Microsoft Expression Design 4


Posted on August 14, 2020

Some of you may never have heard of the free vector based graphic design tool from Microsoft called Expression Design 4. Others will be familiar with it, some may be regular users and a few (like me) strong advocates of it.

As far as free design tools go, I don't think they get much better in terms of features and usability. It has a very easy to use interface and a relatively small learning curve compared to similar design tools. It is my go to vector based design tool and one I often refer people to.

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You can read more about it on the Expression Design 4 wikipedia article.

Whilst I have known for a while that Microsoft have discontinued it, it has been only fairly recently that I noticed that you cannot even download it from their site any more. A fact that worried not only me but a few other regular users of it.

Out of fear of this amazing tool being forgotten to the sands of time and gradually becoming less and less obtainable I decided to create a small website for it to give it a suitable resting place. A place where it can be easily found and referred to, a place where it can be preserved and continue to be used by current and future users.

It gave me an opportunity to create a very simple website using GitHub pages. Something I had heard people rave about but not tried myself. After all, initially I planned on having only a single page with some info and a download link.

Well I must say, I was blown away by how simple, useful, flexible and powerful I found GitHub pages to be. Within a few minutes I had my custom domain pointing to a source controlled html webpage in my GitHub repository that updates immediately when pushing code to the repository.

The result is www.ExpressionDesign4.com

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Contained on the site is a polite message asking Microsoft to consider re-instating the tool in its downloads or make it open source for people to continue to enjoy.

Hopefully www.ExpressionDesign4.com will serve its purpose and preserve the tool a little longer for people to enjoy. The site is fairly basic I've not even added Google Analytics yet.

Not tried Expression Design before? why not try it out?

-- Lee