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Expression Media 2 Essentials, Part 1: As Basic as It Gets

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Steve Schwartz begins a series on Microsoft Expression Media 2 with this discussion of the basics of the program: how to get started, get help, and get out.
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In recent years, digital cameras have gained steadily in popularity while dropping in price. Compared to the complexity of shooting with a 35mm camera, developing the film, and then scanning the photos, transferring digital photos to your hard disk is only a little more complex and time-consuming than copying spreadsheets or word-processing documents. As a result, amateur and professional photographers alike can quickly amass collections of hundreds or thousands of images. The need for and utility of a good image-cataloging program is obvious.

Microsoft Expression Media 2 is one of a more expansive class of applications known as digital asset management software. Rather than restrict itself to digital (and digitized) photos, Expression Media can catalog and manage a variety of digital material. In addition to image files, you can also use Expression Media 2 to manage these kinds of files:

  • Audio and video files
  • Desktop publishing files
  • Microsoft Office files
  • Illustration files
  • Font files
  • HTML files

About This Article Series

Chances are excellent that you've already started experimenting with Expression Media 2. You've probably created a test catalog or two and dragged some media elements into place to see how they looked. However, as is the case with any new application, it's a good idea to get the basic concepts and common features under your belt before really putting the program through its paces. This article series explains many of the essential procedures for using Expression Media 2 for Windows and Macintosh.

  • Part 1 (this article) shows how to launch the program, get help with commands and procedures, keep the program up to-date by installing updates, and quit the program.
  • Part 2 covers working with the Expression Media 2 interface and toolbars.
  • Part 3 explains the differences between working with online and offline media, managing windows when working with multiple catalogs, and customizing the application by setting global and catalog-specific preferences.

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