How to use Tool Menu in Microsoft Expression Blend

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Tool Menu

Tool Menu in Microsoft Expression Blend has the option for Creating Layer, Make Button, Make Control, Make Image 3D, Make Brush Resource, Edit Brush Resource, Font Manager, Options.



Create New Layer

Create New Layer allows us to create a layer. Objects can be created in different layers.




See the above figure, which has created rectangle and circle in different layers. Layers allow easy handling of objects. You can hide or show layers according to your convenience.


Make Button




Creating a button in a Microsoft Expression Blend application involves drawing out the elements that make up your button, wrapping them in a layout panel for easy copying, and writing JavaScript code that will perform some action when there are button events (such as when someone clicks on your button).


Make Control


Select an object or group of objects and hit F8 and it will pop a Make Control dialog.




This will create a new xaml file that copies all the appropriate XAML from the previous xaml file. Choose any name of the user control "mycontrol.xaml".


You can see the recently created control in the Toolbox of Asset Library. Now the control is ready to be used




Now you can use this control wherever you want.


Make Image 3D


This command is used to convert a 2D image into 3D. Later the 3D image can be used to have camera options and properties




Above figure shows an example of a 2D image converted to 3D object.


Make Brush Resources


You can make a reusable brush or color that you can then apply to other objects. Resources have an advantage over copying and applying attributes because you can change the resource in one location. When you do this, all the objects that use the resource are instantly updated.


To create a resource brush creates an object and makes a color of your choice.




Click on the Convert brush to resource to make your brush.




The brush created will be seen in your Bush Resource in the property panel.




Now the brush resource is available for use.


Edit Brush Resources


You can edit brush resource, which you have created previously.





Now change the brush accordingly. The brush will now be saved with new changes.


Font Manager




Font Manager is used to add custom fonts, which are used in the project to be embedded. A custom font must be embedded so that your users will see it. If the user does not have your chosen font, a default system font will be used to format your text.



Options in the Tool menu is used related to settings in the Blend.



It is used to change the theme of the expression blend and set the default zoom orientation.








Code editor




Code editor shows the setting for editors. You can set the default font and size for the text. Beside that there are option for tab settings, spaces and word wrapping.


Event handlers


You can create event in expression blend. The events may be difficult to explain here. So you can visit the link to understand event handlers better








Artboard option is used to set Snapping, Layout and Background of the design.






Used to set default mode of the document view either to Design view, Split view or XAML view.