketchpreview hits the streets in a beta or CTP in Blend 3. I will say, some very good technology is on its way. Silverlight is a very nice Web product, please add printing so I can do real business apps.

    Jeff B.

  6. Jack Ukleja says:

    So has EW3 been updated to use the same UI framework as Blend? Because it looks like SuperPreview part of it does.

    Unfortunately EW2 uses some old horrid Win32 based UI. Nothing in it works consistently like in beautiful Blend.

    I realise the the Expression suite was originally a bunch of independantly developed applications shoved in a box, but is there a plan going forward to unify them into a consitent UI framework/experience/codebase?



  7. Expression Web Team says:

    @Jack Ukleja – SuperPreview is a new Expression application, and as such it does utilize the same user interface that you find throughout Expression Studio.

    You’ll also find the user interface of Expression Web 3 matches that of Expression Studio much more closely than it did in Expression Web 2.

  8. Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from DotNetShoutout

  9. Herman says:

    But what about a simple thing LIKE RESIZING iFrames to it’s content???? This is just another "Oh, where so good" story from Microsoft.

    EW or ES doesn’t even come close to Adobe!

  10. says:

    Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from

  11. Somasegar posted on his blog today some of the new things in EW v3. He's got more on the version

  12. Steve Guttman says:

    With respect to the interface of Expression Web and the Expression products–our objective is to unify the Expression applications under a single UI framework. As you can imagine, with a program having a lot of native, Win32 code, it’s a challenge to port that code base to a new UI paragidm. Expression Web 3 is our first, significant step in that direction. As folks have noted, SuperPreview (as it was written from scratch), uses the Blend UI framework. The Expression Web 3 UI uses significant parts of this framework to achieve it’s look and feel. All the new features (Insert Silverlight, Silverlight Video, Deep Zoom) are built with the Blend framework (you can tell by the dialogs). However, there are still quite a few remaining Win32 dialogs. These will be ported in future versions of the application until Expression Web is fully integrated into the framework.

  13. Dopo le prime anticipazione ufficializzate durante lo scorso MIX di Las Vegas, in cui sono state presentate

  14. SuperPreview è una funzionalità annunciata a MIX 09 di cui tutti (chi sviluppa per il web almeno) abbiamo

  15. David says:

    It’s not stupid to discuss color scheme of the Expression products. We all know that those kids down in the playpen consider themselves "artists" in mourning for their life. That’s why we don’t have to pay our HCI staff more than beer and hot pockets money.  

    Keep it black. It keeps us out of the red.

  16. Tom says:


    This is impressive stuff from Microsoft. Any hints on release dates for Silverlight 3 and Expression Studio 3?


  17. phuff says:

    Tom, Silverlight 3 and Expression Studio 3 will be available this summer.  When they’re available, you’ll see the news here.

    Polita Paulus

    Developer Division


  18. These features look great, but all of your cool features be damned if you won’t support for root relative paths (for links and images).  This has been one of your highest-rated bugs in Microsoft Connect and until you incorporate this I don’t think you’re going to get any serious consideration from Web Developers.  It’s appalling that this is going ignored for Expression Web 3.

  19. Tom says:


    I remember reading or hearing the release date for Silverlight 3 to be around December this year. No beta 2 or RC? Looks like the party is early!

    Great stuff!

  20. Ben says:

    I agree.. low contrast dark color schemes are not terribly easy to use for a prolonged period of time. I also find the xaml controls to be "sticky"

  21. Bob says:

    Does anyone know if this program is going to be released in Mac format? I use it at TAFE and quite like it,but I can’t use it at home!

  22. KathyW says:

    On the color scheme, if that’s important to you:  EW has the option to use your Windows color scheme instead of the EW default.  I presume that will still be true for EW3?

  23. I too dislike the black UI. I’ve had vision surgeries and find it too difficult to work with for long periods of time.

    I understand that many like it because it is "neutral" but there are other neutrals that don’t make my eyes hurt. I’m not a fan of the Mac style interface in Dreamweaver CS 4 but its mid gray UI is much easier for me to use than a black background. Maybe it makes sense for Blend and those who are used to working with video tools but for many people, especially those with visual impairments it is not a good color scheme.

    Hopefully KathyW is correct that there are alternatives including the user’s Widnows color scheme.

  24. [原文发表地址] Expression Web 3 | Expression Web 3 随着网络在为全世界消费群体创造和提供用户体验和应用程序的过程中,发挥着越来越中心的作用, 为网页设计师提供一个符合现代网页标准的工具就显得十分的重要。

  25. Ian Ringrose says:

    Will a full SuperPreview including Firefox support be included in Developer Studio?   Otherwise will the free standalone version of SuperPreview include firefox?

    Having support for other brewers as well would be great; I will like to see Safari or Chrome so as to have easy testing of the 3 main rendering engines.  (However I have found in the past that if I write for Firefox then test on IE 6, most other browsers just work)

    Could the pocket pc version of IE be included using the pocket PC emulator?

    Also it would be *great* if I could drive one of the browsers with my mouse/keyboard and have the others keep in step for testing web applications.  An API that automated tests could use to drive all the browsers could be the icing on the cake.

    Ian Ringrose

    email: <- replace with my name

  26. phuff says:

    Bob, there are currently no plans to release Expression Studio on Mac.

    Polita Paulus

    Developer Division


  27. Expression Web Team says:

    @Ian Ringrose – SuperPreview in Expression Web (not SuperPreview for Internet Explorer) will support Firefox 3.x.

    We are actively working on adding more browsers to SuperPreview, but right now we do not have any additional news to announce.

    Thank you for your suggestions!

    Expression Web Team

  28. Expression Web Team says:

    @Jeromey Gaudreau Balderrama – We understand that the root relative link bug is disruptive for some of our customer’s workflows. Unfortunately, in Expression Web 3, this is not a bug that we fixed.

    We are actively considering this issue for future service releases and hope to have better news for you in the not so distant future.

    Thank you for your feedback – this kind of dialogue is very important to us and does help us align our priorities for future releases.

    Expression Web Team

  29. Expression Web Team says:

    @Jeromey Gaudreau Balderrama – Our previous response was not as clear as it could have been.

    The root relative links issue is actually several smaller issues – which include how we handle previewing pages using the included Expression Development Server, and how these pages are handled in design view and code view of Expression Web. We have resolved half of the bugs we have open relating to root relative links – involving when you preview the page with the Expression Development Server.

    We understand that this is a very important issue to our customers, and we are actively working towards addressing it in a future service release for Expression Web 3. Thank you for your feedback.



  31. Expression Web Team says:

    @ALLOW CUSTOM KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS – Unfortunately Expression Web 3 does not let you create custom keyboard shortcuts, but this is something that we are receptive towards for future versions. Thank you for your input on features that are must-haves for you. We hope that you’ll try our product regardless.

  32. Publicación del inglés original : viernes, 5 de junio de 2009 a las 21:12 PST por Somasegar A medida

  33. A few suggestions says:

    I am the same person who wrote the custom keyboard shortcuts comment.

    Thank you for response.

    I think the following features would be a great help for web designers:

    1. Code collapsing

    2. Line and parent tag highlight. For example in the following code if my cursor is inside the div element I want to be highlighted.



    3. The possibility to add custom named bookmarks in the code section that sould be saved with the document. For example if I have a 3000 lines document I want to add a "main menu" bookmark on line 500. When I open the document later I want to see the code bookmarks and quickly navigate through them.

    4. If I want to close an open tag, EW to detect automatically which type of tag is open and close it.

    For example if I open a <table> tag I want to press a shortcut to close it.

    5. Under Edit – Code View it would be great to add a select content option.

    6. Another great feature would be the update of the closing tag.

    For example if I change the start tag from div to span the end tag to become span also.

    7. A shortcut to delete the tag content

    8. A shortcut to delete the parent tag without deleting the content.

    For example in the following code if I want to delete the <div> tag, EW to automatically remove the start and end of the div tag , without deleting the list inside.



       <li>item 1</li>

       <li>item 2</li>

       <li>item 3</li>



    9. Another great feature would be to add jquery intellisense.

    Thank you.

  34. says:

    Can we have Subversion/VSS integration or at least basic check in/check out functionality back?

  35. I’ve seen some comments about add-ins not working in EW3. As an add-in developer, can you shed any more light on this? Is the VBA environment still in EW3?

  36. Tom says:

    All these technologies are no good if Microsoft itself does not use them at a grand scale. For example, why didn’t the Bing team use Silverlight instead of Flash? I understand converting thousands of videos from Flash format to wmv is a pain, but I suppose Silverlight 3 supports extensions… can it play Flash files?

  37. Steve Guttman says:

    Thanks for the excellent editing suggestions. Many of these are on our list–some are not. I particularly like you #2–highlighting the tag as you are editing the content inside it. That would really help in quickly understanding the context of an edit.

    We actually support #8, today. If you select a tag and its contents (using either ctrl-:, or using the breadcrumbs), and right-click on the breadcrumb for the tag, you’ll see the "remove tag" command which will remove the tag, but leave the contents intact.


  38. Denny says:

    So when will upgrade prices be posted? I need to budget for the studio upgrade next month but i have no price yet?? cmon msft it’s less than 30 days to launch, spill the beans!

  39. Expression Web Team says:

    @Denny – Pricing information will be available soon. Expect for Expression Studio upgrade prices to be competitive with our current Expression Studio pricing.

  40. Expression Web Team says:

    @sevenflavor – Expression Web has never supported source code control, although FrontPage did support some similar functionality with FrontPage Server Extensions. Expression Web 3 supports source code control for the first time, with support for Team Foundation Server.

    We do recognize that support for other source code control platforms would be very useful – thank you for your suggestions.

  41. Expression Web Team says:

    @Dennis DeRobertis – We have not announced details just yet for our extensibility story in Expression Web 3, but work is well under way and we are very interested in working with any add-in vendors to make sure that the transition from Expression Web 2 to Expression Web 3 is as easy as possible.

    If you have further questions, feel free to contact the team working on extensibility directly by e-mailing justin [dot] harrison [at] microsoft [dot] com.

  42. Tim says:

    Wondering where Mark Gordon is. I am pretty sure foxpro can do all these but just need the confirmation from the authority.

  43. A few suggestions says:

    @Steve Guttman – Thank you for response.

    "Many of these are on our list–some are not."

    Now can you please tell me what features are not on the list ?

  44. "I hate the black color scheme. It’s one reason for me not to use any of the Expression products, Expression Blend is even worse. I just cannot see anything."

    Change it, then.

    Tools->Application Options…->Use you current Windows color scheme

    Check the box. Fixed. It’s that easy.

    Now for some REAL problems:

    – Will EW3 fix the god-awful slowness in editing a page w/o having to turn off every option in the program?

    – Will EW3 fix the cursed inability to easily select text against the left border of a paragraph?

    – Will EW3 fix the *$#)^@ automatic insertion of a <br> rather than a <p> when starting with an unformatted paragraph?

    These are simple things that make the user experience hateful. I only still use EW because FP is utterly non standards compliant, and Dreamweaver does not have an ability to convert my 3,000+ pages that use DWTs.

    FP was great for its day. EW boils my blood every time I use it – which is all day, every day.

  45. Oops, one more unbelievable inconvenience I just ran into again…

    – Will EW3 fix the inability to view an image thumbnail preview when the file resides within the website folder structure?

  46. Kirt,

    See Anna Ulrich’s reply in this thread re the text select bug and v3.

    As for the others and whether or not you will be able to change the black interface we’ll have to wait for v3 or more from MS to find out.

  47. Thanks for the link, Cheryl.

    Re the black interface, in my posting I showed how to easily change it in EW2 to match your standard Windows color scheme. No mods to the program are needed.

    Tools->Application Options…->Use you current Windows color scheme

    Check the box. Fixed. It’s that easy.

  48. Kirk,

    We aren’t talking about the gray color scheme of v2 but the black color scheme of v3. At this point there is no guarantee that you can change the color scheme in v3 and the indications are from what little we’ve seen at MIX 09 and in blog posts like this one and ones made by the Expression Web team is that the whole UI and underlying code has been changed. However, in three weeks we will know the answer one way or another IF MS doesn’t clarify first. The implication in the Expression Team response that the UI will "match more closely" that of the other Studio programs" (presumably Blend, Encoder and Design) is that you will not have the option to use your Windows colors because you don’t have that option in those programs.

  49. Rick says:

    Internet Explorer doesn’t follow standards when rendering a page, it requires special programming to bring IE into compliance with the the rest of the browsers. Microsoft needs to fix the problems with IE not code software tools so we can preview how bad our pages look under IE. This is now the norm for Microsoft, don’t fix anything but focus on workarounds or develop new technologies. It is ridiculous.

  50. Roman says:

    Would the Expression Web Team please clarify if it will possible to modify UI colors in EW 3?

    By the way, isn’t complying with an OS theme a rule that MS promotes?

  51. Expression Web Team says:

    @Roman – Expression Web 3 follows the same look and feel found throughout Expression Studio. This consistent, uniform interface is new for Expression Web 3 and does not let you change the colors in the interface.

    You may find that it offers slightly less customizability than previous versions of Expression Web, at the expense of some new functionality that we have added, like a new Panel and Panel docking system.

    We understand that customizability is very important to our customers, and we certainly hear loud and clear that this is something that we should invest in for future releases of Expression Web.

    To all that have participated in the comments for this blog post, thank you for your feedback! We are very excited about this release. Feedback from customers definitely helps us shape future releases of Expression Web.

  52. ANObe says:

    I’ve been using the Expression suite for a few weeks now and I must say, some of the products are waaay better than Adobe’s–in that they actually work!  The new adobe media encoder is terrible compared to Expression Encoder when encoding to wmv.  Why have a feature, or codec if it’s going to produce horrible quality? I give you Adobe’s half assed effort with wmv support. I’d rather them not have it, cause I can’t use it anyway…

  53. Joshua says:

    1) I would love to see EW start using the same engine that powers Visual Studio when it comes to how code is formatted in the editor. Being a designer that bounces back and forth between VS and EW, I hate that simple things like tab, home and the way the CSS auto formatting works is totally different. VS’s engine is so refined, it would be a good move.

    2) SuperPreview: Its completely useless if it cannot interact with the page as it currently is in the beta.

    3) Give better ‘skin’ options. I like the dark color scheme but I do find it rather difficult to work with. Especially if you have to keep switching out the Expression products into other ones that are lighter – the switching can cause headaches and eye strain.

    Otherwise, I look forward to seeing the next version of the Expression line. 🙂

  54. Gerry says:

    I don’t understand what makes Expression Web 3 and previous versions something to NOT get excited about. I look at Dreamweaver CS4 and cringe! Guess Microsoft Expression Web 3 is more for me than others who look at color and say that it isn’t for them. Come on now…if color was an issue, even Dreamweaver loses! I will try Expression Web 2 before moving up to Expression Web 3, but I like what I’ve seen in the newest web design application, much to Dreamweaver’s dismay!

  55. Mark Stewart says:

    Actually, nothing anywhere from microsoft about the most critical thing, namely standards compliance upgrades. Version 2 is turning into a applcation with a useless toolbar. Commands are just not compatible with the emerging XHTML 1.1 as HTML 5 and CSS move ahead. And Version 3 is coming out just before the next new acceptances of HTML and CSS version advances, meaning just after it releases it will not be compatible. Unless, and this is not mentioned anywhere … unless microsoft Update decides to update standards compliance in its blatently untimely Expression Web 3.0 release.

  56. Steve Guttman says:

    @Mark Stewart: FYI – Expression Web is compatible with and generates compatibility reports for XTHML 1.1, and has since version 1.0. HTML5 and CSS3 are expected to reach "recommended status" with the W3C in 2012 with final ratification expected in 2022 (according to the WHATWG). While the team expects that these emaerging standards will be in use before final ratification, we expect to be supporting them at or before the time they come into mainstream use.

  57. Roman says:

    Gerry, I think it is important to realize and keep in mind that not all people perceive things the same way. For example, some people are greatly affected by colors. The EW has just realized this, it seems. (Better late than never.)

  58. Mark Stewart says:

    @ Steve Guttman as O’Reilly states in his "CSS Cookbook" (ISBN: 978-0-596-52741-9) Opera and Safari are CSS 3 imprinted already, while Microsoft still struggles with adopting 2.0 recommendations. Not that I despise Microsloth, as it is sometimes termed. I find the careful slouch of my fav software developer assures that what is up to the Microsoft standard (e.g., Expression Web) is most reliable in that respect.

    Sad thing is, her slothful standards acquisition endangers her own suitability. What could be more useful and the most frequently deployed HTML feature on the web? Links are the biggest standout, with hypertext linkage and bookmarks. Using any current modern schema in EW 2, that would be XHTML 1.0 or XHTML 1.1, use that EW insert menu of click on the bookmark button if you’ve created one, to insert an HTML 4.0 bookmark. OOPS! CRASH! NOT ALLOWED! Bookmarks are no longer "name" attributes, they are ID markups. That doubles the time needed to fiddle with even humble docs. Then morph in the result of redundency for designers who like those one-click pre-installed slothful dwt’s. Crash, crash … crash-crash-crash!

    Again, let me stress, it would be REALLY nice if version 3 factors in updates that keep the product in touch with current technology. TECHNOLOGY! There’s a thought for us all. Does it adapt?

    Where’s the beta so I can give this damn 3rd apparition a run-down!?

  59. Mark Stewart says:

    Current design method (track completion a total unknown) : –

    open page to edit in EW to visually identify code blocks. Not the url of the page to edit and type or pase it into the browser address bar. Open the page using Notepad to edit any changes.

    Preview changes in the browser. If you want to apply changes to other docs, EW search and replace is good as long as DWT’s do not exist on the site.

    Lot’s of hermeneutic in this blog about diddle here and daddle there. Anyone notice the ship is sinking? But hey, from the tiny snapshots around town, I’d say the careful attention to color version 3 has paid off!

  60. Will there be an opportunity to download a trial version prior to buying? Is July 10 still the release date?

  61. Steve Guttman says:

    @Kirt Blattenberger – Yes Kirt, there will be a trial version available at (or before) retail availability. We haven’t specified a release date, although there is a Silverlight/Expression themed event on the 10th.

  62. DSN says:

    I am confused as to why the team insists on such a high-contrast interface. First, this is not good for LCD monitors, as having such high-contrast patterns onscreen for hours on end leads to a condition similar to CRT burn-in. Secondly, I do not know any techie around here that does not wear eyeglasses. Eye fatigue in many cases is harmed, not helped, by this kind of contrast. Moreover, there is no way to change it despite a color change being-codewise-a rather simple matter compared to other functionality.

    Experienced Web developers are natural power-users. I customize my interfaces to remove unwanted functionality, highlight other functionality and increase productivity significantly by customizing not just menus but the toolbars especially—as well as creating macros that automate tasks.

    It baffles me as to why Microsoft again insists on dumbing down the interface to match the lack of intelligence for the common and simple computer user. It’s like a hard-coded Fisher Price interface that cannot be changed or extended to meet the growing needs of developers (as power users).

    And, yet, according to reports, there is already a "patch" due "Fall 2009". So I cannot say what in the world is wrong with the person in charge over there. Have they no experience?

    Doesn’t anyone remember when customers were buying PhotoDraw 2001 version 1, which was rushed out the door, while Microsoft knew very well that it was developing Version 2 at the same time because the first version was apparently so awful that they had to prepare another whole release as soon as possible.

    Doesn’t anyone also remember the similar products– like Visual Studio? One version was so buggy at a forced release that a patch over 100MB in size was pre-announced and released within 90 days of the official product release.

    Now I hear about issues with relative paths with MORE plans for patches!

    The bottom line is that if the product is not ready for release, then it is not ready. If MS has already decided to release lots of bits within months, then it is admittedly NOT a finished product and NOT ready for release.

    And baking a pie for half the time and setting it out for sale does not make it taste better. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s sad to see such shoddy product quality get approved for a final retail release just because (A) there was no public beta to satiate a drooling public and (B) well, A sums it up.

    Now, above this patching business, it is so laughable for Microsoft to say we will have ANOTHER lovely PATCH later this year (or whenever).

    I guess Microsoft cares more about money and artificial deadlines than it does the product, product quality or respect for its customers. Sadly, I think I will have to pass on this "flavor."

  63. Steve Guttman says:

    @DSN I would encourage you to actually try the new version instead of speculating about its quality and capabilities. This is the strongest release of Expression Web that has come out. In addition to new features that have been added (SuperPreview, Snapshot preview, video encoding) we’ve made publishing faster and more reliable, added support of secure FTP, and fixed lots of legacy bugs. There have been improvements and issues addressed in virtually every area of the product. Again, I encourage you to try the product. If you have particular concerns, you can feel free to contact me directly at sguttman at

    Regarding the interface–which is low contrast and not high contrast–we are part of the Expression Studio, and have been adopting a common look and feel across Studio products. Many people have commented that they feel the new interface is beautiful. Of course, your mileage may vary. Again, feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to discuss anything further.

  64. Paul says:

    Hey People,

    I started off using EW, then quickly upgraded to EW2 just recently, before getting in too deep in a design,

    I’d rather keep with the latest version and latest features.

    Just wondering what is the official date of release? or has it been release yet?

    The MS website says "Preorder is available from July 10, 2009 until August 13, 2009"



  65. Expression Studio 3 was officially released at the launch on July 10 but won’t actually ship until Aug 13, 2009. You can download 60 trail versions from the Expression site  

  66. Steve Guttman says:

    If you download the trial, you can then convert it to the full version with the key you receive when you purchase it (no uninstall/install necessary).


  67. Mark Stewart says:

    Expression Web 3 from the Microsoft Store is not available in Canada. I understand our colonial government has irritated UN, being one fo only four (4) nations refusing to sign International Accord on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ditto the US, NZ and Australia), and also appreciate that due to growing hostility against her obstinance the EC has placed global Visa restrictions on Canadian travellers – but no access to Microsoft products? That’s rediculous! So please explain to 40 million members of your sinking sister colony why Canada is not on the drop down in Microsoft Store when Canadians try to purchase Expression Web 3.

  68. Bob says:

    "Regarding the interface–which is low contrast and not high contrast"

    Actually he is referring to the differences between the toolbars and the design/code area… they are high-contrast, heavy dark toolbar vs pure white text area. Frankly, I’m fairly disappointed at not giving the user the option to go to a Windows style UI… that and because it hurts my eyes!

    "we are part of the Expression Studio, and have been adopting a common look and feel across Studio products."

    Pity… I don’t know why non-Windows groups feel the urge to screw things up. If the OS has a main "common look and feel" work on that… after that let the inner Picasso take control and make the UI the way you like it.

    "Many people have commented that they feel the new interface is beautiful."

    Well, all kids like candy, don’t they? (I didn’t want to put the i before candy… you might think of a reason why not)

    As with all new masterpieces of art, people will like them… but will revert to something more common or pleasant for the eyesight if they actually work on it on a long period of time.

    However, if you wanted to counteract Adobe’s CS4 interfaces, you haven’t succeeded… theirs are really low-contrast.

  69. Marcel says:

    I have recently downloaded an installed EW3 and I found the following problems:

    1) There is a bug when style sheets files (*.css) are saved, EW (Versions 2 and 3) inserts 3 bytes (EFh, BBh, BFh) at the beginning of the file.

    2) The installer took about 45 minutes to install EW3.

    3) The color scheme is fixed and cannot be changed as in EW2. This is a problem for people with vision problems because they cannot chose a proper color choice.

    I have copy-pasted the Section 508 Standards from see point (g)

    a) When software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard, product functions shall be executable from a keyboard where the function itself or the result of performing a function can be discerned textually.

    (b) Applications shall not disrupt or disable activated features of other products that are identified as accessibility features, where those features are developed and documented according to industry standards. Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated features of any operating system that are identified as accessibility features where the application programming interface for those accessibility features has been documented by the manufacturer of the operating system and is available to the product developer.

    (c) A well-defined on-screen indication of the current focus shall be provided that moves among interactive interface elements as the input focus changes. The focus shall be programmatically exposed so that assistive technology can track focus and focus changes.

    (d) Sufficient information about a user interface element including the identity, operation and state of the element shall be available to assistive technology. When an image represents a program element, the information conveyed by the image must also be available in text.

    (e) When bitmap images are used to identify controls, status indicators, or other programmatic elements, the meaning assigned to those images shall be consistent throughout an application’s performance.

    (f) Textual information shall be provided through operating system functions for displaying text. The minimum information that shall be made available is text content, text input caret location, and text attributes.

    (g) Applications shall not override user selected contrast and color selections and other individual display attributes.

    (h) When animation is displayed, the information shall be displayable in at least one non-animated presentation mode at the option of the user.

    (i) Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.

    (j) When a product permits a user to adjust color and contrast settings, a variety of color selections capable of producing a range of contrast levels shall be provided.

    (k) Software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

    (l) When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

    I hope these problems can be fixed with a Service Pack.

  70. Marc says:

    Has the bug where millions of ‘&nbsp;’ characters get added to a document, over and over been fixed? Google ‘&nbsp; expression web’ and you’ll see it’s a huge problem.

  71. CK says:

    I’m very disappointed that I can’t disable the interface’s cleartype font rendering. For me, it’s a negative point forcing me to stick with EW2. I’m one of those people sensible to subpixel rendering.

  72. Glen says:

    I’ve recently had the opportunity to evaluate EW3 and I will say that the recent changes and features are very welcome.  However, I am like many other customers who have a hard time recommending this tool in my organization without the support of root-relative references in design view.  I’ve been able to work around it on a page by page basis using the <base> element, but this really is something that is fundamental to site resource management and needs to be addressed.

    I see that you are working on a solution and I look forward to the service release that will address this issue.

  73. Chris says:

    So what exactly are the current plans in terms of features and release date for this service pack? thanks.

  74. Marc, The &nbsp; issue appears to happen only when using third party controls. Why it happens with some controls and not others I haven’t found anyone who knows. It happens to me with Community Server but that’s the only time I see it. Its so bad there that I can’t even work on a stylesheet for community Server using Expression Web.

  75. Steve Guttman says:

    @Glen, @Chris –

    We haven’t officially announced any info on an Expression Web service pack. However, we are working on one. In particular, we wanted to address a number of long-standing issues like root-relative path support, some squirrely undo behavior, and to address changes in our extensibility model (among other issues). We will also fix bugs uncovered post-ship.

    Unofficially, I would expect the SP to be available before year end. The actual date of availability will depend on the final scope of work, the level of difficulty associated with the issues, etc. More info should be forthcoming in the fall, as these items become clearer.

    Hope that helps.


  76. Vishal says:

    I think Expression Web 3 is pretty good, however there is no way in heaven or earth, I would make a switch till they add customization feature.

    One of the primary reason I have never made a switch to Dreamweaver was Frontpage/Expression Web’s(2.x) workspace customization feature.

    Please add this feature back in Expression Web.

  77. Jason says:

    Yeah… I used to hate the new interface, but if I have to pick between the horrid outdated DW and this… I won’t think twice about it. Also… in time I got used to the interface, but then again it’s best to please everyone and I would also love a feature that Windows 7 has with it’s styles. Its default style is a bit to lite for me so I intensified the color using the available option in the cp, making it a bit more serious blue/dark-blue. That option would solve the interface issue as people would be able to make it a lighter or a darker gray, as they prefer.

  78. xgman says:

    I’m not sure where the problem lies, but EW3 is totally unusable for me on either Vista or Windows 7.  The cursor dissapears, the program constantly freezes and no where esle in my system includling EW2, do I have such trouble.  I wouldn’t even know where to start troubleshooting this.  Very dissapointed.

  79. Luis Dieguez says:


    I’m a lead Tester on the Expression Web team and would like to work with you directly to troubleshoot the problems you encountered with the program.  We thoroughly and successfully tested the program on many XP, Vista, and Windows 7 systems, and also had a private beta release which enabled many users to put the program to use in real world production environments.  

    Please contact me at luisdlp @ microsoft . com (without the spaces) and we’ll get to the bottom of this.

  80. George says:

    Any update on the root-relative link issue? This issue is a show stopper for adopting EW as a development tool. Most of our developers use use VS 2008, but we would like to have some (whom are not proficient in VS) to use EW.

  81. Steve Guttman says:

    @George – the root relative path issue will be addressed in a coming service pack. This hasn’t been officially announced, but is expected to be available before the end of the year. How many copies can I sign you up for? 😉

  82. Jack Ukleja says:

    If anyone is interested I have written my take on the new Web 3 UI on my blog:

    Not a detailed critique of the UI as such, more a comment on the use of WPF.

  83. It crashes on load every time for me.  I cannot run the program, AT ALL.  SuperPreview runs fine but i downloaded this trial and wanted to try EW3 and it’s just not working.  Anyone else experience this?  I uninstalled, redownloaded and reinstalled as well.. no luck there either. *sigh*

  84. Tom Donaldson says:

    Hello Jason,

    The Microsoft Expression Web Support Team would like to assist you with this issue. Please send your contact information to this email address:

    We will get back with you right away!

  85. Peter N Roth says:

    Egads! The last time I looked into a UI as dark as this was a 30-line terminal hooked to a CDC6000. That was prior to the release of Windows 3.1, btw.

    Until EW3 is released with a UI at least as bright as VS2008 (or even with the VS UI! There’s an idea!), there is no way I can recommend EW3 to _anyone_.

  86. BNS says:

    Something new! I work on MS technologies and a fan of your blog. Keep it up.

  87. Aionel says:

    I was using EW1 and then EW2 since their releases and I am very happy with them. Next, I’ve tried EW3 and there is only one comment: no way ! This interface totally sucks. There is no ability to disable clear type and go back to common Windows controls or at least to colors based on current color scheme. Using WPF controls in any application other than kiosk or other applications that totally limit access to the rest of the system UI is a total misunderstanding. Actually MS User Experience Guidelines are telling to never relay on color and never force usage of anything that is uncommon to the rest of system UI. EW3 fails here. There is no choice here. The user is affected by the sub-pixels rendering or gets headaches from using such high-contrast colors; well that’s his problem. Every new MS program is worse in this way; they are using way to much custom controls that doesn’t match the built-in controls (it looks bad when using XP/Vista/7 default skin, but it’s a real horror when using classical style that is still very popular, especially with pro users that feel awkward using such clown interface as seen in XP by default) and taking lots of false assumptions (like thinking that users have always some shade of gray set as the basic scheme color, white for edit controls background, black for text and yellow for tooltips – actually I’m using classical theme with light-brown for background, light-gray for edit controls background and white text on dark-gray tooltips, plus any font smoothing disabled). Always give users a choice and everyone will be happy. It’s the same as fluent UI in Office 2007. Some really love it, while others hate it. If there would be a choice, all of them would be happy – either using menus or ribbon. And what’s the idea of no toolbar customization ? That feels very primitive. Who need bold, italic and underline icons in the default set, while now every formatting is done by assigning (preconfigured by the designer) styles ? Shame on broking a well done software. If this interface won’t be fixed, I see no way to upgrading to newest (or any future) version, even if they will be other major new features…

  88. Steve Guttman says:

    @Aionel – Sorry to hear that you don’t like the new UI, as we’ve gotten pretty positive feedback on it. One of our objectives is to standardize our UI and UI framework across the Expression products. This will help us provide a consistent experience across the product line, and also allow us to innovate more quickly.

    While we have gotten positive comments on the UI, we have also heard from people who would like a way (as we provided in the past) for synching the UI with the Windows palette. We will be re-enabling that feature in our SP1 release which is expected to be available before years end.

    The other two issues you brought up–font antialiasing and toolbar customization are not in SP1–but are high on our priority list. Antialiasing is addressed in .NET 4–which the next version of Expression Web is built on. Thanks for the feedback. We’re working on it.


  89. Nona says:

    > new UI, as we’ve gotten pretty positive feedback on it

    I see nothing but the opposite.

  90. Rich says:

    I just bought EW3.  I cannot believe that I’m looking into the "Dark Side" every time I try to work with this program.

    It absolutely makes no sense why MS would produce a software program that prevents one from clearly being able to navigate.

    I have left a phone call for the "Team", however having reviewed these blogs and examined extensively the documentation, it would appear that Los Bravos were right :  "BLACK IS BLACK".

    I am in the beginning stages of developing a new website, however, I’m considering "cutting my losses short."  Spending hundreds/thousands of hours with a software vision one hates is not work–it’s hell.

    My only question is:  will there be a SP that provides an option to select alternate UI colors?

    If not, I’m gone.


    Rich in Miami

  91. Steve Guttman says:


    Expression Web SP1, now available on the MS download center , supports the Windows color scheme as an alternate UI (as well as addressing a number of other issues including root-relative link support). You’ll see the option to use Windows colors under Tool->Application Options


  92. Rich says:

    This is Rich again.

    10 Minutes ago, Okay, Maybe 20, I wrote the above blog.  I just found out that SP1 was introduced 2 days ago and it solves the color issue.

    Go to "Tools, Application Options, Use Your Windows Color Scheme".  Check that box and the "Dark Side" will introduce you to Luke Skywalker.

    Maybe there’s hope.


  93. Hardy says:

    The Color theme is more important then some people think, that’s the reason i did NOT and could not use Adobe, now MS does the same thing. calling somebody stupid that hates the black color and saying it is less disruptive makes no scents. if you have 50% that hate the color and don’t want the program because of it, all your other work in creating it was in vane since they will not

    use it because of the dark feeling. we are talking  DUNGEN or BEACH DAY

    FIX IT!!!!

  94. What you don’t like your Windows color scheme? That’s what the checkbox gives you if you install Service Pack 1 (even being pushed through Windows Update).

    So why are you still screaming "fix it"?

  95. I like PHP, CSS and HTML says:

    To expression web development team from a customer, I own and use microsft expresion web 3

    I would like to see, as someone mentioned in the comments: Corresponding tag highlighting like is seen in the program notepad++ it is annoying to open notepad++ when I just want to see what the corresponding closing tag is to an opening tag or vice versa

    I would like to have an option to enlarge the size of the code view so I can see everything enlarged, much like ctrl + or – on a keboard a webrowser does

    Need php auto complete and auto suggest capabilities and PHP code snippet insertion

    Need jquery autocomplete and auto suggest

    also highlighting of corresponding opening and closing brackets in PHP and jquery or javascript upon mouse click

    Maybe even some instantly pre made php object oriented stuff. Instantly made secure php to databse snippets that can be included in pages along with editing a corresponding sql page.

    Thankyou and keep up the good work

  96. I like PHP, CSS and HTML says:

    Also automatic CSS shorthand would be great and being able to edit CSS shorthand I have put in without expression web ignoring my shorthand and putting say an extra color all by itself in when I want the color changed in my CSS shorthand, I want my CSS as lighweight as possilbe, their should be an option on Expression web to always make css shorthand


  97. abass says:

    Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

  98. Greetings:

    For nearly 10 years I have been using the FP Extensions for publishing my website (even with EW2 & 3). I am finally switching over to FTP because my ISP doesnot want to support FPE anymore.

    Here is my problem. With both EW2 & 3, it will not transfer file names longer than 127 (maybe 128) characters, including the entire path; e.g.<folder1>/<folder2>/<folder3>/…/<filename>.extension

    BTW, RF Cafe is an engineering website, not a real eatery type cafe.

    The server is capable of 255 characters, so I assume this is an EW limitation. It is causing a real headache because of having some files many folders deep – again, never a problem using FP Extensions.

    Can anyone confirm the 127(8) character limitation for EW2(3) FTP publishing. If so, does anyone know if Dreamweaver has the same "feature?"

    I can easily rename files & folders, but then it breaks the links for search engines. Nearly all of my 4,000+ pages are registered in Google, etc., and I hate to lose the rankning in search results.

    Finally, and very importantly, if there is a too-long file path+name, it prevents the entire website from publishing. Same goes for trying just the folder the offending file is in. So, either all files are within the 127(8) character limit, or nothing on the website publishes at all.

    Thanks very much for any responses.

  99. Steve Guttman says:

    Hi Kirt-

    I know you’ve been corresponding with a member of my team (via the forums at to help find the root cause of this issue.

    As far as we know, Expression Web doesn’t have the limitation you mentioned.  For local sites, we have the Windows MAX_PATH limitation (256 chars).  For remote sites, we only have server limitations.  We have tested this locally with files that are nested 10 directories deep where each directory is 20 characters long.

    I’m sure your problem is a real problem–and may have something to do with the server config. In any case, please feel free to contact me (sguttman at microsoft), and we’ll see what we can do to help track down the issue/solution.


  100. Greetings Steve:

    Thanks for your confirmation of 256 characters. In fact, my web host was telling me that EW was the problem, but I finally talked them into trying to FTP a 150-character file that I provided to them, and they discovered the 127-character limit was with their software!

    Suggested soultion from them: Shorten all my offending file names and loose the external links to the pages (including search engines). That is not an acceptable solution in 2010.

    So, Express Web is NOT at fault. I went back to using FPEs for now, and will soon be switching over to a new web service provider.

    Take care.

  101. February 16, 2010


    Here is a data point for Expression Web users regarding the inability of the display to keep up with typing. Keep in mind that in order to type this message I had to look at the keyboard.

    I just bought a new HP notebook computer to replace my 1.5 year old Dell notebook. The primary motivation was to finally get rid of the frustrating delay between typing and the display rendering the characters. This is a well-documented issue.

    Here are the critical specs:

                  Dell                       HP

    Proc:  Intel Duo, 2.0 GHz      Intel i7.820M, 1.8 GHz

    RAM:           4 GB                      6 GB

    OS:        Win7, 32-Bit              Win7, 64-Bit

    HDD:    250GB, 5,200 rpm        320 GB, 7,200 rpm

    Video: ATI built-in, 128 kB           nVidia 1 GB

    So, on a page with a list of items in a table, the screen update is still so slow that I have to type in the Code view window. It is as if there is a timer function built into the software that forces a minimum amount of time between screen updates. I have downloaded EW3 and have the same issue, although maybe not quite as slow. The thing is, pasting the same HTML into Word and doing the editing results in no perceptible delay. Any comments on that?

    Thanks for your attention to this.

    BTW, here is an example of a page that has the really slow screen update:


    Kirt Blattenberger

  102. Steve Guttman says:

    Hi Kirt-

    I believe that the issues your seeing are basically a function of the page complexity. When I bring your page up, it’s over 2000 lines, and most of the elements are in a table. As opposed to MS Word, Expression Web keeps track of the CSS specificity and inheritance for every HTML object–which is the calculation that determines which CSS rules set the property for any element.

    The an <a> within this table is about 15 levels deep (you have tables within tables)–which makes the calculations pretty lengthy. To add to that, the Expresion Web Design view will see if it needs to resize table cells aw you are typing (which is why it doesn’t take any time in code view).

    This is an issue we’ve made some improvement in–in v3. But, they don’t radically change the situation. The best suggestion I have right now is to try and simplify your page and eliminate the tables within tables (use positioned <div> s).

    Another thing you may want to consider is pulling your table items from a database. With very little PHP code (mayb 20 lines) you could automate this listing very easily.

    Sorry there’s no magic bullet. Feel free to email me directly sguttman at microsoft if I can be of any more help.


  103. February 17, 2010

    Greetings Steve:

    Thanks for taking the time to investigate the problem. Admittedly, the page is rather complex. The table that contains the 200 rows of headline links is only nested 2-deep, making it the 3rd table in succession, not 15 – it just looks like it in a text editor without smart indenting). There is an overall page table, then a table in the center cell, then my headlines table within that table.

    I have tried in the past to implement a <div> based layout, but I could never come up with a system that guaranteed all the areas would line up properly in all the browser versions (current or past). Tables at least guarantee that content from one area will never overlap another area. A good CSS codemeister can probably come up with a workable solution for most users, but I’ve given up.

    It is still a mystery why I can open the same file in FrontPage 2003 and have it not exhibit a hint of the slowness. Something has changed.

    Take care.


    Kirt Blattenberger

  104. February 20, 2010

    Greetings All:

    One more data point for you. I just downloaded the trial version of Dreamweaver CS4 and loaded my example page (see above). If I am using EW2 (or EW3) and type something into the table – or anywhere on the page for that matter – the characters appear in about 1-second intervals. Opening the same page in DW and typing the same thing results in no perceptible delay at all, just like in FrontPage 2003.

    I had my wife type in the above paragraph while in the Split view mode. It took her 1 minute and 20 seconds to type those 72 words. 5 minutes and 5 seconds were needed by EW2 for the entire text to finish appearing on the page. Whoa, can you imagine trying to be productive in such an environment? I’ve used Windows since version 1 and always used (and purchased, BTW) MS software wherever possible because of its quality (check your records to see how much I’ve registered over the years). The Expression Web series has been an utter disappointment. I stuck out EW2 in hopes that EW3 would remedy the issue, but it did not, and even after trying EW3, I found the good things done were more than offset by things like not being able to customize the toolbar (I rely on it heavily to make my editing as efficient as possible).

    If FrontPage was able to correctly render HTML4.01-compliant code, I’d go back to using it (not a criticism of FP since it was developed before anything other than HTML1.0 was used regularly). In FP I could even select the letter "i" with my cursor when it was the left-most character on the line. With EW2 I have to use the keyboard arrow keys – very 1985ish..

    Again I point out that using a computer that is many times faster than the previous one gives no faster rendering. I’m not says a timer is involved in the code, but that is behavior similar to when a timer of some sort is being used to make certain that a certain amount of time elapses between instructions. Could something have been inserted during development/debugging that was accidently left in?

    Hopefully this feedback is useful. It is not meant to merely be a slam session, just another reminder that you have a huge cadre of people out here that have counted on MS to deliver a product that is at least as good as the one before it – like a Hippocratic Oath of programming (first, do no harm).

    Take care.


    Kirt Blattenberger

  105. February 21, 2010


    Me again, back with another test.

    I copied my 200-row by 1-column table into a blank page, inserted a new cell on top, and began typing. The screen responded faster than with the full original page, but it could not keep up with my pathetically slow typing. It took about 4 seconds after I finished typing (while looking at the keyboard) to complete the screen rendering for the following:

    Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

    I did the same in Dreamweaver and it rendered immediately – no delay whatsoever. Then, I had my wife type it in and the result was the same for her (at about 60 wpm).

    It’s hard to believe that the coding gurus there at MS can’t do any better than that. Remember, this test is with a blank page with ONLY the table in it.

    Thanks for your attention.


    Kirt Blattenberger


    Kirt Blattenberger

  106. Eric says:

    I’m a developer of almost 15 years now and have used EW since day 1. I’ve tried EW3 for many months now and simply have given up. It’s the worst piece of software I’ve used in years. The color scheme is ridiculous and using the "system default" is a washed out unusable mess. And it goes FAR beyond the colors, there are so many bugs and just plain usibility and productivity mistakes in the interface I woulnd’t know where to begin. I firmly prefer EW2 over EW3 and I use EW daily for at least 10 hours a day, no exaggeration. If MS doesn’t quickly fix the EW3 problems this product will be dead in 6 months, marketshare has already dropped off very fast since EW3 was released, it was an extreme disapointment on so many levels. Many professionals gave up after seeing the direction MS took. Why not mimic the awesome Visual Studio interface? Stupid stupid stupid MS. Next thing we know they’ll add the satanic Ribbon Bar that is more hated than Hitler.

  107. Eric,

    While i agree that the color scheme sucks and the system colors option isn’t any better (feels so Win 95 not like Vista or Win 7 at all) as a front-end web developer/UX person if MS went to that "awesome" Visual Studio Interface it would be removed from my system leaving only Dreamweaver installed. Sorry but no matter how "awesome" visual studio is in your opinion it is an IDE for back-end dev work. I cringe every time I have to open it to deal with some code behind that a "helpful" developer hard coded presentation into his dotnet.

    FWIW, front-end professional have moved from Dreamweaver over to EW or at least added it to their toolbox. Few of which would ever work with Visual Studio. The good news from your point of view is that many of the front-end design tools from EW have been added to Visual Studio so you can just use it.

    You can also stick with EW 2 which is an option many folks I know have chosen. Oh and since Expression Web is not and probably never will be part of Office (that would be SharePoint Designer) it is highly unlikely that any Expression Studio product will get the ribbon. (Which much as you may dispise it I prefer to the current EW interface – at least the Ribbon is customizable something that v3’s toolbars are not.)

  108. Like Eric above, I use EW2 all day long (self-employed, live in front of the computer making website additions and updates all day long). My only reason for not switching to Dreamweaver yet is holding out hope that MS will finally fix EW. Call it Battered EW User Syndrome. Soon, though I’ll be taking refuge elsewhere.

    I invite any MS EW team employee reading these messages to check the records to see how many times each day my EW2 crashed. I participate in the automatic feedback program so presumably the information gets to them. It just did it again for about the 4th time today.

    This installation is only a month-old, on a high quality HP notebook. It fails with the same frequency as on my slightly older Dell. Perhaps the most insulting part is where it displays a message about trying to recover the information, and never doing so. In fact, when it restarts, it is as if I never had a website open.

    EW3 also crashes with regularity, BTW. I am beginning to think that the EW software is just able to handle anything other than the simplest of files without being overwhelmed.

    If MS really wants a contented user base back, they should pull the FrontPage code out and do a bit of modernization on it, like adding the dockable CSS styles window and making the code validation work with HTML4.01. Remember the cries from FP users way back in the 2004-2005 timeframe when it was rumored that they might not even continue the web developer software and force FP users to adopt Visual Studio?

    I installed the trial edition for 2008 or 2009 and created some web pages. They do not pass muster with HTML4.01 Transitional code validation with the W3C HTML Validation Service (many deprecated tags types used). If you believe blogs on search engine optimization, having out-of-date code is a point (or more) against you for ranking.

    What’s a person to do? Must I abandon Expression Web for Dreamweaver? Thanks for enduring my whining.

  109. Steve Guttman says:


    I’m sorry to hear about the problems you’ve been having with Expression Web. We do take quality issues very seriously–especially crashing bugs. You would help us out a great deal in tracking these down if you could log them–with steps to reproduce–on the connect web site ( It’s often difficult to discover how to create a bug from the SQM data from the customer feedback program (it only shows the crash–not the steps to reproduce). The connect bugs are reviewed weekly, and imported into our bug/work database.

    I’d also like you encourage you and others to post comments on the Expression Web team blog at . This is the most direct route to get feedback to the Expression Web team.

    And, you can always email me directly at sguttman at microsoft com.



  110. Dennis says:

    The white-on-black color scheme is a real problem for some people to use. It’s more than just whining about aesthetics.

    Please offer at least one other choice, perhaps something similar to the MS Office color scheme.

    Considering the many thousands I have spent on MS products over the years, I think you owe me at least this one request.


    —Dennis P.

  111. Steve Guttman says:


    If you are running Expression Web SP1 or SP2 you can set the program to use Windows colors via the Application Options dialog (Tools menu). If you don’t have the SPs, please download and install them from

    Hopefully, this will address your issue.

    I’d also like you encourage you and others to post comments on the Expression Web team blog at . This is the most direct route to get feedback to the Expression Web team.

    And, you can always email me directly at sguttman at microsoft com.



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