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Professional Silverlight® 4 by Bill Evjen, Jason Beres, Devin Rader

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Chapter 21. Styling and Themes

What's in This Chapter?

  • Defining core terminology

  • Defining and using resources

  • Creating keyed styles

  • Re-templating controls

  • Creating implicit styles

  • Using themes

  • Styling with Expression Blend

Creating beautiful, highly styled web-based applications is a core promise of the Silverlight platform. Rarely have you seen Microsoft promote ugly Silverlight applications. Generally, they have been through the user experience and visual design machines of top-notch companies that specialize in creating beautiful software. However, learning to take advantage of the power of the platform and thus deliver on the promise of the platform starts at a technical, and somewhat unbeautiful, level. This chapter does not try to teach you to create a thing of great beauty — it's just going to empower you to apply your artistic talents to a platform that embraces them.

In this chapter, you learn how to customize the look and feel of the core controls you were introduced to in previous chapters. You see how you can target controls for styling, gain insight into approaches for organizing your styles and resources, and learn what a resource actually is. When you are finished, you should have a solid understanding of how to make your application look the way you want it to.

GETTING STARTED

Before you jump into styling, this section defines a small set of core terminology that will be used throughout this chapter, and also defines a testing environment that you can use to follow the examples ...

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