Action Bar

In Microsoft Expression Design, the Action Bar at the bottom of your document window not only displays information about objects you have selected on your page, it also enables you to change and transform those objects. The Action Bar is empty until you select at least one item.

To display the Action Bar

  • In the document window, select your image or any part of your image.

The Action Bar


The following tables describe the elements of the Action Bar.

Cc294733.ce7642e8-2d96-40b9-a89a-0494e481344c(en-us,Expression.40).pngTransform options


The Transform Options menu provides options on how information is displayed on the actions you take.

Select Relative Transform to display the X and Y parameters as 0.

Select Scale as Percentage to display the W (width) and H (height) parameters as a percentage of the original object.

Cc294733.29c262fc-55b9-4740-bef8-a8e2a91d59cc(en-us,Expression.40).pngRegistration point


Use the Registration point to indicate which part of the selected object you want to stay stationary during scaling, rotating, or skewing. For example, if you select the center point and then change the Angle control, the object rotates around its center point.

The Registration point also reflects the position of the X and Y coordinates (covered later in this topic).

Cc294733.de7c589d-cd00-4e46-af22-5e95fbabfcf2(en-us,Expression.40).pngX and Y


The X field displays the object's horizontal position based on the document page, and the Y field displays the object's vertical position.

To modify the position of the object from the Action Bar, select the appropriate control and do either of the following:

  • Drag the slider pointer Cc294733.4e5995b1-3fea-43b2-bb30-1ca173d950e0(en-us,Expression.40).png up or to the right to increase the value, or down or to the left to reduce the value.

  • Click the control, and type a numeric value.

For more information about page measurement systems, see Units and Grids options.

Cc294733.90d1279a-4874-40c4-b325-83c4902ded2f(en-us,Expression.40).pngW (width) and H (height)


The W (width) and H (height) controls display the size of the object. The W and H fields are typically linked. Therefore, changing one value changes the other. You can turn the linking on or off by clicking the Unlink width and height sliders icon Cc294733.e63464e3-7055-47dc-8d14-eeac15e49279(en-us,Expression.40).png between the two fields.

To view the displays in percentages, from the Transform Options menu, select Scale as Percentage.

For more information about width and height controls, see Scale objects.



The Rotate control displays the angle of the object around the Registration point. Positive numbers indicate a counter-clockwise rotation.

For more information, see Rotate objects.



The Skew control displays the skew amount of the object. Increasing the value skews the top of the object to the right.

Note that setting the Rotate and Skew fields to the same value "shears" the object (or skews it vertically).

For more information, see Skew objects.


if you click any one of these controls to adjust its value numerically, you can press the TAB key to move to the next field, or press SHIFT+TAB to move to the previous field.

Additional controls

When you select two or more objects on your page, the Action Bar displays the Align, Stack, and Path controls. When you select three or more objects, you will see the Distribute control.

Additional Action Bar options, displaying the Align pop-up list

Additional controls

The following tables describe the additional elements of the Action Bar.


From the Align menu, select how you want the individual objects to be aligned with each other.

For more information, see Align objects.


From the Distribute menu, select how you want the individual objects to be distributed in the group.

For more information, see Distribute objects.


From the Stack menu, select how you want your objects arranged on the document page.

For more information, see Stack objects.

Cc294733.90d1279a-4874-40c4-b325-83c4902ded2f(en-us,Expression.40).png Path

From the Path menu, select how you want the paths from the objects to be connected.

For more information, see Perform path operations.

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