Blend for Visual Studio, Expression Blend

Extending Blend for Visual Studio

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, I wrote a couple of tutorials on how to write extensions for Expression Blend. Today there’s still not much information available on how to write your own extensions. But it is still possible to extend Blend for Visual Studio. The way to do this is slightly changed though. I recently came across a question at StackOverflow.com that made me decide to update/rewrite some that older tutorials. Instead of building some dummy extension I’d like to show you how to build an extensions that might be useful for developers of Windows Store…

.NET, Silverlight, Visual Studio

NuGet

If you often use open source libraries you probably have a large library with various tools, like I do. NuGet is an extension for visual studio that enables you to install, uninstall and upgrade open source packages into your application very easily. Say for example you want to use MvvmLight or Ninject in your project, with NuGet it’s nothing more that tell it to add the package to your project. NuGet NuGet (formerly known as NuPack) is a free, open source developer focused package management system for the .NET platform. You can download the .vsix extension at http://nuget.codeplex.com. After installing…

Expression Blend

Gradient Importer for Expression Blend

Intro Adobe Photoshop offers people the possibility to share gradients through .GRD files. These files can be found very easily on various sites. This extension for Expression Blend allows you to import these files and use them in your Silverlight or WPF projects. The extension makes use of some changes to Expression Blend made in SP1. You must have Blend SP1 installed to use this extension. Know limitations The extension isn’t finished yet. I haven’t worked out all the bugs yet, but this first release should enable you to import most of the .GRD files. In Adobe Photoshop it is…

Expression Blend

Building a “real” extension for Expression Blend

Last time I showed you how to get started building extensions for Expression Blend. Lets build a useful extension this time and go a bit deeper into Blend. Source of project  => here Compiled dll => here (extract into /extensions folder of Expression Blend)   The Extension When working on large Xaml files in Blend it’s often hard to find a specific control in the "Objects and Timeline Pane”. An extension that searches the active document and presents all elements that satisfy the query would be helpful. When the user starts typing a search query a search will be performed…

Expression Blend

Building extensions for Expression Blend 4 using MEF

Introduction Although it was possible to write extensions for Expression Blend and Expression Design, it wasn’t very easy and out of the box only one addin could be used. With Expression Blend 4 it is possible to write extensions using MEF, the Managed Extensibility Framework. Until today there’s no documentation on how to build these extensions, so look thru the code with Reflector is something you’ll have to do very often. Because Blend and Design are build using WPF searching the visual tree with Snoop and Mole belong to the tools you’ll be using a lot exploring the possibilities. Scott…