Blend 2 December Preview and Blend SP1 are Available!

image With the recent release of Visual Studio 2008, the December Preview of Expression Blend 2 is available now to better integrate with VS2008 and support designers and developers working together. Also, just last week, the Expression Blend team released Blend (i.e. Blend 1) Service Pack 1 to enhance its integration with VS2008 and update Blend with latest changes and minor fixes. If you have the release version of Blend or Expression Blend installed on your machine, make sure you download the SP1.

The following are some of changes made between the Expression Blend September Preview and the December Preview. For the detailed list, see here.

  • Font Embedding and Subsetting
    More of WPF's text properties are now exposed via Blend: Beyond just providing access to new properties, Blend December Preview also allows you to have greater control over how fonts are embedded so that users who do not have the specified font installed on their machines can still view the content as designed.
  • Support for WPF 3.5's 3D Features
    WPF 3.5 introduces some new 3D types, and while Blend doesn't allow you to use them directly, one can make modifications manually in XAML to use them. Manually created 3D objects using the new types are recognized by Blend, and one can use the 3D adorners to manipulate those objects in the scene.
  • Web Site Projects Listen for External File Changes
    When editing a web site project simultaneously in Blend as well as Visual Studio, any changes made in Visual Studio are now properly picked up by Blend.
  • Improved Keyboard Shortcuts Consistency with Expression Design
    A number of keyboard shortcuts in Blend have been updated to be more consistent with the keyboard shortcuts in Expression Design.
  • Silverlight Projects are now Treated as Web Sites
    New Silverlight 1.0 projects will be created in the form of Web Sites as opposed to Application.

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