Friday, October 27, 2006

Windows Live Writer blog authoring tool

I'm trying out Microsoft's free blog authoring tool, currently in beta form.  It seems to work with blogger and live spaces just fine, and is infinitely easier to do data entry, which is why I post so little.  It has very nice preview, normal, and layout modes along with picture manipulation and spell checking.  All the while it shelters you from goofy HTML constructs.

Below is a screen shot of the tool in action


Unfortunately at this point Blogger (blogspot) will not allow you to upload posts with pictures.  You can download and edit existing posts that contain pictures, but the automatic publishing to blogger will fail if you have added pictures (pre-existing ones are fine).  You will still need to use the blogspot picture uploader web page to get this content onto your posts.

However, if you were to be able to control pictures on your blog through this tool you have a lot of photo effects you can apply directly within the application, however this part of the beta is delicate.  On vista it tends to crash.

It is very hard not to like this tool.  It saves draft posts, allows me to compose thoughts offline on a nice desktop application (as opposed to the small little URL data entry boxes on the blog sites) and publish at any time.  Actually, you don't even need to visit your blog much anymore as all of your blog posts are accessible right through the tool.  You can view, edit, and delete any posts from any of your blogs you configure with live writer.

So just how easy is it to configure a blog with live writer?  Well for starters, you don't have do do anything with your actual blog site.  You simply add a blog to the live writer using an add account wizard.  It wants the URL of the site, and your account and password.  That's it.

Here is the official blog site for the tool.  Download it and try it out.  I think you will like it.

Live Writer blog site



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