Silverlight 5 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using and embedding Silverlight fonts


Silverlight 5 Essential Training

with Walt Ritscher

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Video: Using and embedding Silverlight fonts

One of my favorite tasks in UI design is choosing typefaces. I can't tell you how many hours I spent mulling over a range of typefaces, trying to pick the best one to use in my application. Silverlight, like many tools, uses the term font to represent typeface. If you do not choose a font for your Silverlight element, you will see the default font, which on Windows is Lucida Sans Unicode and on the Macintosh is Lucida Grande. Any element in Silverlight that displays text has a Font Property. If you dig into the font- related properties, you'll find familiar-looking settings.
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  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

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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

Using and embedding Silverlight fonts

One of my favorite tasks in UI design is choosing typefaces. I can't tell you how many hours I spent mulling over a range of typefaces, trying to pick the best one to use in my application. Silverlight, like many tools, uses the term font to represent typeface. If you do not choose a font for your Silverlight element, you will see the default font, which on Windows is Lucida Sans Unicode and on the Macintosh is Lucida Grande. Any element in Silverlight that displays text has a Font Property. If you dig into the font- related properties, you'll find familiar-looking settings.

You can choose a typeface through the FontFamily property. You can change its size. FontWeight specifies how to enhance the thinness or fatness of the text. The two most common settings here are Normal and Bold. FontStyle allows you to access other font renderings. The most commonplace style is Italics. FontStretch lets you change the distance between letters. This setting only works on fonts that have special condensed or expanded versions. Silverlight includes a number of built-in fonts. These are installed with the Silverlight runtime.

As long as you use these fonts in your Silverlight application, you won't have to do any extra work or change any settings. There are many other fonts that are typically installed on end users' computers. These fonts aren't embedded in the Silverlight runtime, but are used if installed on the destination computer. As you can see from this list, they are mostly standard common Windows fonts. If you have a font that is not on the prior to list, you have to embed them in your Silverlight assembly. By embedding, I mean adding a copy of the font file to your application download. The first step to using this nonstandard font is to add a TTF or OTF font file to the project.

Next, you set the build action for that font to resource and then in your XAML you use the FontFamily attribute and use the special pound symbol syntax. Rather than handwrite the XAML, you can use Expression Blend to embed the font and have it generate the XAML for you. Let me add a cautionary word about licensing. Just because you have a font on your computer doesn't mean you have the right to distribute it with your application. Always verify that you have a license to embed your font. To determine if you have the rights to embed, you can use the Font Extension Utility.

This is a utility that's available for Windows XP. Here is a URL to find out more. If you're on Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can just right-click on the file and choose Properties. Let me show you how to do that. I'm looking at the Assets folder inside my Exercise Files and in here I have a font. You can choose any font you want on your computer. Just right-click on the font and choose Properties. Then go to the Details tab and look at this Font embeddability property.

I see that this font is Installable, which means I have permission to embed the font. Now I'll show you how to use Blend to add the font to your project. I'm inside a project called UsingTypefacesAndFonts. I've opened a file called EmbedFont, which has a text block containing the word Explore California. To set font properties, you go to your Property pane and scroll down to the Text section. It has standard font type properties like Bold, Italics, Underscore. You can change the font size by clicking on this combo box, and you can click on this Show advanced properties button to see more settings.

For instance, here's where you set the FontStretch property. To change the font, use this combo box. Let me scroll to the top of this list. Any font that has the blue symbol on the right side is one of the built-in Silverlight fonts. So that means I can choose Arial Black and I know that it's always going to work on the user's computer. Notice that the Embed checkbox is not available at the moment. If I choose a font that doesn't have the blue symbol, let's say I choose this one here, the Embed checkbox turns itself on, I can now click on this to embed that font in my application.

Let me show you what the XAML looks like for that. Over here in my XAML, I can see that the FontFamily is set to use a ZIP file, Fonts/ That means that inside my XAP file will be a ZIP file that contains all the fonts that are embedded inside my application. I'll return back to the Designer. If you want more control over the font embedding technology, you can click on Font Manager. This shows all of the files that are inside that file and you can select one and then change which portions of the font glyphs are included.

For instance, if I don't want the Uppercase versions of this font, I can unselect that checkbox and then click OK. Silverlight 5 added support for OpenType fonts. I love the OpenType specification. With this spec, type foundries can be much more expressive with their typeface. In Silverlight 5 you can tap into this power by using the Typography Attached property. On this slide I show a few of the features that are available in OpenType. For instance, ligatures, alternate capitals, different kinds of numeric enhancements like fractions and monospaced numeric fonts.

You can see a ligature example on the bottom of the screen, the letter f in the second word in the word Coffee is a ligature version of the font shown in the first version. Contextual alternates show the beautiful alternate versions of fonts available within OpenType. Notice how the letter g in eggs is rendered in each version. What a charming font! I'll return back to Expression Blend and show you a few examples of OpenType. I'm going to start by opening this file called OpenType. If you're following along with the Exercise Files, make sure that you have a copy of these fonts on your computer.

They are installed by default with Windows Vista and Windows 7. Here I'm using a normal default font and I'm setting the Fraction value to Normal, and here I'm using a normal default font and I'm setting the Fraction value to Slashed. When I used the Candara font, I see how different that looks. If I say Fraction='Normal' and Fraction='Slashed', you can definitely see a difference between the way these fractions are rendered on the screen. Let me zoom into make this a little more clear. So how do you set these properties? Use the Typography Attached property, like this.

Here's a TextBlock, then I say Typography.Fraction='Slashed'. If the open source font has a slashed version of the fraction, it will then render it on the screen. For numeric values, you can use things like the 0s with a Slash through it. That's called Slashed Zero. You can use monospaced fonts, so that your numbers line up in columns when you're using numeric calculations. There is a setting for SubScripts and SuperScripts. The way you work with these is you create a run within your text block and then you apply the subscript or the superscript to the run.

And this last one shows you that Eggs and Toast example. Here's those Contextual Alternates, again, that is switched on with this Typography.ContextualAlternates and Typography.StylisticSet1="True". This says that I want the alternates and I want you to choose one of the sets of alternate fonts. I could spend hours playing with typefaces and Expression Blend makes it easy to work with font properties.

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

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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
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