Intellisense Options in Microsoft Expression Web 3

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 11/8/2009, in Category Expression Web
Views: 26302
Abstract: Intellisense was introduced by Microsoft to streamline the process of coding. It is Microsoft’s implementation of auto completion. In Expression Web, it is done by providing a context sensitive shortcut menu with list of elements, properties, values, classes or IDs while authoring your pages and style sheets. In this article, I have explained different options and settings for Intellisense in Microsoft Expression Web 3.
Intellisense Options in Microsoft Expression Web 3
Intellisense is the Code View functionality that automatically gives you code suggestions as you author your pages, thereby streamlining your coding process. It detects what you are typing and displays an alphabetically sorted list of all available properties, tags and values to choose from according to the compatibility with the current context of the code.
Intellisense also displays context-sensitive Screen Tips or shortcut menus that help you choose and insert a code that is valid for the current context.
Intellisense automatically completes code as you edit; for instance inserting matching end tags, closing braces and quotation marks for values. See the image shown below:
The DocType declaration in the page, determines the options that are displayed by the Intellisense shortcut menus. In addition to the CSS Schema, the Intellisense tab in the Page Editor Options window lets you determine Intellisense options for
·         HTML
·         CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
·         ASP.NET
·         XSLT (Extensible Style Sheet Language)
·         Scripting Languages like Jscript, JavaScript, VBScript
·         PHP
In this article we will cover only the HTML and CSS Intellisense features.
What does Intellisense provide?
Intellisense provides
  • Auto-insertion of end tags, end braces and value quotes.
  • Context-sensitive shortcut menus that list and can insert code that is compatible at the current point in the code.
  • Context-sensitive ScreenTips that list variables, functions, or parameters that are compatible at the current point in the code.
  • Code hyperlinks, which enable you to click hyperlinks or references to classes, external CSS files, and script functions to open or go to the source of these items.
* Source: Microsoft Expression Web User Guide
How and when will Intellisense shortcut menu appear?
The Intellisense shortcut menu will appear only in the Code view of your page and in the style sheet file. The menu will display only those items that are valid for that current point (depending upon the placement of the cursor).
NOTE: If the Intellisense menu doesn’t appear automatically, your cursor may not be at a valid location for a list member to be entered.
Setting Intellisense Options
Go to Tools > Page Editor Options > Intellisense tab
I.            Auto Popup section
This section lets you enable shortcut menus with statement completion items and Screen Tips.
a.    HTML statement completion
b.    CSS statement completion
c.    ASP.NET statement completion
d.    Scripting statement completion
e.    Script Parameter information
f.     PHP global variable completion
g.    PHP parameter information
h.    A list of PHP function categories
II.          Auto Insert section
This section lets you enable auto insertion for the named items.
a.    Close tag
For example; as you type in the <p> tag the closing paragraph tag </p> will be automatically inserted.
b.    HTML attribute value quotes
As soon as you as type in the ‘src’ attribute in the image tag/choose it from the auto popup menu of Intellisense, quotes would be inserted for the value (<img src=””)
c.    XSLT attribute value quotes
d.    ASP.NET attribute value quotes
e.    CSS selector closing brace
Automatically inserts the closing brace i.e. the right curly brace (}) for the style declaration block, as soon as you begin the declaration block with the left curly brace. For eg. font_style {}
III.        Code Hyperlinks section
The options in this section let you visit the item, by clicking the item with holding down the CTRL key.
To be able to select any of the items listed in this section, the box ‘Enable Code Hyperlinks for the following elements’ needs to be checked. Choose CSS classes and IDs, to be able to CTRL click the reference to the classes and ID selectors and jump to the defined rule. Similarly you can check the other two options for Script functions and Document hyperlinks.
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This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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