Creating a WPF App Using Blend - Page 1
       by kirupa  |  30 June 2007

A large portion of software development occurs on the desktop, and there are a host of tools and languages you can use for creating graphical applications. In the past, creating applications with a graphical user interface (GUI) required a good understanding of not only a programming language but also how to deal with displaying pixels on the screen and the various hardware configurations your applications will run on. A lot of the functionality you take for granted as a developer these days had to be implemented manually, and to make things more interesting, the GUI had to developed non-visually using code.

Today, writing GUI applications has become much easier. With the increased use of frameworks such as .NET, you spend more time implementing higher-level features instead of fiddling with lower-level basic functionality. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), which is a major component of the .NET Framework, allows you to easily incorporate graphics, videos, animations, 3D, sound, and more into your applications. Beyond just supporting all sorts of graphics/multimedia content, programs such as Expression Blend make it easy for even non-developers to take advantage of WPF's features using an easy-to-use visual IDE for designing cool-looking applications.

In this tutorial, I will explain how to create a simple WPF app using Expression Blend for the design and Visual Studio / Visual C# Express 2005 for the few lines of code that we will write. You can download and install a fully-functional trial version of Blend and the free version of Visual C# 2005 Express by clicking the links below:

Download Visual C# 2005 Express
Download Expression Blend Trial

You only need a basic understanding of Blend and Visual Studio / C# for this tutorial, and this tutorial will go through in detail outlining what you need to do to create a simple application. If you already have Visual Studio 2005 installed, the instructions in this tutorial will apply to you also because Visual C# Express 2005 is, for the purposes of this tutorial, almost identical to the larger Visual Studio 2005 application.

At the end of this tutorial, you will have created an application that looks like the following image. Click here or on the image to run on your computer. If you are using Firefox, be sure to download the FFClickOnce extension to be able to run ClickOnce apps directly without having to download the files first:

Beyond just designing the look of your application in Blend, you will also learn how to use Visual Studio / Visual C# Express to make some text appear when you click on a button. One of the main goals of this tutorial is to get you familiarized with the integration between Blend and Visual Studio / Express to create something simple, and future tutorials will expand upon this to help you create more useful applications.

Do not let the length of this tutorial sway you. What can be explained in fewer pages has been expanded into many pages to help you better understand why and how some of the things work the way they do. Hopefully, if you are just starting out using Blend or Windows programming, you will find some of the detailed explanations beneficial.

 Anyhoo, let's get started...on the next page!

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