Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer is a true WYSIWYG blog authoring tool that can be used to write and edit blog postings (including pictures) locally and then post these online.

It supports a wide range of blogging platforms including Windows Live Spaces, WordPress, and Blogger.

Let me start by saying flat out that I am in love with this program, mainly because it allows me to work on a blog posting locally and publish it when I’m ready. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Notable features : 

  • WYSIWIG (what you see is what you get). It will download your site’s CSS and is able to preview exactly what your post will look like when published. The editing interface looks really good and is very well designed.
  • Built in spelling checker.
  • Instantly switch from normal view to the HTML code and to ‘web preview’.
  • Tags Tags Tags! Enter tags straight from the Windows Live Writer interface. For WordPress check out this plugin that will work with the Windows Live Writer tags for both tag and metakeyword support.
  • Nice handling of images, including a slew of unexpected options such as the ability to rotate an image, adjusting brightness, setting height/width of an image and the margin around it (if any), as well as a handful of border styles. It seems that you can import more effects capabilities through downloadable plugins. Paradoxically, for all of this I was unable to tell the program to use a thumbnail instead of the actual resized image, a glaring omission in my book.
  • Tags Tags Tags! Enter tags straight from the Windows Live Writer interface. For WordPress check out this plugin that will work with the Windows Live Writer tags for both tag and metakeyword support.
  • Relatively small and non-bloated (yes this is Microsoft we’re talking about folks).
  • Supports a wide range of blogging platforms including Windows Live spaces, WordPress.com, Typepad, Livejournal, Movable Type, WordPress custom installation, Radio Userland, Community server, Dasblog, Metaweblog API, Movable type API, and Blogger (Atom).
  • Allows you to either publish a posting or post-to-draft.
  • You can insert MS Live local maps straight from the interface. An interesting feature for some I’m sure (not so much for me).
  • Plugin support; Microsoft offers a write SDK, which means everyone can make their own plugins. Some of these are listed here.

My Windows Live Writer wishlist: this software is still in beta, and I suspect many of the following will be addressed, but here they are all the same.

  • Hard as I tried, I was not ablt to get Windows Live Writer to update a post to reflect changes that I did online AFTER publishing a post using Windows Live Writer.
  • The ability to specify posting thumbnail vs. original image, the way WordPress does it. I want a 9k thumbnail that can be clicked to show the 100k image, not a resized 100k image within every post.
  • Currently, Windows Live Writer is unable to download previous posts past the <!–more–> tag, which is very strange and effectively makes it useless for editing already published posts. This has to be fixed urgently.
  • For such a foray into WYSIWYG blogging, I am stumped as to why there is no support for creating tables on the fly. I mean if I AM using a local client it might as well be powerful.
  • For posted images, Windows Live Writer creates its own folder structure within the WordPress ‘Uploads’ folder. Which is okay, but I do wish that it stuck with the WordPress folder structure instead.
  • I wish the program has more warning dialogs such as “you are about to delete this post; both local and published versions will be affected, are you sure you want to do this”. Or something like that. This would have prevented my deletion of a published post

The verdict: One thing that I want to convey before I’m done is this program’s sheer coolness factor. Not sure what it is, but I really want Microsoft to fix the bugs/issues above so I can use this as my default blogging software. As is it probably deserves a 4 star rating but I am crossing my finders and giving it the benefit of the doubt and the max rating anyway.

Version tested: 1.0.1 (6) beta

Compatibility: Window 98 or higher.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version. For info on how to set up Live Writer, go here or here (for WordPress).


 
 
 
Free Easy CD DVD Burner
Bang! Howdy
Feb 2, 2007
Samer Kurdi
4
flattr this!
  • http://www.andrewgrant.org Andrew Grant

    Hi, a few comments:

    >> I was not ablt to get Windows Live Writer to update a post to reflect changes that I did online AFTER publishing a post using Windows Live Writer.

    This is a known bug in WLW. After posting it stores a local version, and if you attempt to open & edit the post it will use the original local version, not what’s online. A workaround is to delete the post from ‘My Documents\My Weblog Posts\Recent Posts’.

    >> The ability to specify posting thumbnail vs. original image, the way WordPress does it

    Not sure what you mean by this. In the image properties you can leave the image at its original size, or modify it.

    >> Currently, Windows Live Writer is unable to download previous posts past the tag

    Yes, very annoying. In the options panel of my plugin (Keyword Tags) that you linked to, there’s an option to fix this.

    Apart from those, I agree with all your other points!

    (thanks for the link).

  • http://www.sheetudeep.com/blog Pradeep

    >>I was not able to get Windows Live Writer to update a post to reflect changes that I did online AFTER publishing a post using Windows Live Writer.
    I am facing the same problem in Firefox extension ScribeFire.

  • http://nofrillstech.kol.co.nz Paul Clifford

    Thanks for your website, most interesting to read your choices. Have you ever tried Dustbuster? (Caspar and McAlba)

    There are surprises for those who think they have a clean computer!

    ERUNT/NTRegopt, XXClone, and Printkey2000 also are good value, all being freeware.

    Regards, Paul Clifford

  • Pingback: Post2blog Review & Download Link | freewaregenius.com