Making more room to work

The Microsoft Expression Blend workspace consists of menus, panels, panel groups, and a design area called the artboard. Depending on the work that you are doing, you might want to change the locations of the panels, resize them, or move them out of the Expression Blend window to a different location on the desktop.

Working with panels

You can resize a workspace panel (such as the Project panel) to give yourself more area for the artboard or more room to view panel contents. If you want to temporarily hide panels, you can collapse individual ones using the AutoHide feature, or hide all of them at once using the F4 keyboard shortcut. If you want to remove a panel from the workspace, you can use the Window menu to clear the check mark next to the panel name.

For more information, see the following topics:

Alternatively, you can drag panels by their tabs and move them to a different location inside the workspace, to outside the workspace on the desktop, or even to another monitor connected to the same computer. You can still resize them in their new location.

For more information, see Float, dock, or move a workspace panel.

Working with the artboard

You can use the mouse to zoom in on or out from the artboard. You can also press CTRL+9 to make the selected object fill the entire view so that you can work on it in detail. To quickly zoom back to actual size, press CTRL+1.

You can also quickly move the artboard around by holding down the SPACEBAR while dragging anywhere inside the artboard.

All the zoom and pan options are described in Zoom or pan the artboard.

You can view the visual design of your document in a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) format in Design view, or you can view the XAML markup that Expression Blend generates for your design in XAML view. You can modify your application in both views, although modifying XAML by hand can cause errors if you are not familiar with XAML syntax. For information about changing the artboard view, see View your design or the XAML that defines your design. For more information about working with XAML, see Editing XAML.

In Expression Blend, you can also view and modify a code-behind file for your document by double-clicking the file name (ending in .cs, .vb, or .js) in the Projects panel.

For more information, see Modify a code-behind file.

Workspace presets

Expression Blend comes with two predefined workspace layouts (presets):

  • Animation   This workspace preset makes animation easier by moving the Objects and Timeline panel under the artboard so that you can stretch the timeline across the width of the Expression Blend window.

  • Design   This workspace preset makes it easier to see all the objects, effects, and behaviors in your object tree by moving the Objects and Timeline panel to the left side of the artboard.

For more information, see Make more room for the animation timeline.


If you modify the layout of the workspace after selecting one of the presets, that preset will not change—you'll have to save it as a new workspace configuration.

Saving your workspace

After you have moved and resized your workspace panels and crafted the perfect workspace for you to work optimally, you can save the workspace under a descriptive name and return to it later. With Expression Blend, you can save multiple workspace configurations and manage them in a separate window. For more information, see Saving different views of your workspace.

See also


Turn snapping on or off


Setting workspace colors and fonts

Other resources

Areas of the workspace