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Expression Blend is a great editor for working with Silverlight applications. In this movie I'd like to show you how to create a Silverlight project in Blend. This is quite similar to the way you create projects in Visual Studio. On my computer I will launch Blend by opening my Start menu and then typing in the word Blend, and then choosing this link at the top, Microsoft Expression Blend Preview for Silverlight 5. To create a new project in Blend I can click on this link New Project, and then I get to select the two kinds of projects that I want to make.
Since this is the preview edition, I only have two choices. I'm going to choose Silverlight Application + Website, and then I'm going to name my project down here, I'm going to call it EB for Expression Blend, Demo. The default location is the Expression Blend folder in my Documents folder. Make sure I'm using Visual Studio C# and version 5 of Silverlight and then click OK. To see my project structure in Expression Blend I go to the Projects pane on the left side of the screen.
Over here you can see I have two projects, the EBDemo which is my Silverlight project and the EBDemoSite which is my HTML companion site. Just like the Visual Studio demo I'm going to change the background color of my LayoutRoot. I'm going to click on the LayoutRoot and then I'm going to go over to my Properties pane and choose a new color. I think I'll choose a color green today and make it a lighter shade of the green, and then I want to test the application. In Visual Studio you can press F5 to start an application and attach debugger, or you can press Ctrl+F5 to launch the application without attaching a debugger.
Expression Blend is not a programmer's tool so it does not have a debugger but you can still use the same keystrokes. If you look in the Projects menu you'll see there is a Build Project, compiling the application, and a Run Project menu, which is tied to both F5 and Ctrl F5. I'll choose this one. This says I don't have a start page let me show you how to fix it. Go to Project>Set as Startup, and I'll pick my Default.html page, and then I'll press Ctrl+F5 to run the application. Now one of the nice things about Expression Blend is that it shares the same file formats as Visual Studio, that means I can open a Visual Studio and load this project in for editing. Let me show you how to do that.
I'll switch to Visual Studio and then I'll go to my File menu and choose Open>Project, and now I need to go into my Documents folder and then drill down into the Expression folder / Blend Preview for Silverlight 5 folder / Projects folder, and now I'm in the EBDemo folder. I'm going to load this SLN file which stands for Solution. This is the same format between Expression Blend and Visual Studio, so if I load this one I'll get the same project structure.
Look on the right side of my screen. There is my HTML site and there is my EBDemo Silverlight project, which brings me to the point of this video. Both Expression Blend and Visual Studio make it easy to create Silverlight projects. Later, I'll show you how to configure them for optimal workflow.
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