How to Share Workspaces in Blend 3

Let me start with a disclaimer that this is not a fully supported feature in Blend 3. This post describes how to share the workspaces manually and by bravely editing the config file. Proceed with care or not at all.

Adjusting and customizing workspaces is a new feature in Blend 3 and is not surprisingly quite useful. Blend comes with two default workspaces, Design and Animation, that are useful for standard purposes. The desire to share workspaces for me came from the fact that I’ve started working with two other workspaces.

  • Simple – This workspace can be useful for those just learning Blend and Silverlight. Some of the more detailed platform centric panels have been removed.  The remaining panels have been reorganized to provide a little more focus on the Artboard and natural flow into Animations.
  • Demo1024 – This workspace is designed to fit within the 1024×768 resolution normally used when projecting your screen to an audience. Most of the panels are still available like the default Design workspace. And when discussing the tree of Objects, I’ve found it easier to resize the panel on the fly vertically rather than horizontally.

Now let’s pretend for a second you’re interested in using these workspaces.  You could just build a workspace based on the screenshots and rebuild them on every other machine you plan to use them on.

Or you could just copy and paste the workspaces with a few manual steps:

  1. Download the Blend 3 Simple and Demo1024 workspaces
  2. Close Blend if its currently open
  3. Ensure you have the folder option for Show hidden files turned on.
  4. In Windows Explorer navigate to C:\Users\*yourname*\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Expression\Blend3\Workspaces
  5. Copy the “Simple.default.xaml” and “Demo1024.default.xaml”, from step 1, into the Workspaces folder
  6. In Windows Explorer navigate to C:\Users\*yourname*\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Expression\Blend3
  7. Open the user.config file with Notepad and find this element near the end:
    <PrimitiveObject Name="ActiveWorkspace">Design</PrimitiveObject>
  8. After the element from step 7, add this element:
    <PrimitiveObject Name="UserWorkspaces">Simple|Demo1024</PrimitiveObject>
  9. If you’ve done this correctly, the last four lines of your config file should read:

       <ConfigurationObject Name="WorkspaceService">
          <PrimitiveObject Name="ActiveWorkspace">Demo1024</PrimitiveObject>
          <PrimitiveObject Name="UserWorkspaces">Simple|Demo1024</PrimitiveObject>
        </ConfigurationObject>
    </ConfigurationService>

  10. Save and close the user.config file.
  11. Open Blend and navigate to Windows –> Workspaces and on the sub menu you should find two user-defined workspaces named Demo1024 and Simple.
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2 Responses to How to Share Workspaces in Blend 3

  1. Adam Odnert says:

    Thanks for a great post (disclaimer noted). I’ve shared with our team.

  2. Pingback: Dew Drop – September 24, 2009 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew

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