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Tools for editing XAML

07 Aug 2013, 18:47

We recommend the following options for editing XAML:
  • If you want to edit by hand the best tool is Kaxaml. We recommend the tutorials that come with our SDK. Many of those tutorials describe Xaml that can be edited by hand and they are a good start to learn the possibilities of xaml. We also recommend reading WPF basic concepts in the MSDN. You can start doing great designs using a tool to import SVG like or directly exporting from Adobe Illustrator using this plugin.
  • Since NoesisGUI 3.0, we provide an importer for Adobe After Effects.
  • All Microsoft Visual Studio versions (Express included) come with a basic XAML Designer. It offers a solid support for building XAML in a visual manner.
  • Microsoft Expression Blend is the most professional and robust option for editing XAML. It can be found:
    • Standalone available as a MSDN Subscriber Download in the Expression Studio 4 pack. It seems that this version of Blend is discontinued (although the trial is still available here)
    • Integrated in the Professional/Ultimate versions of Microsoft Visual Studio (since VS 2012). A 2013 preview can be downloaded here.
    • There is another version of Blend that generates XAML for Windows Store and Windows Phone 8 applications, and is available for free in Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8. There aren't many differences between the generated XAML for WinRT and WPF, so we will adapt our parser to support it very soon.
tiggus confirms us that his trial Visual Studio Pro 2013 expired after 30 days but the 2013 Blend which is included as part of the download did not. So for those with no VS pro license the 2013 trial for win8 will get you a nice working XAML editor with Blend 2013 and no expiration.

UPDATE 1: Microsoft is now giving Visual Studio Community (including Blend) free for open source developers, startups, students, and hobbyists.

UPDATE 2: We created a Visual Studio Code extension for editing and previewing XAML.

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