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Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed By Brennon Williams

Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed
by Brennon Williams

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Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed Summary

Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed by Brennon Williams

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

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About Brennon Williams

Brennon Williams is the Chief Technology Officer for the award-winning UK design and development agency, Splendid. Brennon is also a technical advisor to several companies around the world, specializing in the implementation of designer/developer collaboration and workflows.

For almost two decades, Brennon has worked in several countries as a consultant software developer and technical advisor.

Owner of the website which is due to be launched in 2011, Brennon's technology insights can also be followed at his personal blog,

Brennon was awarded a BS in Computer Science from NYU and has received the Microsoft MVP award for Expression Blend 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

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

Additional information

Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Unleashed by Brennon Williams
Brennon Williams
Used - Very Good
Pearson Education (US)
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.