Quick tip: Finding Silverlight 4 documentation fast

.NET, Silverlight, Technical stuff, Work, WPF
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The Silverlight 4 documentation is available online from Microsoft. However, it is not the fastest way to find documentation. Instead, you should know that the Silverlight 4 documentation is available online, it is just a little bit hidden.

“Also available for…”

When you navigate to an MSDN page, you will find a box letting you know that the page you are looking for is also available for Silverlight 3, .NET 3.0, .NET 3.5 or .NET 4. For example, here is what the page for System.Windows.Controls.Border shows:

No sign of Silverlight 4 yet. However, it is easy to get to the same page: In the URL of this page, replace the version number (VS.95) with (VS.96).


The version numbers are as follows:

  • (VS.85): .NET 3.0
  • (VS.90): .NET 3.5 SP1 (Note that you can also omit the version number altogether for this.
  • (VS.95): Silverlight 3
  • (VS.96): Silverlight 4
  • (VS.100): .NET 4

Of course some classes are not available for some versions, so you might get a Page Not Found.

Feeling lucky? Search from Bing or Google

In Google and in Bing, it is very fast to search for classes, methods or properties: Simply type the following query:

Border class

The first hit returned by the search engine is the MSDN Border class documentation. From there, you can use the navigation shown above. Another cool tip to go even faster: Type the same query followed by the version number. For example

Border class vs.96

Again, the first hit is what you are looking for.

Note: On Google, apparently you can even just type Border class 96 to get the result you want. On Bing, however, it returns other results first. Safer to type the vs. prefix first.

Since I set Bing to be my default search engine on Chrome and in IE8, I can type my queries directly in the browser’s location bar, and get the result page immediately.

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