About the Silverlight Documentation

Microsoft Silverlight will reach end of support after October 2021. Learn more.

This documentation applies to Silverlight 5. It is designed primarily for developers writing XAML and any of the supported languages, including C# and Visual Basic. This topic describes how to get and use the documentation. For a list of resources for learning Silverlight, see Resources for Getting Started at the end of this topic.

This topic contains the following sections.

  • How to Get the Documentation
  • Organization
  • Versions of Silverlight Supported
  • Code Examples
  • Providing Feedback
  • Resources for Getting Started
  • Related Topics

How to Get the Documentation

The Silverlight documentation is delivered in two formats:


The Silverlight documentation contains the following sections:

Versions of Silverlight Supported

In order to not duplicate content in different locations on the web, multiple versions of Silverlight are covered in the same set of documentation. Below is a list of tips for finding version-specific information:

  • You can see what versions of Silverlight an API is supported in by scrolling down to the “Version Information” section of the API document.

  • For APIs that are supported in multiple versions of Silverlight, version differences (if any), are called out in version information notes in the remarks section of the API reference topic.

  • Specific version notes are sometimes available in overviews, tutorials, etc. In a few cases, there are separate versions of the same document (e.g. Digital Rights Management (DRM), versus Digital Rights Management (Silverlight 3)). This is done when version behavior for a given scenario or feature differs too much for version notes to cover in a single document.

  • Reference information for Silverlight as it applies to Windows Phone is also included in this documentation set. To determine if a particular API is supported in Silverlight for Windows Phone, check the "Version Information" section in the API. For conceptual documentation, you should read Silverlight for Windows Phone. This conceptual documentation describes the features that are supported and the differences when developing for Silverlight for Windows Phone.

If you are upgrading an application that was originally compiled for a previous version of Silverlight, or if you have any questions about the compatibility of a previous Silverlight application with current Silverlight runtimes, see Silverlight Versions and Version Compatibility.

As a general rule, code snippets or example code in this documentation is relevant to the most recent version of Silverlight. In some cases, example code or snippets in this documentation might not run in all versions, if it intersects one of the issues noted in Silverlight Versions and Version Compatibility.

Code Examples

The documentation provides many code examples that demonstrate how to use the Silverlight APIs. You can copy and paste this code into your own project and then modify it for your purposes. Some code snippets use a Demo method as a harness. To build and run these samples, follow the steps defined in Building Examples That Use a Demo Method and a TextBlock Control.

Some code examples are preceded with "Run this sample" links, which shows the code example running as a full application. For more information, see Silverlight Samples.

Providing Feedback

Each page of documentation provides a way to give feedback on the content. The feedback mechanism varies depending on the documentation format:

  • Online. In the top-right corner is a 5-star rating. Click the number of stars you feel represents the quality of the content (1 star is poor, 5 stars is excellent). A comments box allows you to enter more detailed feedback. If you don't want to provide written feedback, move your cursor away from the box without clicking the Send button.

  • Offline. In the top-left corner is a "Send Feedback" link. Click this link to open an e-mail message where you can write your feedback and send it to the documentation team.

Resources for Getting Started

The following list describes resources for getting started developing Silverlight-based applications:

  • Silverlight Documentation

  • Silverlight.net

    • Silverlight.net: A general Silverlight developer site that provides resources such as samples, QuickStarts, white papers, instructional videos, forums, and blogs.

    • QuickStarts: An area on Silverlight.net that demonstrates common tasks.

  • Tools

  • Silverlight for Designers

    • Microsoft Expression Blend: A professional design tool used to create and modify the visual design of a Silverlight application.

    • XAML Overview: A description of XAML, which is a powerful declarative markup language that is the foundation for creating engaging graphics, animation, and media in Silverlight. XAML is similar to HTML, but it is more powerful and extensible.

  • Samples