Silverlight 5 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Getting to know the Visual Studio interface


Silverlight 5 Essential Training

with Walt Ritscher

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Getting to know the Visual Studio interface

When you become a Silverlight developer, you are going to spend a lot of time in Visual Studio. In this movie, we'll take a short tour of the Visual Studio interface. I'm inside Visual Studio. If you're following along with the Exercise Files, you are going to want to open the ExampleProject Solution. I picked a Solution that has multiple projects. You can see here that there are three projects inside this Solution. Let me explain those terms. A Solution in Visual Studio terms is a container for zero or more projects. A project is an item that gets compiled into an executable, and a project can have zero, or more files.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 35m 1s
    1. Overview of Silverlight
      3m 29s
    2. Setting up a developer computer
      2m 46s
    3. Installing the Silverlight Toolkit
      2m 21s
    4. Exploring the toolkit samples
      2m 35s
    5. Using Visual Studio 2010 to create a Silverlight project
      5m 10s
    6. Using Expression Blend to create a Silverlight project
      3m 13s
    7. Getting to know the Visual Studio interface
      8m 16s
    8. Working in the Expression Blend interface
      7m 11s
  3. 29m 47s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio project structure
      3m 38s
    2. Creating a Silverlight page
      3m 17s
    3. Compiling your first application
      5m 1s
    4. Using other assemblies in an application
      5m 45s
    5. Deploying a Silverlight application
      3m 43s
    6. Understanding the startup process for an application
      3m 13s
    7. Understanding how users get Silverlight on their computers
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 59s
    1. Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
      3m 57s
    2. Using C#
      7m 16s
    3. Exploring the code-behind file
      5m 46s
  5. 43m 23s
    1. Working with XAML elements and Property attributes
      4m 56s
    2. Investigating XAML namespaces
      7m 32s
    3. Converting XAML properties with TypeConverters
      5m 1s
    4. Working with Property elements
      4m 24s
    5. Assigning runtime data with XAML markup extensions
      4m 21s
    6. Digging into the dependency property system
      6m 12s
    7. Creating a custom dependency property
      4m 42s
    8. Understanding attached properties
      6m 15s
  6. 9m 35s
    1. Debugging your code
      5m 17s
    2. Special Silverlight debugging techniques
      4m 18s
  7. 36m 1s
    1. Understanding layout
      4m 55s
    2. Using DockPanel and WrapPanel
      4m 2s
    3. Exploring sophisticated layouts with the Grid
      6m 40s
    4. Absolute positioning with the Canvas panel
      5m 20s
    5. Scrolling content with the ScrollViewer
      3m 28s
    6. Adjusting content alignment, margins, and sizing
      5m 6s
    7. Using the TabControl
      2m 17s
    8. Manipulating elements with transforms
      4m 13s
  8. 20m 33s
    1. Painting the user interface (UI) with SolidColorBrush
      6m 7s
    2. Getting colorful with gradient brushes
      3m 15s
    3. Decorating elements with ImageBrush
      4m 57s
    4. Creating effects with VideoBrush
      6m 14s
  9. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding routed events
      3m 12s
    2. Wiring up event handlers in Silverlight
      6m 4s
    3. Understanding event bubbling
      4m 39s
    4. Exploring mouse events
      7m 43s
    5. Exploring keyboard events
      4m 4s
  10. 32m 31s
    1. Displaying text on the screen
      3m 24s
    2. Gathering text input from the user
      5m 30s
    3. Showing complex text with RichTextBox
      6m 7s
    4. Understanding text overflow and text linking
      3m 14s
    5. Searching content with the AutoComplete type-ahead control
      6m 45s
    6. Using and embedding Silverlight fonts
      7m 31s
  11. 26m 48s
    1. Understanding content controls
      5m 7s
    2. Understanding button controls
      6m 17s
    3. Using the BusyIndicator
      4m 40s
    4. Showing tooltips
      4m 34s
    5. Changing content size with ViewBox
      1m 39s
    6. Exploring more controls
      4m 31s
  12. 55m 36s
    1. Connecting elements with binding
      9m 54s
    2. Using business data in a binding
      9m 21s
    3. Listing data with ItemsControls
      6m 39s
    4. Digging into the DataGrid
      8m 28s
    5. Using the DataForm
      3m 49s
    6. Storing data on the client
      7m 10s
    7. Debugging XAML bindings
      5m 41s
    8. Charting data
      4m 34s
  13. 24m 36s
    1. Creating an Out-of-Browser (OOB) application
      6m 16s
    2. Controlling aspects of an OOB application
      2m 49s
    3. Alerting the user with notification windows
      7m 13s
    4. Hosting HTML content in Silverlight applications
      8m 18s
  14. 30m 2s
    1. Exploring Silverlight trust levels
      3m 51s
    2. Creating an elevated trust application
      5m 57s
    3. Reaping the benefits of XAP signing
      6m 5s
    4. Making cross-domain calls
      5m 1s
    5. Getting started with COM Interop using the Speech API
      4m 21s
    6. Using COM Interop to interact with Microsoft Office
      4m 47s
  15. 16m 34s
    1. Showing child windows
      3m 48s
    2. Using a child window as a dialog window
      5m 7s
    3. Creating native windows
      2m 53s
    4. Maximizing a window with full screen mode
      4m 46s
  16. 13m 20s
    1. Dynamically loading UI content with user controls
      4m 46s
    2. Using the Navigation Framework
      8m 34s
  17. 9m 28s
    1. Using resource files
      3m 53s
    2. Using images in an application
      5m 35s
  18. 16m 32s
    1. Playing audio
      4m 27s
    2. Playing sound effects
      5m 4s
    3. Viewing video content with MediaElement
      4m 58s
    4. Changing video playback speed with TrickPlay
      2m 3s
  19. 14m 41s
    1. Capturing video with a web camera
      4m 16s
    2. Working with a microphone
      3m 47s
    3. Creating print output
      6m 38s
  20. 22m 35s
    1. Understanding Silverlight animations
      4m 35s
    2. Creating animations
      7m 52s
    3. Controlling animations
      4m 18s
    4. Simulating physics with animation easings
      5m 50s
  21. 27m 47s
    1. Placing XAML resources within a FrameworkElement
      6m 47s
    2. Centralizing settings in styles
      4m 8s
    3. Creating an alternate control UI with ControlTemplates
      6m 29s
    4. Dressing up your data with DataTemplates
      4m 33s
    5. Explaining the VisualStateManager: a simple way to manage control states
      5m 50s
  22. 10m 56s
    1. Handling global errors in a Silverlight application
      5m 46s
    2. Showing an application loading screen
      5m 10s
  23. 10m 48s
    1. Integrating with XNA
      7m 40s
    2. Exploring data analysis with PivotViewer
      3m 8s
  24. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Silverlight 5 Essential Training
8h 51m Beginner Mar 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Microsoft Silverlight 5 is a rich application framework for creating high-performance, cross-platform desktop and mobile applications. In this course, author Walt Ritscher demonstrates how to build a variety of applications in Silverlight, with particular focus on building compelling business applications and delivering premium video and audio content. Developers will work with the C# programming language and Visual Studio Professional, as well as Expression Blend, a tool that simplifies creation of the interactive user interfaces expected in modern-day applications.

Topics include:
  • Installing the toolkit and setting up the development environment
  • Using Expression Blend vs. Visual Studio 2010
  • Creating a Silverlight page
  • Compiling an application
  • Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
  • Using C#
  • Working with XAML
  • Digging into the Dependency Property System
  • Deploying and debugging code
  • Creating sophisticated layouts with panel elements
  • Managing Visual State with Visual State Manager
  • Transforming the user interface (UI) with templates
  • Understanding the event model
  • Working with text
  • Using business data in a binding
  • Creating an out-of-browser (OOB) application
  • Exploring trust levels
  • Playing audio and video
  • Handling errors
  • Exploring animations
  • Working with application windows
  • Integration with XNA
Silverlight Visual Studio
Walt Ritscher

Getting to know the Visual Studio interface

When you become a Silverlight developer, you are going to spend a lot of time in Visual Studio. In this movie, we'll take a short tour of the Visual Studio interface. I'm inside Visual Studio. If you're following along with the Exercise Files, you are going to want to open the ExampleProject Solution. I picked a Solution that has multiple projects. You can see here that there are three projects inside this Solution. Let me explain those terms. A Solution in Visual Studio terms is a container for zero or more projects. A project is an item that gets compiled into an executable, and a project can have zero, or more files.

I have three projects, I've got a Silverlight project here which is in bold, that means it's a startup project, and then I have two business libraries down here. If I open this project up, you'll see that it has a Class1.cs file. When it comes time to compile my application, I can choose to compile all three of these. I can do that by going to the Build menu, and choosing Build Solution, or I can choose to compile just the one that I have selected. So if I choose the SampleControlLib project and go to the Build menu, you see I have three choices down here; Build SampleControlLib.

Let's do some editing. I am going to go up to the ExampleSilverlightApp and I am going to open this MainPage.xaml file. This is the default editor that you get inside Visual Studio; it is a Split View Editor. So on the top-half of the view, I see the designer surface, and on the bottom-half of the view, I see the text view, this is XML and it's a special syntax of XML called XAML. These two are linked. So if I make a change in the top-half of the screen, it will be reflected in the bottom-half of the screen.

Let me show you what I mean. I am going to go to my toolbox. If you don't see the toolbox on your copy of Visual Studio, it may be unpinned and sitting on the side of the window. It would look like this. It would just be this little nub over here. If you hover your mouse over this edge or over the Toolbox, the Toolbox pops up and then you can pin it permanently by clicking on the Auto Hide button. Once that's pinned, I can come over here and take one of these controls, say this button, and drag it over to my designer surface.

Notice the blue outline that's popped up there, that's signaling my target is a droppable target. I'll let go with my mouse. Here is what I want you to see. On the top-half of the screen is a little button, and on the bottom-half of the screen on line 55 is some XAML that says Button Content='Button' and so on. If I modify this button by clicking on it, and choosing a new size, you'll see that the Height and the Width properties down here in the bottom-half of the screen were modified. Visual Studio has a decent editor, but it's not as powerful as the designer that's inside Expression Blend.

So let's go over there and show you the same project in Expression Blend. Here, I am in Expression Blend. If I move over to my Projects section, and double-click on this MainPage.xaml file, you'll see the same screen. It's a little bit too big to see, so I am going to shrink it down in size by using my mouse-wheel, click, and mouse- wheel to make it a little bit smaller. And then to move it left or right, I can hold down the Spacebar, and then I get the Hand tool, then I can drag it to the center of my working area. This is called the Artboard in Expression Blend.

Notice that you don't see the button here, that's because I didn't save my project over in Visual Studio. So I will switch back to Visual Studio, click on the Save All button, and then back to Expression Blend, and Blend says, I see that there's been a change inside the solution file, would you like to reload? I am going to say, Yes. And then, I'll slide over here to the side and there is my button. So, the two were linked. They share the same file format. That implies that if I go over here and add a rectangle by clicking here in my Toolbox, choosing Rectangle and then drawing that over here, I think I'll choose a new color.

So I'll come over and choose a nice flavor of light blue. I'll save my project, and then return back to Visual Studio. Just like in Expression Blend, I'm notified that there has been a change. It says, this file has been modified, do you want to reload it? I'll say, Yes to All. And now you see my blue rectangle. So again, this proves that the two of them, they are linked. I'll tell you my daily experience, as I have both of these applications open, usually at the same time, and I switch back-and-forth based on which tool does the job best for me at that moment.

I'd like to show you some of my favorite settings in Visual Studio that help me on my daily coding jobs. Those are listed up here in the Tools>Options section. Mostly, I want to look at fonts and text editors. If you don't like the font size inside Visual Studio or the font face, you can choose Fonts and Colors. And inside this area of the Tools> Options is a rich dialog for setting every possible nuance of your font. Here, you get to pick your basic font. I am using the built-in Windows Consolas font, which is a very nice font that works on LCDs.

If you want to change the code font on-the-fly, you can go back to your Code Editor window, click. And if you hold down the Ctrl key while you're in the code window, and use your mouse-wheel, you can dynamically size the text. Next, I want to talk about the rules of the Text Editor. This is my XAML text editor. There's also a C# text editor affiliated with this file. If I press F7 while I am in this screen, you'll see that I switched over to the C# file.

Both of these text editors have certain rules on how they color keywords and how they indent the text, and I can control those using the Tools>Options. Let me show you how that works. Tools>Options, scroll down to the Text Editor section. Each editor that is currently inside Visual Studio has a node in here. So here is the C# editor, and here is the XAML editor. I am going to edit the XAML one. But, before I do that, I like to set some global settings. So I'll go to All Languages, and what I want to do here is turn on Word Wrap, I like that feature, and I always code with Line numbers turned on.

It makes it easy to reference the line of code that I am looking at, just like that. I also like to do, on my Tabs settings here, I like a 2 space tab, and Indent size for all my code windows. Next, we are going to go down and choose the XAML editor. Here we go! The settings that I like in this dialog are Single quotes over Double quotes, and then for my XAML, I go to the Spacing section, and I like to have Position each attribute on a separate line, and Collapse multiple empty lines of content into a single line.

This is easier to show than to read off this dialog. So let's go show you what that does. I'll click on OK. I'm going to switch back to my XAML window; I can do that in a couple of ways in Visual Studio. I can press F7 since I am on the code window and that will take me back to the XAML window, or I can click on this tab at the top of the screen. Here is that button I added a few minutes ago. I'm going to put a few extra spaces at the top and I am going to change the way my attributes are arranged on the screen. Put some extra spaces in here, indent them at different levels.

Now, I want to clean this up. I can force a formatting on a document at any time by going to the Edit menu, and Advanced, and then choosing Format Document, or you can use the keystroke Ctrl+K, Ctrl+D. I'll tell you that I use Ctrl+K, Ctrl+D about every two minutes when I'm programming. So let's click here, and watch what happens in the document. Those multiple lines of space got reduced to a single line, and each individual attribute inside my XAML was moved to a separate line.

I find this infinitely more readable than having them all scattered around the screen. I'll be using Visual Studio a lot in this course. You'll see more tips and tools in the later videos.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Silverlight 5 Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: I'm trying to access a Silverlight 3D application template, [cid:image001.png@01CD0E7D.3E07ECA0]. I have already installed the Silverlight 5 SDK and my Visual Studio 2010 is professional. Could you please help me?
A: You must install XNA Studio in order to use the new Silverlight 3D templates. Otherwise the new templates will not show up. Download it at

For other Silverlight downloads (the toolkit, developer runtime, etc.), see
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Silverlight 5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.