Blend for Visual Studio HTML/CSS WYSIWYG editor only for windows apps not for web/asp.net apps? RRS feed

  • Question

  • User947904293 posted

    Hi there,

    In the process of learning Visual Studio (VS) and ASP.NET, I initially thought that I could use Blend for VS's seemingly great HTML/CSS WYSIWYG editor to visually design the HTML pages and CSS for a web app developped with VS, whether it be with ASP.NET MVC or Django (using Python Tools for Visual Studio).

    But now it dawned on me that Blend for VS seems to only be meant to design HTML/CSS for native Windows 8 apps, and not web apps.

    Can someone confirm that this is indeed the case?

    Thanks a lot in advance for clarifying this point for me.

    PS: Maybe this a dumb newbie question, but from the outside, it seems rather counter-intuitive to offer a top-notch tool for web standards (HTML/CSS) edition (Blend for VS), all integrated with a top-notch tool for web development (VS) but prohibiting the web developer community to leverage the productivity gains of both the former and the integration. This is especially puzzling given that the latest components of the ASP framework (MVC, SPA projects):

    - Pushes for reliance on HTML elements and CSS instead of ASP elements and Skin files;

    - VS apparently also does not provide a visual design page view for ASP.MVC projects, which is sure to make many development teams wary of migrating from web forms to MVC.

    Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:36 AM


  • User281315223 posted

    Based on the initial templates available for Blend through Visual Studio 2013, it would appear that it only targets Windows 8 applications as you mentioned :

    And I haven't really seen anything that indicates that it could be used as just a universal HTML / CSS editor as you might expect. Personally, I have always been fond of using Visual Studio to handle all of my CSS needs, but I do remember using Microsoft's Expression Web application as well.

    Consider Expression Web

    Although the Microsoft Expression series has been discontinued, I was always a big advocate of Expression Web which was roughly a Microsoft equivalent to Dreamweaver, which made it incredibly easy to handle basically all of the things that you can do within Dreamweaver and easily transfer those changes to your .NET Projects.

    You can still download Expression Web at the site below : 

    The Difficulties of a Design View

    I agree wholeheartedly regarding the sentence you mentioned about Visual Studio lacking a virtual design page (and it consequently deterring Web Forms users from migrating to MVC). An accurate design view is likely much more difficult with the advent of the Razor View engine since code could / would be used to actually populate the Views themselves, which might also take into consideration CSS. All of these things make it increasingly more difficult to provide an accurate "preview" similar to Web Forms, which was rather restricted with which properties and attributes that affected style users were allowed to edit.

    Visual Studio 2012 and 2013 should support a Page Inspector option that you might be able to use (simply right-click on the View in question and choose "View in Page Inspector"). This isn't going to be the WYSIWYG editor that you are hoping for, but it will provide a mechanism for you to actually preview the Views in question.

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Thursday, April 17, 2014 10:08 AM