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Posted 26 Apr 2010
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StarterKits for Silverlight and Expression

, 26 Apr 2010
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StarterKits for Silverlight and the Expression Tools

Introduction - StarterKits for Silverlight and the Expression Tools

Lately I’ve seen some tweets passing by with links to various StarterKits. I’ve decided to "Bing” around a little and find out what these people were talking about. There are quite a few StarterKits available on various topics. I’ve listed a few below, old and new ones, that I find relevant to my fields of interest: Silverlight and the Expression Blend, Design and Web.

expression blend 3 icon

Building a Zune Website with Expression Blend 3 StarterKit

In this lab, you will learn how to use Expression Blend and Visual Studio to build a Zune mini-website

This hands-on-lab explains how to build a Silverlight application to view a Zune in various colors. The labs shows a couple of Silverlight concepts like data binding, Perspective 3D and Out of Browser. It contains four exercises:

  1. Control styling and templating
  2. Save files to disc
  3. Perspective 3D
  4. Out of browser

Result of Building a Zune Website with Expression Blend 3 StarterKit

expression blend 3 icon

Creating a ColorSwatch With Expression Blend 3 Starter Kit

Learn how to create a fun and colorful color swatch control using Expression Blend 3 custom layout controls. In this Starter Kit you will find assets, labs and a video collection.

This StarterKit explains how to build a Color Swatch control in detail. The kit contains 10 modules each with a Word document walking you through every step, a video and Visual Studio solution containing the code:

  1. Using Blends Sample Data Feature and Importing XML Data into Expression Blend
  2. Creating the Style for the SwatchListBox
  3. Binding the Values to the XML Data Object
  4. Importing a Custom Panel into the Project and using it for the List Box
  5. Creating the Details Balloon
  6. Binding Data to the Details Balloon
  7. Adding the Details Balloon VisualStateGroup
  8. Adding Events
  9. Adding and Using the ListBoxSentToTop.cs Behavior
  10. Testing and Modifying the Color Swatch Application



Expression Web 3 Super Preview Starter Kit

Use this Expression Web 3 Super Preview Starter Kit to become familiar with Super Preview.

This StarterKit talks you through a lot of features of Super Preview, which is part of Expression Web 3. The Kit contains four modules, each made out of a video, a Word document and the assets needed. The modules are titled:

  1. An Introduction to SuperPreview
  2. Defining Baseline Browsers and Comparing Image Mockups
  3. Identifying the Source of Layout Problems
  4. Working with the DOM View



Microsoft® Expression® Design Portfolio Starter Kit 

Get hands-on support in standards-compliant Web design.

This StarterKit contains the code for an ASP.NET site for a design portfolio and a document on how to customize it.

This StarterKit is an older one, but still useful. It’s not as comprehensive as the newer ones. I think it’s a nice foundation to build a new site on.



Silverlight Support Web 3 StarterKit

The download site for this StarterKit contains little information about the Kit. The contents however are surprisingly extensive. It explains stuff about Silverlight, Expression Web and SuperPreview, among other things. The Kit contains six modules each with a video, a Word document and example code.

  1. Introduction to Inserting Silverlight Content with Expression Web 3
  2. Inserting Silverlight Content into a Web Page Using Expression Web 3
  3. Using Dynamic Web Templates in Expression Web 3
  4. Inserting Silverlight Video into a Web Page Using Expression Web 3
  5. Adding Deep Zoom Content to a Web Page Using Expression Web 3
  6. Using Expression Web’s Publishing Feature to Deploy Your Web Site


expression blend 3 icon

Prototyping with Sketchflow in Expression Blend 3 Starter Kit

New in expression Blend 3 is SketchFlow. This extensive StarterKit explains a how to build a prototype of a Snowboard shop in Silverlight. The kit contains all videos, guides and example code you need. The kit is divided into 12 modules:

  1. Introducing SketchFlow
  2. Adding Navigation Screens in SketchFlow
  3. Building a Basic Layout in SketchFlow
  4. Adding SketchStyle Controls to Enhance a SketchFlow Layout
  5. Working with Components
  6. Adding Navigation to Buttons in SketchFlow
  7. Working with States in SketchFlow
  8. Working with SketchFlow Animation
  9. Working with Behaviors
  10. Using Sample Data in SketchFlow
  11. Using SketchFlow and SketchFlow Player to Track Feedback
  12. Exporting Your SketchFlow Project



Standards Based Websites with Expression Web 3 Starter Kit

Learn how to create standards based websites with Expression Web 3 using this Starter Kit that includes assets, labs and videos.

This StarterKit explains what standards can be used in Expression Web 3 and why you can benefit from them. The guide explains uses of CSS and HTML best practices. Again, the kit contains code, videos and Word documents spread over 10 modules:

  1. Understanding the Benefits of Standards-Based Design with Expression Web
  2. Best Practices for Markup and Using Multiple Style Sheets
  3. Using CSS Properties to Create a Unique Heading in Expression Web
  4. Creating a Site Navigation Bar in CSS Using Expression Web
  5. Creating a Site Navigation Bar in CSS Using Expression Web (Part 2)
  6. Working with Images Using CSS
  7. Create a Two Column Layout with Expression Web (Part 1: CSS Floats)
  8. Create a Two Column Layout with Expression Web (Part 2: CSS Floats)
  9. Modifying CSS Layouts with Margins and Padding
  10. Testing Your Site with Snapshot and SuperPreview


expression blend 3 icon

Venture Into Gaming Expression Blend 3 Starter Kit

Explore gaming using Microsoft Expression Blend 3 Starter Kit

This last StarterKit is my personal favorite. What's more fun than building a real game? This one explains everything. From importing assets in Expression Blend to Testing it in SuperPreview. All using Silverlight. This StarterKit is a great place to start if you’re new to Silverlight and the Expression toolset. But even if you’re a more experienced Silverlight developer, I recommend reading through this one. As a lot of other StarterKits, this one contains videos, guides and videos in 10 parts:

  1. Organizing and Importing Assets into Expression Blend
  2. Creating the Game Interface Using Expression Blend 3
  3. Understanding Layout Containers
  4. Creating a UserControl
  5. Adding and Applying Behaviors
  6. Adding Walls and Creating Animations
  7. Animating Controls with the Visual State Manager
  8. Working with Text and Embedding Fonts in Expression Blend
  9. Adding Audio Resources to a Silverlight Game
  10. Publishing and Testing your Silverlight Game



This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Timmy Kokke
Software Developer (Senior) Centric Netherlands B.V.
Netherlands Netherlands
Microsoft MVP Client Dev . Founder of, the Dutch Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps usergroup. XAML / HTML5 developer. Writer. Composer. Musician.


Awards / Honers
• October 2010,2011,2012,2013: Awarded Microsoft Expression Blend MVP
• June 2009: Second Place in the WinPHP challenge
• February 2009: Runner-up in de Mix09 10k Challenge
• June 2008: Winner of the Microsoft expression development contest at

I started programming around 1992, when my father had bought our first home computer. I used GWBasic at that time. After using QBasic and Pascal for a few years I started to learn C/C++ in 1996. I went to the ICT Academy in 1997 and finnished it in 2002. Until December 2007 I worked as a 3D specialist. Besides modelling I worked on different development projects like a 3D based Scheduler and different simultion tools in C# and Java. Though out the years I've gained much experience with ASP.NET, Silverlight, Windows Phone and WinRT.

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