Expression Design quality problems? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I'm trying to see how well this application can serve me for building web graphics.  There seems to be a problem with displaying essentially anything with a stroke on it, at any zoom level.  That is very irritating, but it doesn't export that way.  However, the quality of exported gif and jpg is terrible.  At this point, I believe I will have to export to PNG which is high quality, but large file size, then optimize again in another application.

    Otherwise, this is a pretty nice application.  I especially like the fact that functionally copies Illustrator almost perfectly.  Of course, it doesn't have the same powerful tools as Illustrator, but the tools that it does have seem to work nearly the exact same way and have the same key commands which makes it easy for anyone who uses Illustrator.

    Another thing I noticed was that I can't find a way to get a vector graphic from Corel Draw to Expression Design.  Design can import Illustrator AI files, but not those created by Corel Draw it seems.  Design opens a blank document if it's created by  Draw.  I can open that same file in Illustrator and resave it, then it opens fine in Design.

    The reason I'm doing this is because I'm trying to see how much I can get done using cheaper tools rather than Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:21 PM

All replies

  • Stoneman, can you elaborate on the quality of the exported GIF and JPEG images being 'terrible'? Is this Design version 1 or 2? If version 2, when exporting JPEG images, the Quality slider is set to 100% and the Antialias checkbox is selected, correct? What settings are you using for the GIF export?

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:57 PM
  • Sure.  I'm using Design 2 Beta.  I created a layout for a web page.  I did a single large image slice for the entire layout and examined the preview.  I chose jpg and I was shocked to find that at 90% quality, it was still far from good enough quality to be usable with and without anti-alias checked.  Jpeg artifacts were present everywhere across the design.  All the art in the design was vector.  One particular thing was even stranger.  I had plain text with the font Cooper Black in the upper left corner.  I colored the first line of the text "Home" with a different color than the rest of the text.  In the export preview, that first line looked as if it had been compressed with the worst possible settings.  At 100% quality in the Jpg settings, that first word still didn't change.  I went ahead and exported it to jpg and checked in photoshop and it rendered exactly like that.

    I went back and tried with the highest possible quality settings for gif and again, that 1 word which was still live text and had no effects, not even an outline, was still looking like it was compressed with jpeg at 0% quality.

    Now I will add one more problem.  I created this layout earlier today at work.  I brought it home with me and I tried to open it up now to look more closely at the settings and it's crashing repeatedly during opening the file.  This is really disappointing.  I was hoping I could find a satisfactory work flow with a combination of applications outside of Photoshop and Illustrator but...  Well, it is a beta so the full version may be better quality, but this release is not ready for prime time.
    Thursday, May 22, 2008 2:57 AM
  • Can you email a copy of the .Design file you are working on, the .JPG file and the .GIF file you exported? I would like to take a look at them to see what's going on. My email address is willbu@microsoft.com

    The crashing issue in particular concerns me, so I'll try opening the .Design file on a Beta copy of Design 2 as well as an RTM copy.


    Will Buffington
    Microsoft Expression Support
    Thursday, May 22, 2008 3:57 PM
  • I will email you the file itself which is not opening.  By the way, when got back to work this morning, it also didn't open on my Design copy at work with which I created the file.  Interestingly, I do have a "version 1" of the document that does open both at home and at work.  The exported jpegs I don't have as I only kept the high quality png.
    Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:40 PM
  • Would be nice to have that file back if you can get it to open...?  I showed it to a potential client and they decided to buy it but all I have is a jpeg, from which I could of course remake it in photoshop or Illustrator, but it would be nice if I didn't have to.
    Saturday, May 31, 2008 4:47 PM