Expression Blend in Action
A developer's guide
Joel Cochran

ISBN: 9781617290299

We regret that Manning Publications will not be publishing this title.

The last draft of the manuscript is available for free. See details below.

Download PDF Manuscript


As a manuscript release, this content is unfinished work, that has not benefited from numerous steps that Manning's published books get during the publication cycles. Some of these are:

Reviews. This manuscript was not put through all of the rigorous internal editorial and external peer reviews of a typical Manning book.
Copy edit. Manning has not ensured that the spelling, grammar and style are both correct and consistent.
Technical edit. Manning cannot ensure that the code listings, screen captures, and source code are both correct and consistent--so they too should be taken with caution.
Proofreading and typesetting. You should expect errors of all kinds.

Please note that this manuscript release of Expression Blend in Action does not include an index, among other things.


Table of Contents     Resources
Part I: Getting Started with Blend
  1 Introducing Expression Blend - AVAILABLE (PDF)
  2 Demystifying Blend - AVAILABLE
  3 Working with elements - AVAILABLE
  4 Container-driven design—understanding layout - AVAILABLE
  5 Data binding in Blend - AVAILABLE

Part 2: Getting jiggy with it: styling applications
  6 Styles: adding flair to elements - AVAILABLE
  7 Templates: crafting control structure - AVAILABLE
  8 Resources and resource dictionaries - AVAILABLE
  9 Mastering the Visual State Manager - AVAILABLE

Part 3: Taking Blend to the next level
10 Animations and storyboards - AVAILABLE
11 Enhancing your BlendFu with custom behaviors - AVAILABLE
12 Discovering your inner artist - AVAILABLE

  A A brief introduction to MVVM - AVAILABLE


Whether you are creating animations or transitions, designing interactions with the business layer, or prototyping an application, WPF and Silverlight provide extraordinary expressive potential. It's not always easy, though, to turn visual concepts into working code. Expression Blend, a powerful design tool from Microsoft, translates what you see on the design surface into the declarative markup language XAML, dramatically increasing your productivity as you build UI for Silverlight and WPF applications.

For developers, Expression Blend is the fastest way to build XAML-based interfaces. Period. In Blend, you work with properties, events, projects, and solutions just as you would in Visual Studio. It's a snap to import data sources, bind data elements to control properties, create animations, and much more with little or no code behind. And better still, the code it creates is clean.

Expression Blend in Action is a unique tutorial written for developers. The book starts by demystifying Blend's features and teaching you how to configure, navigate, and use it. You'll learn a fast and simple method for application layout, how to style and theme applications and controls, and how to create compelling user experiences with animations and visual states. You'll also learn how Blend can enhance your business application development through the power of data binding, templates, and behaviors.

Because Blend produces XAML, the techniques in this book are equally effective for developing desktop, web, or Windows Phone 7 applications. For developers, Blend is all about being more productive, so the book is loaded with tips and techniques designed to save you time and help you create stunning, high-quality UI. As an added bonus, in the appendices you'll get a look at the new version of Blend for Windows Phone 7, a primer on Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) application architecture, a quick guide to Expression Design, and more.


Readers should have a working knowledge of the .NET framework. Prior experience with WPF or Silverlight is helpful but not required.


Joel Cochran is an Expression Blend MVP, an INETA Community Champion, and a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) in Windows Forms and WPF. A frequent speaker at User Groups, Code Camps, and other community events, Joel is the founder of BlendSIG, the first virtual Blend user group.


“Joel Cochran is a Microsoft MVP for Expression Blend for a reason... he really knows the tool and has a passion for using it. XAML-based technologies, including Silverlight and WPF, have a huge learning curve. Expression Blend is a tool that lowers that curve substantially, and this book lowers the learning curve for both the tool and the technology. Expression Blend can be intimidating to developers who are used to Visual Studio. Joel provides a fantastic introduction to Expression Blend, showing its ease of use, its power, and many of the hard-to-discover tricks that had previously only been available through dozens of hours of trial and error.”
—Mike Lawton, Manager of Software Engineering