Post2blog

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Post2blog is a WSIWYG (what you see is what you get) blog editing and publishing software with advanced features such as a full featured word-processor-style editor, advanced image and table handling options, and live spelling checker and thesaurus.

It supports a few dozen platforms including WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Movable Type, and LiveJournal.

I first started using this program about 3 months ago when it was featured on the ’Giveaway of the day’ site. Since then I’ve used it to publish my Freewaregenius postings as my program of choice.

I was therefore delighted to find out that Post2Blog was just released as freeware.

But let me back up a little bit: I’ve tried out around 5 or 6 freeware WSIWYG blog editing programs, and the two that stand out significantly from the rest (and the only two programs that handled WordPress’ split post correctly) are Post2blog and Microsoft’s slick Windows Live Writer.

Here are some noteworthy features that Post2Blog offers:

  • Advanced WSIWYG editing: the full featured editor includes comprehensive editing options as well as support for tables and emoticons. I might mention the ’remove formatting’ option (Shift-Alt-R) which I use frequently. Note that all functions are hotkeyed for easy access. Edit offline and post whenever you are ready.
  • Advanced image support: upload and format images (including creating thumbnails to custom resolution, adding captions, resizing the image itself, and adding shadows). Also supports uploads into Flickr and other online image resources (imageshack.us, picturelli.com, as well as FTP).
  • Language resources: In addition to English, offers the ability to download dictionary and thesaurus resources for a number of language options, although these are somewhat counter-intuitive (at the time of this writing: Afrikaans, Brazilian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, and Swedish). Spellcheck can be programmed to run automatically before posting.
  • Integration into explorer and third party applications: right click on any file in explorer and send it to Post2blog; create a posting in Word and send it to Post2blog, or post directly from Internet Explorer, Firefox, RSS Bandit, or Sharpreader. There’s also an option to clean MS Word HTML if it doesn’t quite transfer correctly. For myself I never found this integration with other apps particularly useful as all my posts I create from scratch.
  • Edit existing posts: can download any posted entry in order to edit/change it. This version 3 does this perfectly without mangling the post’s formatting.
  • Portable: run from your USB drive.
  • Quick Snippet: you can define quick snippets that are fired off whenever you type something in. For example, you can tell it to fire off a lengthy signature consisting of multiple lines of text whenever you type your full name. (It sounds nice in theory but I found little use for it in practice).
  • Tagging: easily add Technorati, Del.icio.us, Buzzwords, and 43 things tags to posts.
  • Adding Excerpts: highlight text and click on the ’excerpt’ button or otherwise automatically select the first 40, 80, 120, 150, or 200 words.
  • Other features: set categories by checking the displayed category boxes , set date and time, set comments and trackback settings (on/off), automatically insert Amazon links and/or Adsense code into your posts.

Reasons to use this program instead of Windows Live Writer (v.beta 2): The thesaurus (which WLW doesn’t have); portable; multiple language dictionaries; generates XHTML posts; image quality can strangely be better than WLW at times; uploading images to online resources; explorer and external applications integration (although WLW’s has plugins that expand it to do a lot of this stuff as well).

Reasons to use Windows Live Writer instead of Post2blog: the new (beta 2) version of WLW can purportedly add/edit categories, which Post2blog doesn’ (from screenshots that I’ve seen it displays categories in their proper hierarchy as well, which is great); image manipulation is more advanced than Post2blog; a lot more options for working with and handling tables; plugin architecture means that WLW is ultimately more expandable; also, looks somewhat sexier than Post2blog.

The verdict: a good, competent program that does the job well. I’ve been using it for a long time and will probably continue to do so as my blogging app of choice. Highly recommended.

Version tested: 3.0

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program home page to get the latest version (approx 9.33 megs).