EW 4: Configuring an Image Editor using Application Options

With Expression Web open use your mouse to expand the Tools Menu. Then select Application Options

tools-app-ops_thumb3The General Settings, default is “Open last site automatically when Expression Web Starts” and “Check if Expression Web is the default editor for pages.

app-options_thumb2Under the General tab

The default is for the last site that you worked on to open whenever you open Expression Web. If you work on multiple sites you may prefer to have Expression Web open without opening any website. Here is where you set your preference.

Expression Web will also set itself as your default web editor when you  install it. For most users you will want to leave Expression Web as the default. If you use anther web editor such as Dreamweaver as your primary you should uncheck this box to prevent Expression Web from nagging at you every time it is launched.

If you are creating websites that use PHP and you wish to use the testing server to preview your PHP pages you will need to put the path where the PHP executable is located on your computer. The easiest way to install PHP on your computer is to use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 

Configure Editors

Microsoft configures applications that are part of Windows like Paint and Notepad for editing certain file type. While Notepad is okay in the case of text files Paint is simply not an acceptable graphics editor. Even if you have Expression Design (also free now) installed the default editor will still be Paint. Which is why one of the first things I do do when install Expression Web is to change the default graphics editor. If you don’t have a good web editor remember that Expression Design 4 is now free as well. Another free editor you may want to check out is  Paint.NET


When you first open the Configure Editors tab of Application Options you’ll see that editors are based on file extensions and the first “alx” shows  three different Expression Web options in the Editors box plus Notepad.

The three icons above the Extensions box are in order:

  • Add new file extension, sometimes I create a .note extension and set it to open with Notepad to contain notes to myself or others who may edit the site.
  • Edit the current selected extension or extension group, lets you create a group that uses the same editor or break up a group to use different editors.
  • Delete, removed the extension or extension group.

Above the Editors box there are only the two options, add Editor or Delete Editor.

Adding a New Editor

Since Microsoft Paint is pretty much useless for editing web images we’ll add another graphics editor and set it as the default.

Scroll down to “jpg, jpeg, gif, png” and select the group.

new-editor_thumbMove to  Editor’s box and use the icon on the left above the Editors box to add a New Editor.

select-from-list_thumbDepending on your system’s default editor settings the graphics program you want to associate may show up as an option to choose from like Fireworks does on my computer.

If your preferred editor shows up in the “Open With” dialog box all you need to do is select it and use the “OK” button.

If your preferred editor it isn’t on the list use the Browse for more to locate the exe to launch the editor you want to use.

make-default_thumbAfter your preferred editor is added to the Editors list select it and then use the “Make Default” button to set it as the default editor for images.

Optionally you can remove Paint from the list of editors. Since I don’t ever want an image open in Paint I do.

Repeat the procedure for any other file extensions you wish to configure an editor for.

Use OK to save your settings and close the dialog box.

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