Getting VS 2008 to show Silverlight 3 WYSIWYG Designer

One of the most common questions asked by Silverlight developers after installing the the Silverlight 3 tools support is : Where did my designer go?

By default, VS 2008 only shows the XAML view and the suggested tooling is to use Expression Blend to get a glimpse of how the UI looks like.

If you have Expression Blend, then you’re lucky, but then that means having two separate applications running: one for designing and another one for coding.

If you’re among those unlucky one’s who doesn’t have Expression Blend installed, then you end up having to run your Silverlight application just to see how your application looks like.

We’ll, the WYSIWYG Designer wasn’t entirely taken out after all.

Here’s a quick workaround to bring back that view. (Interestingly, a much improved Silverlight WYSIWYG Designer support returns in VS 2010.)

and a new pane appears as follows:

Just click on “Resume loading the designer” and there goes back your WYSIWYG view:

Hope this helps!


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