I blogged earlier that Visual Stusio Orcas is getting new Web designer and related tools that are based on the same code as Expression Web. However, Visual Studio IDE architecture is quite different from Expression Web and certain features could not be easily accomodated. So, what is currently missing from Visual Studio as compared to Expression Web?

  1. Image tracing
  2. Picture editing tools
  3. Ability to draw tables
  4. Layout table tools and task panes
  5. Advanced, HTML-oriented Find and Replace
  6. Spell checker
  7. Quick Tag Editor
  8. Behaviors
  9. Frameset editing
  10. Image map tools
  11. Previewing pages in predefined fixed sizes

Abovementioned feature are missing for various reasons. We can't currently easily reuse spell checker or imaging library. Some features are not compatible with VS architecture. For instance, Quick Tag Editor relies on very different text editor and cannot be adapted to the VS text editor and intellisense in a reasonable time. Besides, there is always only that much time available in each release, so if we want properly test the product and make tests automatic then we have to limit amount of features that we put in any given release.

One other important change compared to VS 2005: new designer does not support multiple selection of controls. I.e. you can't control-click multiple buttons or select controls using mouse with rubberband rectangle.