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Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed

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Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed

eBook (Watermarked)

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  • Copyright 2011
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-267847-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-267847-6

This book has one primary goal: to get you working in Expression Blend 4 effectively using the features and functionality of the tool.

This book is not about XAML, not about code nor explicit work flows. It is about simply dragging, dropping, drawing, and defining the experience and vision for a user interface and rich interactive experience.

You will learn how to work with the core features of Blend, edit Styles and Templates, and more importantly, understand what they all mean. You will also work in detail with Parts, States, and Behaviors to understand how collectively they can provide your solutions advanced functionality without the need for code or hand-cranked XAML.

Animations and Storyboards will allow you to bring life to your vision, as will working with data efficiently and learning how to create and manage Resources.

In short, this book will give you the answers to many questions asked in forums by new and experienced users alike.

Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed is a stunning, full-color resource with hundreds of screenshots and informative figure references. It has also been authored sequentially, to enable you to build your knowledge step-by-step and gain confidence through repartition and fearlessness in discovery.

Detailed information on how to…

  • Create, edit, and work effectively with Styles and Templates
  • Master Parts, States, and Behaviors to enable XAML and code free functionality
  • Use Blend’s Animation and Storyboard workflows to bring life to your solutions
  • Create and manage Resource Dictionaries, Skins, and Themes
  • Create sample and live data
    Implement effective XML, CLR Data binding, and Control Template binding using Expression Blends advanced data support tools
  • Use Blend as part of your designer/developer workflow to create rapid prototypes with SketchFlow
  • Use design resources to start creating solutions for Windows Phone 7
  • Work with WPF, Silverlight, and Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 platforms

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Introduction    1

What Will You Learn in Expression Blend 4 Unleashed?    1

The Topics Covered in Expression Blend 4 Unleashed    2

How This Book Is Structured    2

Sample Applications Covered in This Book    3

1  Expression Blend 4 Overview    5

What Is Expression Blend and Who Is It For?    5

What’s New in Expression Blend 4?    7

A Brief History Leading to the Future…    8

Why the Focus Shifted Away from WPF    8

Enter Silverlight    9

What Does This All Mean for the Big Picture?    10

What Does Expression Blend have to do with HTML5, CSS, and Expression Web?    11

Summary    11

2  Discovering the Expression Blend Interface    13

The Expression Blend Interface Theme    13

How the Experience Changes    16

Project Panel    21

Expression Blend Options Dialog    22

The Artboard    27

The XAML Editor    30

The Code Editor    31

Objects and Timeline Panel    37

Tools Panel    39

Assets Panel    49

Properties Panel    49

Resources Panel    57

Data Panel    58

Summary    59

3  Using Expression Blend for the First Time    61

Keeping Things Simple to Start With    61

It All Starts with a Button!    62

Transformations    72

Simple Animation    74

Summary    78

4  Common Properties and Functionality    79

Controls, Controls, Elements…    79

Border    80

The Checkbox    83

The RadioButton    85

TextBlock Versus Label    88

The TextBox    89

The ProgressBar    92

The Slider    93

The ComboBox    97

The ListBox    100

Summary    102

5  The Art of Layout    103

Layout Panels    103

The Grid Control    104

Canvas    117

The Viewbox    119

Scaling Text    120

StackPanel    121

ScrollViewer    122

Summary    124

6  Element Styles and Templates    125

What Is the Difference Between a Style and a Template?    126

What Is a Style?    126

What Is a Template?    132

Creating the Easiest Button Ever    140

Simple Styles    142

Summary    144

7  Working with Parts    145

It’s the Parts That Make Up the Whole    146

Element to Element Binding    147

Building Your Own Slider Control    151

Summary    156

8  Working with States    157

What Is a State?    157

Working with the VSM    158

The Base State    160

The Unchecked State    160

Control Level States    163

State Transitions    168

Transition Effects    170

Transition Effect Priority    172

Summary    173

9  Working with SketchFlow    175

The User Centered Design Process (UCD)    176

It’s All About the Process    176

Collaboration Isn’t Easy    181

Creating a Basic SketchFlow Solution    183

Summary    215

10  Expression Blend Data Support    217

Designing Sample Data    217

Thinking About the Data    218

Defining Sample Data    219

Editing the Data Template    224

Editing the ItemContainerStyle    227

Working with the Details    229

The ValueConverter Solution    234

Switching to Live Data    239

Summary    246

11  Animations and Transitions    247

The Storyboard Editor    247

Animation Keyframes    250

Transformations    251

Plane Projections    258

Easing Functions    260

The Spline Editor    261

Repeating the Animation    263

Duplicate and Reverse the Storyboard    266

HandOff Animation    267

Managing State Animations with Storyboards    268

Summary    272

12  Shapes, Paths, and Effects    273

Taking Shape    273

Is it a Path or a Line?    274

The New Silverlight PathListBox    282

The Magic of Effects    289

Summary    290

13 Skins, Themes, and Resource Dictionaries    293

Does It Come in Blue?    293

Resource Dictionaries    293

What Is the Difference Between a Skin and a Theme?    297

Multiple Style Resources Within a Single Skin    305

Using the ResourceVault in Your Solution    307

Creating a Default Skin    309

Using Themes in Expression Blend    310

Summary    312

14  Advanced Controls    313

Introduction    313

The WPF and Silverlight Toolkits    313

The DataGrid Control    314

The DataForm    316

Silverlight Charts    317

InkPresenter    319

AutoComplete Textbox    320

WPF Extended Toolkit    322

Summary    323

15  Windows Phone 7    325

And on the 8th Day…    325

Style and Substance with Metro    327

Tools and Add-Ins    329

Building a Simple WP7 Application    335

Adding Rotation Animation Support    346

Summary    349

A  Resources for Going Further    351

Finding Out More…    351

Short URLs    351

Expression Blend Resources    352

SketchFlow Resources    352

XAML Resources    353

Silverlight Resources    353

WPF Resources    354

Windows Phone 7 Resources    354

Surface Resources    354

C# .NET Development Resources    355

M-V-VM Resources    355

Summary    356

Index    357


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