Creating a XAML Project with Expression Blend

Expression Blend is a development tool dedicated to WPF and XAML and that allow to build Web applications too.

Creating a new project

  1. In the File menu, clic on New Project...
    A dialog box appears, it is shown below.
  2. In the dialog box, select the WPF Application icon for building an executable program (.exe) or W¨F Control Library for building a library to link to other programs.
  3. Below, in the Name field, type the name of your new project.
  4. You have also a list of programming language to choose, select one (C# or Visual Basic).
  5. Then click on OK.


Creating a new document

Once you have created a project, you can add some components. Take note you have at start a Window already created, in the file window1.xaml, and that you do not need to create one.

  1. In the File menu, clic on New Item, then you can choose between several options:
  2. In the Name field, type the name of the document or keep the default name.
  3. Thick the Include case if you want to generate code into a file, for the created document.

Now you are ready to create you first program as a binary application.

First Program with Expression Blend

Once the project created, making a first program with Expression Blend is of a disconcerting facility.

The main window of the tool has two side vertical tags, Design and XAML.
- Design displays the visual mode in which one places graphic components and then one modifies the properties, while
- XAML displays the corresponding source code.

Go to the XAML panel, the following code has been automatically generated with the project:

  Width="640" Height="480">
   <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot"/>

If you already have read the chapter First XAML program in the Silverlight tutorial, you will note that here the top container is a window and not a canvas, as it is the case for a Web page.

In addition, the contents is included into an empty Grid tag:

<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot"/>

It is in this tag where we will put out code, it thus has to be opened:

<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot">


Let us take again the code which we used in the previous chapter and place it into the container:

<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot">
       FontSize="30" >
           Hello World!

The code is saved with both the Ctrl and S keys pressed, which causes a syntax check of our code.
Our first program is finished! It remains to compile it.
To build the program, open the Project menu and click on the first command: Build Project. Check that there is no error message in the window at bottom.

If the following message is displayed, all is perfect:

Build completed

To launch our program, click on the last line of the same menu: Test project.
You should get the following window:

The binary executable program (.exe) is stored in the sub-directory bin\Debug, in the directory of your project.

Accessing C Sharp code

When you create an XAML project with Expression Blend, it generates a C# file associated with this item. To see it, click on the icon to the left of the XAML filename:

To access the C Sharp code, it is necessary to have installed Visual Studio Express at least. You can then click on Windows1.xaml.cs to enter the code editor.
A namespace is there which is the name of the project, it is the space of your application. It also contains a class of Window type, it is the main Windows of your application.