July, 2011

  • Expression Web team blog

    Expression Web 4 Service Pack 2


    We’re pleased to introduce a new service pack for Microsoft Expression Web. Expression Web 4 SP2 focuses on making the editing process easier and faster. It includes improvements in two major areas: 1) workspace configuration and 2) code editing. It also includes a variety of other bug fixes and improvements.

    Workspace improvements

    Expression Web now supports any number of custom workspaces. You can save, restore and reset workspaces—which are collections of panel configurations. You can find the Workspaces feature on the Panel menu.

    With Expression Web 4 SP2, we’ve built custom toolbars into Expression Web. This feature allows you to create any number of custom toolbars using any of the built-in (internal) Expression Web commands. The Custom Toolbars feature is found under the View menu.

    Expression Web now provides a preview thumbnail of the currently selected file in the folder list panel. No more hunting around for image dimensions or sizes. In addition, the convenient link text under the size display lets you quickly copy an <img> tag or the CSS dimensions to the clipboard to paste into your markup.

    If a CSS file is highlighted, you get clickable links for creating @import and <link> syntax; if a JavaScript file is selected, you can make a <script> tag with a click.

    Code Editing Improvements

    jQuery is the world’s most popular JavaScript framework. And now, Expression Web users can enjoy one of the best jQuery IntelliSense implementations around. One of the nicest elements of this feature is the intelligence we’ve built into creating selectors. With jQuery, you target methods at HTML elements that are identified using CSS selectors—tags, ID’s and classes.

    Expression Web knows the IDs and classes that are available in your document, and will present you with the appropriate list (HTML tags, IDs, or classes), based on what you’ve started typing as a selector. In addition, Expression Web’s jQuery IntelliSense also supports IntelliSense while chaining multiple methods. In jQuery, methods can be executed one after the other within the same expression. In the example below, the css() and prepend() methods are chained, with IntelliSense operating within each chained method.

    Our new Snippets panel lets you store and access snippets in a folder-based hierarchy. It comes with dozens of useful snippets in a variety of languages, and will automatically convert and load any existing custom snippets you’ve already built.


    Also, the new feature was designed to preserve the ergonomics of the current snippets feature. Ctrl-Enter will bring it to the foreground with focus in the Filter field. Typing will automatically filter the list. You can use the arrow keys to navigate, and hit Enter to insert. Expression Web also now supports “wrap” snippets—where you specify code that goes before and after a selection—as well as the standard “replace” snippets.

    A common pain point for web developers is the effort it takes to comment and uncomment bits of code you’re testing. Our Universal Comment/Uncomment feature will comment or uncomment code with Ctrl-j, Ctrl-Shift-j, from within whatever language you’re working with—PHP, JS, CSS, HTML.

    Interactive Snapshot

    In Expression Web 3 we introduced the Snapshot panel which uses SuperPreview rendering technology to allow you to preview Web pages in any version of IE (and Firefox 3.x) as you’re authoring them. This is great for layout issues, but doesn’t help if you need to test page interactivity. In Web 4 SP2, we’ve added an Interactive mode to our stable of IE renderers (as well as an interactive Firefox 3.x). Interactive mode essentially puts Internet Explorer in a panel, allowing you to see and interact with web pages during the authoring process. Mouse-overs, lightboxes and animations all work. Simply saving your changes triggers a refresh of the panel. IE Interactive uses the current version of Internet Explorer installed on your machine.

    We hope you enjoy this new Expression Web service pack. It is available via the download link on the Expression Community site at http://expression.microsoft.com and will also be delivered via Microsoft update.

    Alex Moskwa
    Program Manager
    Microsoft Expression Web

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