Microsoft Expression Design 4 is a professional illustrator with a sleek appearance. It is a software application designed to help developers create graphic designs for applications’ user interfaces or other type of projects. It sports a clean and straightforward layout that allows you to add files using the built-in browse button or “drag and drop” support. The tool offers support for a wide range of file formats, namely PSD, BMP, GIF, ICO, JPG, PNG, EPS, WMF, EMF, ARW, WDP, and others. What’s more, the app gives you the possibility to draw rectangles, ellipses, polygons, and lines, embed text messages, rotate objects to different angles and flip them, cut the selected area, zoom in or out of the generated drawing, as well as perform basic editing operations (cut, copy, paste, delete).
Other important features worth mentioning are represented by the possibility to use a pen for drawing different objects, fill the selected area with various colors, specify the opacity level, work with multiple layers, as well as align and duplicate objects.
The workspace can be adjusted according to your needs, as you can add, remove, float, dock, hide, pin, or move the selected panels. You can wrap the selected components, and combine two or more paths.
The generated designs can be printed, copied to the Clipboard, or exported to PNG, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PSD, PDF, XAML, SVG, or WDP file format. Plus, you can alter the color, set the quality, and specify the file size.
Microsoft Expression Design 4 Free offers a handy set of features for helping users create graphical designs. Although the layout is not very intuitive, the help manual can give you useful tips on how to make the most out of every built-in feature.
Users have maximum design space with Expression Design because the illustrator is organized to give the majority of the space to the project workspace.
One of Expression Design’s helpful features is the properties side panel, which includes an appearance and an effects pallet. The appearance pallet is a one-stop location where users can set and adjust the fill, stroke and gradient of objects. In this area, users can also adjust the number of points on a polygon, as well as its inner depth and twirl angle. The effects palette allows users to apply raster effects to vector objects. This area records which effects users have applied to a selected object and in what order those effects were applied. Because this information is consolidated in one area, it is easy to edit the order of effects or delete an undesired effect.
However, this product falls short because it does not include many of the features of other illustrators. Some of these missing features include 3D vector art, easy graphing capabilities, Boolean operations and a perspective tool. While this illustrator can add unique elements to your projects and drawings, making it the sole illustrator in your repertoire will likely limit your drawing possibilities.