Microsoft Expression Web

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Microsoft Expression Web
Expression Web 4 running on Windows 8
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release December 4, 2006; 12 years ago (2006-12-04)
Last release 4 (4.0.1460.0) / December 20, 2012; 6 years ago (2012-12-20)
Development status
  • Discontinued
  • Mainstream support until: September 8, 2015 (2015-09-08)
  • Extended support until: September 8, 2020 (2020-09-08)
Operating system Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8[2]
Platform IA-32;[2] DirectX, .NET Framework 4.0, Silverlight v4[2]
Available in English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish[3]
Type HTML editor
License Freeware

Microsoft Expression Web, code-named Quartz, is an HTML editor and general web design software product by Microsoft. It is available free of charge from Microsoft and is a component of the discontinued Expression Studio.

Expression Web can design and develop web pages using HTML5, CSS 3, ASP.NET, PHP, JavaScript, XML+XSLT and XHTML. Expression Web 4 requires .NET Framework 4.0 and Silverlight 4.0 to install and run.[2] Expression Web uses its own standards-based rendering engine which is different from Internet Explorer's Trident engine.[4]

Version history

On May 14, 2006, Microsoft released the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) version of Expression Web. On September 5, 2006, Microsoft released Beta 1. Beta 1 removed most of the FrontPage-proprietary (non-standard) features such as bots (use of FPSE features for server-side scripting), parts, functions, themes, automatic generation of navigation buttons, FrontPage forms, navigation pane to build a web site's hierarchy, and other non-standard features available in CTP 1. The Release To Manufacturing version was made available on December 4, 2006. The first and the only service pack was published in December 2007.[5] Expression Web does not have the form validation controls for HTML fields like FrontPage, but supports validator controls for ASP.NET.[6]

Microsoft Expression Web 2 was released in 2008.[7] Expression Web 2 offers native support for PHP and Silverlight. No service packs have been released for version 2.

Microsoft Expression Web 3 was released in 2009.[8] Until version 2, Expression Web was the only application in the Expression Studio suite based on Microsoft Office code and dependencies.[9] With version 3, Expression Web was rewritten in Windows Presentation Foundation, in line with the rest of the Expression Suite, without Microsoft Office dependencies. A result of this was features like customizable toolbars and menus, standard Windows color scheme, spell check, DLL addins, file menu export feature, drag-and-drop between remote sites, comparing sites by timestamp, automatic language tagging, basic macro support were removed in this version.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] Other features like Undo do not work reliably.[16][17] Version 3 introduced Expression Web 3 SuperPreview tool for comparing and rendering webpage in various browsers. Also noted was the lack of support for root relative links, links that start with a "/" to refer to the root of a web server. This feature was added with Expression 3 Service Pack 1.[18] Service Pack 2 for Expression Web 3 was released in April 2010.[19]

Microsoft Expression Web 4 was released on June 7, 2010.[20] It added the option of HTML add-ins, and access to a web-based SuperPreview functionality, for testing pages on browsers that cannot be installed on the user's system (such as Mac OS X or Linux browsers). Microsoft Expression Web 4 also provides an SEO Checker which analyzes produced web site against the best practices for getting the highest possible search-engine rankings.[21] Version 4 does not bring back all the features removed in Version 3.[22] Expression Web 4 Service Pack 1 was released in March 2011 and added support for IntelliSense for the HTML5 and CSS3 draft specifications in the Code editor, HTML5 and CSS3 support in the CSS Properties palette, selected CSS3 properties in the Style dialogs, semantic HTML5 tags in Design View and new PHP5.3 functions.[23] Expression Web 4 SP2 was released in July 2011, and fixed a number of issues and introduced new features such as jQuery IntelliSense support, a panel for managing snippets, Interactive Snapshot Panel, comment/uncomment functionality in Code View, and workspace and toolbar customization.[24]


As of December, 2012, Microsoft has announced that Expression Studio will no longer be a stand-alone product.[25] Expression Blend is being integrated into Visual Studio, while Expression Web and Expression Design will now be free products. Technical support is available for customers who purchased Expression Web or Expression Design following their published support lifetime guides, while no support will be offered to free downloaders. No new versions of Expression Web or Design are planned.[26]


Microsoft Expression Web received positive reviews. PC Pro awarded Expression Web 2 five stars out of six. "It largely succeeded by concentrating on providing standards-compliant support for the web's core markup languages, (X)HTML and CSS," Tom Arah concluded.[27]

PC Magazine also rated Expression Web 2 with 4 stars out of 5 and labeled it as a more cost-effective option compared to the main competitor, Adobe Dreamweaver. "Even if money is no object, Expression Web 2 might be your better choice," editor Edward Mendelson wrote.[28] However, PC Magazine criticized a lack of "Secure FTP in its Web-publishing functions" and "the ability to create browser-based (as opposed to server-based) scripting of dynamic pages that works in all browsers, including Safari". On the other hand, PC Magazine noted that "most designers won't care about their absence".[28] However, Microsoft Expression 3 later added support for SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) (otherwise known as Secure FTP) as well as FTP over SSL (FTPS).[29]

Expression Web 4, like the previous versions, also received positive reviews[30] with PC Magazine calling it an "efficient website editor with full support for current standards," and praising its "clear interface" and "flexible preview functions."[31]

See also


  1. "Microsoft Expression Web". Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search. Microsoft. Retrieved 17 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Microsoft Expression Web 4". Download Center. Microsoft. 20 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Localization and What Goes on Behind the Scenes
  4. Mauceri, Rob (April 16, 2007). "Office Live and SharePoint". Microsoft SharePoint Designer Team Blog. Microsoft corporation. Retrieved August 23, 2010. SharePoint Designer doesn't use Trident. SharePoint Designer, Expression Web, and the next version of Visual Studio's Visual Web Designer (code name Orcas) all use the same standards-based web design component. This component was developed jointly by the three product teams for high fidelity rendering of web standards like CSS, XHTML, as well as<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Microsoft Expression Web Service Pack 1 (SP1)". 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Use ASP.NET Validation Controls in Expression Web". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Kyrnin, Jennifer (September 26, 2008). "Microsoft Expression Web 2 Review". The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. James, Justin (September 1, 2009). "Review: Microsoft Expression Web 3 HTML editor". TechRepublic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved August 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "How to customize Toolbar Icons in Expression Web 3". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Expression Web 3 File Export Function Missing?". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Why I can't copy files between two sites on Expression Web 3?". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Using timestamps to compare if remote website has changed (EW 3)". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Has Expression Web a future?". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Using Microsoft Expression Web for Non-English Sites". 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Cannot figure out how to create macros in Expression Web". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Expression web 4 undo is broke. When will it be fixed?". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Buggy Undo still present in EW4". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Moscinski, Todd (April 26, 2010). "Different types of hyperlinks". Microsoft Expression Web team blog. Microsoft corporation. Retrieved August 25, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Microsoft Expression Web 3 Service Pack 2 (SP2)". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Wilson, Jeffrey L. (June 8, 2010). "Microsoft Launches Expression Studio 4". PC Magazine ( Ziff Davis Inc. Retrieved August 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "What's new in Expression Web". Microsoft Expression Web product page. Microsoft corporation. Retrieved August 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "No ability to customize toolbox in Expression Web 4?". Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Description of Expression Web 4 Service Pack 1". 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Description of Expression Web 4 Service Pack 2
  25. Rand-Hendriksen, Morten, "Microsoft Abandons Expression Web and Front End Web Development," 20 Dec 2012
  26. [1]
  27. Arah, Tom (May 16, 2008). "Microsoft Expression Web 2 review". PC Pro. Dennis Publishing Limited. Retrieved August 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. 28.0 28.1 Mendelson, Edward (August 11, 2008). "Microsoft Expression Web 2 Review & Rating". PC Magazine ( Ziff Davis. Retrieved May 16, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Leeds, Chris (July 2009). Secure FTP in Expression 3 "Expression Web 3 FTP Publishing" Check |url= value (help). Microsoft Expression Newsletter (July 2009). Microsoft corporation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Microsoft Expression Web review". TrustedReviews. February 5, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Mendelson, Edward (May 3, 2012). "Microsoft Expression Web 4 Review & Rating". PC Magazine ( Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 14, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links