What's new


Open up your PHP websites to the visual world of standards-based design by using advanced code editing features and effortless browser previewing.

Microsoft Expression Web 2 enables you to preview PHP pages in your web browser without installing a separate development server or having to upload your website to a server. Just click the Preview in Browser button and you're done.

Code view provides customizable color coding to help you identify the different components in your PHP syntax, and also provides PHP IntelliSense (auto complete), which lets you quickly look up and insert code. PHP IntelliSense options let you control the amount of IntelliSense that is provided.

You can efficiently insert common PHP code snippets in either Design view or Code view from the Insert menu. When you want to reuse content on multiple PHP pages, such as for a header or navigation menu, you can use a PHP include and preview it in Design view. Formatting marks in Design view identify your PHP script and enable you to modify the script outside Code view.

For more information, see PHP overview.

Byte order mark options

When you're designing documents encoded as Unicode UTF-8, a byte order mark (BOM) is typically a good thing to have embedded in your documents. But if you're working with PHP pages, or use a server or other tools that do not support a BOM, an embedded BOM can cause unwanted characters to appear in your document, or can create other issues. Expression Web 2 lets you add or remove a BOM in existing documents, and control whether a BOM is added to new documents.

For more information, see Add or remove byte order marks.

Silverlight 1.0

Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross–platform plug-in for delivering rich interactive applications for the web. You can use Expression Web 2 to either modify the HTML file that was generated by your Silverlight-authoring program or insert a Silverlight-based application into a web page.

For more information, see Insert a Silverlight-based application into a page.

Flash and Windows Media

Expression Web 2 lets you insert Flash SWF and Windows Media files into your pages, edit their properties, and preview your Flash files in Design view. In addition, you can insert and run any other type of ActiveX control, such as QuickTime or RealPlayer.

For more information, see Insert and edit Flash (.swf), Windows Media, and other media files , Set Windows Media properties, Set Flash SWF properties, Preview Flash SWF files in Design view, and Security and ActiveX controls overview.

Photoshop Import

Expression Web 2 enables you to generate a .png, .gif, or .jpeg file from a Photoshop .psd file and select the Photoshop layers you want to include or exclude from the image. After using Expression Web 2 to generate a web-optimized image, you can quickly start Adobe Photoshop to modify the original .psd file and then update the image that you generated with Expression Web.

For more information, see Generate an image from a Photoshop .psd file.


Expression Web 2 provides you with ASP.NET AJAX server controls that enable you to quickly create web pages that include a rich user experience with responsive and familiar user interface (UI) elements. By using AJAX features, you can improve the user experience with web pages that are richer, that are more responsive to user actions, and that behave like traditional client applications.

ASP.NET AJAX server controls supported by Expression Web 2 include the UpdatePanel, Timer, UpdateProgress, ScriptManager, and ScriptManagerProxy controls.


To work with these controls in Expression Web 2, you must install ASP.NET AJAX or the .NET Framework 3.5. See Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 or ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 in the Microsoft Download Center online.

For more information, see Partial-page rendering overview and ASP.NET AJAX controls overview.

Custom ASP.NET controls

Expression Web 2 supports custom ASP.NET controls that you have put in the BIN folder of your website. You can preview custom controls and access the Common Tasks smart tag menu in Design view, edit properties, and use IntelliSense and syntax checking in Code view.

You can use custom ASP.NET controls developed by others, such as those featured in the Control Gallery on the Microsoft ASP.NET website, or create custom controls by using a visual design tool such as Microsoft Visual Studio.

For more information, see Custom ASP.NET controls.

ASP.NET data controls

Expression Web 2 provides the new DataPager and ListView ASP.NET controls. The ListView control is useful for displaying data in any repeating structure, similar to the DataList and Repeater controls. Unlike those controls, the ListView control supports edit, insert, and delete operations, and also sorting and paging. You use the DataPager control to enable users to page through data in a ListView control.

For more information, see ListView control and DataPager control.


To work with these controls in Expression Web 2, you must install the .NET Framework 3.5. See Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 in the Microsoft Download Center online.

FTP publishing

Expression Web 2 enables you to set the FTP publishing mode to Passive FTP or normal FTP, and save your FTP user name and password.

For more information, see Connect to a server by using FTP.


The Design view in Expression Web 2 now renders the CSS overflow property.

The Compatibility Reports in Expression Web 2 now check external CSS files, in addition to embedded style sheets, for compatibility with the CSS schema you specify.

For more information, see Compatibility task pane, Generate a compatibility report , and Cascading style sheet reports.

HTML file extension

Expression Web 2 lets you set your preference for the default HTML file name extension. For more information, see Set the default HTML file extension.

Alphabetized HTML attributes

A new setting in the Code Formatting options in the Page Editor Options dialog box enables you to control whether HTML attributes are alphabetized or not in the code of your web pages. By default, tag attributes are now written in alphabetical order when Expression Web 2 adds HTML tags to your page. Existing tags in a page are affected by the new setting only if you apply the Reformat HTML command to the page. For more information, see Format code.