Getting started

Welcome to Microsoft Expression Blend, a full-featured professional design tool for creating engaging and sophisticated user interfaces for Microsoft Windows applications that are built on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and for web applications that are built on Microsoft Silverlight. Expression Blend lets designers focus on creativity while letting developers focus on programming.


The Silverlight runtime viewer is installed along with the Silverlight SDK when you install Expression Blend. Expression Blend uses this version of the runtime to display your project in Design view, but when you test your Silverlight application, the application will be rendered using the version of Silverlight that your browser uses. Your browser might use a version of the runtime that is more recent than the version that was installed with Expression Blend if you have visited a website that required a newer version of the runtime.

Getting started

Start learning about Expression Blend by reading the following topics:

Helpful things to know when you read topics

  • If a topic does not apply to both WPF and Silverlight, a gray box appears at the top of the topic to let you know the project types to which it applies. Specific version differences are explained in notes.

  • To collapse all the sections in a topic to view a list of headings, click the Collapse All link at the top of the topic.

  • To print a topic, click inside the topic window, and then press CTRL+P.