Setting Up Expression Web 3.0

Now that you have installed Expression Web 3.0, you can make some changes in the default setup of the program that will make Expression Web easier to work with and enhance your working experience and, perhaps, lower your frustration level.

This page is a brief summary of the various settings.  Select from the Page Editor Options tabs:

Each of these is explained in greater detail in Tina Clarke's FREE Setting Up Expression Web 3.0.

NOTE: If you have downloaded the Service Pak and want to change and use your Windows Color Scheme rather than the black default, Tools > Application Options > General Tab > Use your current Windows color scheme. The result will depend on what color scheme you are using.

Tools > Page Editor Options > General Tab

Screenshot > Page Editor Options > General Tab.
Fig 1: Page Editor Options >General Tab (click thumbnail to view larger image)

I tick everything except:

  • Assign unique IDs to new tables
  • Selection margin
  • Automatically switch keyboard to language of surrounding text

Tools > Page Editor Options > Code Formatting Tab

Screenshot Page Editor Options > Code Formatting Tab.
Fig 2: Page Editor Options > Code Formatting Tab  (click thumbnail to view larger image)

Tick 'tag names are lowercase' and 'attribute names are lowercase' - the default doctype for Expression Web 3 is XHTML, which requires all code be written in  lowercase. Even if you decide to change your doctype to HTML rather than XHTML, it is a good habit to get into and will make a future change easier.

Tick 'indent properties on new line.'

Tick 'Use shorthand properties when generating styles.'

Tools > Page Editor Options > CSS Tab

Screenshot > Page Editor Options > CSS Tab.
Fig 3: Page Editor Options > CSS Tab (click thumbnail to view larger image)

If you are new to CSS, tick the Auto Style Application.

The Page properties on the <body> tag should be set to rules and everything else to classes

  • Page properties on the <body>tag
  • Font and text
  • Background
  • Borders
  • Padding and margins
  • Sizing, positioning, and floating
  • Bullets and numbering

Tools > Page Editor Options > Authoring Tab

Screenshot Page Editor Options > Authoring Tab.
Fig 4: Page Editor Options > Authoring Tab (click thumbnail to view larger image)

For New Documents:

  • Tick your default file extension htm or html. It does not matter which one you choose, just be consistent.
  • Adding a BOM on PHP pages causes problems because it will appear on the webpage disrupting the display. Introduced in EW 2.0 and available in EW 3.0 is the ability to turn off the addition of a byte order mark in UTF-8 pages by file extension. By default, only the .php extension has the BOM turned off.  I turn it off on all pages.  I do so by clearing the checkmark from each the file extensions listed.

Doctype and Secondary Schema - The default settings are:

  • Document Type Declaration - XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • Secondary Schema - Internet Explorer 8.0

CSS Schema - the default setting is:

  • CSS Schema: - CSS 2.1

Tools > Page Editor Options > Intellisense Tab

Screenshot Page Editor Options Intellisense Tab.
Fig 5: Page Editor Options > Intellisense Tab (click thumbnail to view larger image)

Tick all the boxes provided. Intellisense works in Code View and allows you to  look up and insert code that's compatible at the place in your code where your cursor is currently located.

In Code View, place your cursor where you want the tag and type the opening <.  When the Intellisense menu pops up, scroll to the entry you want. You can press Enter or double-click to insert it. Intellisense is also available when you are editing an existing tag or from the Quick Tag bar.

Intellisense can also be using while working with CSS.

There are other tabs you can explore under the Page Editor Options settings, but the ones listed above are the main ones. For greater detail, download Setting Up Expression Web 3. by Tina Clarke.

EW 3.0  .htm bug

If you choose to use the .htm file extension, be aware that there is a bug in Expression Web 3.0. If you use any of the generic site templates that ship with Expression Web or any third party Site Templates to create your website, and have selected the .htm file extension, you will see before your eyes the index.html page change to default.html.  If you blink, you may miss this. This is a little known bug.

If you have it set the default extension to .html then your homepage extension will remain index.html. You can, of course, rename your homepage file to whatever your host requires by right clicking on the selected link in Folder List View (Panels - Folder List or Alt + F21) and choosing 'Rename'.

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