Setting Program Defaults

By making basic adjustments to Expression Web settings, your web creation experience can be easier. To start, open Expression Web and go to Tools > Page Editor Options. You will see the Page Editor Options dialog box.

Page Editor Options

General Tab

The screenshot shows how I have my settings in Expression Web. While your mileage may vary, it is important that you have the following items checked:

Image 1: Page Editor General Tab
  • Automatically enclose form fields within a form
  • Use [strong] and [em] when using bold and italic toolbar buttons
  • Prompt for accessibility properties when inserting images
  • Line numbers
  • Highlight invalid HTML
  • Highlight incompatible HTML

Code Formatting Tab

While you may not think you will ever have to make any tweaks to your code, the settings you make in Expression Web can make life much easier. The screenshot shows how I have my settings in Expression Web. While your mileage may vary, it is important that you have the following items checked:

Image 2: Page Editor Code Formatting Tab
  • Tag names are lowercase
  • Attribute names are lowercase
  • Use shorthand properties when generating styles


Image 3: Page Editor CSS Tab
  • If you are new to the world of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), start out by choosing "Auto Style Application".
  • How CSS is applied to various items can be set in this dialog box. I suggest you set the first option to "Rule" and the rest of the items to "Classes".
  • Place a check in the box next to "Use width and height attributes for images instead of CSS".

Authoring Tab

Today's web standards dictate that each web page have a "Doctype" declaration. This bit of information tells the browser how to interpret the HTML coding on the page. Without this Doctype, the browser will go into "Quirks" mode and make its own best guess.

Image 4: Page Editor Authoring Tab
  • Set the Default Document Type to HTML
  • You can also choose to have the page extensions be either .html or .htm
  • Set the Document Type Declaration to HTML 5.
  • Set the Schema version to CSS 3 or CSS 3 draft.

Font Families Tab

When you create a new page, Expression Web will automatically add some information within the head tags. One of these items is the type of "encoding" used to render the text.

Image 5: Page Editor Fonts Tab
  • Choose an appropriate Language Character set. I have mine set to Unicode (UTF-8) which will suit for most general purposes.
  • You will most likely have your fonts set within your CSS file. If you forget to set a font (or font-family), you can set your design view text so that you will see something different. This is a quick visual clue that you need to add a font-family to your external CSS file.
  • When you view your web page in Code view, you can set a font for that, too. I like my code to be a fixed-width font set to Courier New with a font size of 9px. You can set your own font size preferences larger, if necessary.

Changing the way Expression Web Opens

When Expression Web opens, the default is to NOT automatically open the last web on which you were working. If this is different for you, you can turn this option off.

Image 6: Open Last Web Option
  • Open Expression Web.
  • Click Tools > Application Options
  • Uncheck the "Open last website automatically when Expression Web starts" option.
  • Click OK.