I’ve been using Windows Live Writer for over a year now and recently downloaded the update and did some exploring on what’s new with Writer and how it allows me to easily use its various tools to make my blog postings look great without having to know a lot of code and other technical stuff.
Live Writer isn’t a web-based app, you download it and it becomes a program/client on your computer (so you can work on your article off-line). After it’s installed, you’ll need to take a few minutes to get it synced up with your WordPress, or other blog. Look for the top line of menu settings and click on ‘blogs’ and roll down to ‘edit blog settings’. Here’s where you will need to know and enter in the url and other login information to your blog. If you do it right, you’ll get connected to your blog. If you edit/write multiple blogs, you can enter the information in for each and Writer keeps them all organized. Writer even downloads your current theme onto your desktop so you can have the experience and feel as if you’re writing on-line.
There are so many useful features, here are a few things I regularly use and find helpful:
insert picture function (after it’s inserted, you can position it, wrap text and align
do a preview of how the article will look on-line with the ‘View’ & ‘Preview’ function
easily change fonts, colors, and other formatting
add my categories, tags and publish date all from Writer
Writer has free plug-ins (reminds you of WordPress), that are easy to install and use. For this article, I installed quite a few (for example, the cool bullets I’m using and the web screen shot below)
The thing I like best is all the screen real-estate I get when composing my articles. I know you can make the box bigger in WordPress, but the feel is a bit claustrophobic for me.
The Plug-Ins are worth taking some time to scour. There were 112 of them when I looked and I think there’s something for everyone. They are in categories and there’s even a search feature to get your download quickly.
I’ve installed several of them and used the website image plug in for the above graphic. However, when I went to edit on-line, the graphic disappeared. Furthermore, when I switched from editing on my XP computer to my Vista computer, the website image plug in wouldn’t work at all. I tried installing it again and Writer seemed to know I had problems as it said it was going to do a repair – still didn’t work.
I noticed that the downloads for some of the plug ins were only in the hundreds, so they are new and evidently bugs will need to be worked out.
You can set up Writer to automatically ping servers when you publish – one more thing to automate and not have to worry about!
If you’re a blogger, download this free app and give it a test drive. I think you’ll like it. You can also read more about it.