Expression Blend and Design

The team blog of the Expression Blend and Design products.

What Would You Like to See in the Next Versions of Blend and Design?

What Would You Like to See in the Next Versions of Blend and Design?

Even though we just shipped Expression Blend and Design 2, we are already busy planning what to do for future releases. To better help us with our planning, we'd like to hear from you.

What are some things that you would like to see in Blend and Design? What are some of the things that you wish were done differently? Also, what are some of the things in our products that you like?

Let us know by posting in the comments below! We take your feedback very seriously, and your input goes a long way in helping us improve our products.


(On a related note, based on feedback from many of you, this blog has been restyled. A big thanks to Tim Sneath for the help.)

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  • One feature that i need is to draw shapes with variable properties in Design (this was in Expression Graphic Designer --for ex draw sqares but every time we draw the opacity or colour to be variable ,arbitrary)---it was a nice feature and maybe are more others from  Expression Graphic Designer  but i can't remember now .

    Another wish that i have is that Expression Web to share the same WPF interface like Blend and Design (more exactly the black version i'm interested in ) and have panels that can be hidden like ones in Visual Studio.Expression Web actual interface it's very ugly and nonproductive.


  • One other thing that bugs me all the time working in Blend is the fact that when I open app.xaml to edit Styles and Resources, a message shows that it cannot be edited in the Design View.

    Since I am going the edit the XAML anyway and won't go to the Resources Panel and since you already know that I want to open app.xaml (because you can show the message), why don't you just open it in XAML Mode? Make it an option if you must, you can even add the opportunity to hide the panels at the same time :)


  • Great idea to share our needs with You!

    So here is my list:

    1. First and foremost - InteliSense in XAML.

    2. Design available as a separate product (I know it is basically free as a part of Expression Studio, and yes I am aware of it's role in whole Designers -  Developers collab story, but yet - It would be nice for users to have it available as a standalone product.

    3. PLEASE bring us back bitmap editing features that were once available in Design (last time seen in September CTP years ago:) ) I'm (We are) really missing that, and having Design being able to combine bitmap editing features with state-of-the-art vector tools would be BIG thing. Dum spiro, spero! I'm, sure and confident product teams are listening!

    4. Set of animation templates - something to make creating common animations easy and quick. I believe Adobe's Flash UI supports that.

    5. Some bitmap effects for Silverlight ( I'm aware that this means some trade-off on aspect of SL plug-in size, but It sure would be nice thing to have).

    6. By all means possible - control styling and templating support for SL 2.0 in Blend 2.5. Doing things "by hand" is not my way of seeing things done quickly. I want to focus on creativity and potentials, not on hand editing of XAML (which brings us to point 1 - InteliSense...).

    So, let's see some of these improvements we are all waiting for!


  • +1 For simplifying grid Margins, Width, MaxWidth. The MaxHeight/MaxWidth properties are collapsed even though there are only 3 properties for row and collumn! Perhaps shift-clicking any property could reset it as this is a frequent operation.

    +1 For improved databinding, maybe a design time DataContext? Being able to create your own sample data without the need for declaring the class would be helpful for prototyping.

    *The feature I would most like to see is to be able to open a style or template in its own tab. Editing styles and templates is one of the best features of blend but it seems to require far too many clicks.

    *Better support for creating/editing tile brushes, they never seem to be aligned when I use blend to create them.

    *The resources panel could be a bit more useful it could highlight unused resources, be a tree instead of a list so you can easily access a styles' template, move a template inside/outside of a style. It could also show all the resources for a project instead of changing depending on the current file and be more of a navigation aid. When you edit a resource you could switch to the properties panel.

    *Putting edited properties above the others like some css editors do might be worth consideration or you could just emphasize the properties that have been set more.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Please allow it to read/edit old Photodraw .mix files. There is no program to edit these, since the product was discontinued. I have thousands to convert.

  • Just to reiterate, thanks a lot to all of you for providing us this feedback. While we can't publically communicate exactly which of the suggested features will be in the next version of Blend, the suggestions do help (and are currently helping!) us with our planning on the next versions of Blend and beyond :-)

  • Previously on the blog I’ve explained how a KeySpline can be used to do animation easing . I also demonstrated

  • Bevel and Drop Shadow effects for panels, tabs, buttons, etc.

  • In a Solution with many projects, Blend allway expands all project folders. So you allways have to scroll a lot to find the right project in the solution explorer. it would be nice if there would be something like a "collapse all" in the soltion explorer. Also a "Filter Solution" to store custom workingset would be nice. Solutions often get big, evenen if you are working only on 2 projects inside a solution you allway see all projects inside the solution. And of course source controll integration. TFS yes, SVN hardly needet. A lot of the companies out there comming from Flash work with tools like eclipse, svn and cvs. Also a lot .net developer use svn. So open VS and expression to these source controlls. pleace. :-)

  • Oh and for the designers. Palettes would be greate to store custom color presets.

  • I would like to see some form of default ordering for properties in the XAML that Blend produces.  I do a lot more XAML coding by hand these days but the randomness that can infest Blend XAML code can be a nightmare ... for instance I think Blend should always add things in a set order like:

    <Type x:Name=""







    The name first, then layout, style bindings etc ...

    Source Control integration is just a prerequisite frankly, Blend NEEDS this big time.

  • One way to think of Styles is as a collection of attributes with a specific name. In Blend, currently the Style attribute itself is tucked away under the Miscellaneous panel out of sight on the bottom of the properties panel. In my view it should be in plain sight at the top of the properties panel, allowing any designer to add a new Style for a collection of properties. The current implementation is too complicated and take too many actions and clicks. The consequence of this is that designers are not creating Styles, which results in XAML files that are not well organized or refactored. Developers getting to work in these files are not laughing. Or worse, maybe they are... Actually I do refactoring in Styles in code myself, because it is much easier that way. Please, rethink the Style implementation in Blend...

  • I always use drag and drop text in text editors and miss it very much in the Blend Editor. Actually the contextmenu with the Cut, Copy and Paste options is also missing when I regularly routinely rightclick in the editor...


  • Actually a [View a Fullscreen XAML] option in the Contextmenu in the Objects and Timeline panel would help. Does it look like we are editing XAML in the editor at least as much as in the Design view? We do. At least I do :)

  • +1 for InteliSense in XAML

    3ds Max import (and export) for .3ds modells AND scnenes/animations. Don't try to make a new 3d animationprogram like 3ds or Maya, just integrate them.

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