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Review: ASP.NET Web Matrix : Page 2

The ASP.NET Web Matrix project makes ASP.NET development easy. With ready-to-go pages, code builders, a visual design environment, and other useful features, Web Matrix is a very complete Web development tool that gets you going within minutes. Because it is freeware from Microsoft and the download is only 1.2 MB, there is nothing stopping you from experimenting with it.


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Toolbox
The right side of the screen contains the toolbox, which you can make (in)visible by pressing F2. It contains the main tools you'll need to create pages. The toolbox consists of five sections:
  • My Snippets
  • HTML Elements
  • Web Controls
  • Custom Controls
  • Code Builders
My Snippets
The My Snippets section enables you to store frequently used snippets of HTML or code on the toolbar. You can rename the snippets if you want to, otherwise the name will be the start of the snippet. If you hover your mouse pointer over the snippet in the toolbox, Web Matrix will show you the entire snippet as a tool tip. Another nice feature of the My Snippets section lets you save the snippets to file and load snippets from file, so you can migrate the snippets to another machine, or to another version when that becomes available. HTML Elements, Web Controls, and Custom Controls
The sections with HTML Elements and Web Controls enable you to drag and drop HTML and Web Controls on to a page. This drag and drop feature works in all modes except Code mode. You can right-click the toolbox to add new controls to the toolbox. You'll use the Custom Controls section to add your own controls or controls from other vendors. You can choose to add controls from your local machine or from an online component gallery, such as the one you'll find on www.asp.net. When you want to add a component from an online gallery, the Component Gallery window (shown in Figure 2), defaults to the component gallery on www.asp.net. When you select a control and click Insert, Web Matrix installs the control and adds it to the toolbox. Installing controls from a local drive just as easy.



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