Windows Live Writer: a blogger’s dream!
Okay, so maybe everyone already knows about this. I know I tried it months ago, on my Windows XP netbook and found it not worth the trouble…but now, maybe updated, and running on Windows 7 on a much more powerful CULV based machine, I do not know how I managed my blogging life without it.
To put it plainly, creating a blog in Live Writer saves significant time and stress over creating it on the WordPress.com editing page in your browser of choice. At least it does for me. It might for you too.
For one thing, Live Writer downloads your theme info, for as many blogs as you want to register, and formats the composition page to the exact width you have to work with for each, plus providing an appropriate background and the correct typefaces. That sized to width thing I find invaluable! I don’t know how many times, when composing on the WordPress page, I have struggled to figure out how image placement is going to effect text flow, or how wide an image can be before it breaks out of the theme.
Second: instead of the little cramped composition box on the WordPress site, Live Writer provides a full sized composition page, similar to a wordprocessor layout, with menus and a toolbar at the top, controls along the bottom, and a side-bar on the right for context sensitive actions. I find that breaking out of that WordPress composition box is amazingly liberating. And the toolbar is always there for links, pics, etc. (I find that I am always scrolling around the WordPress page to get back to the controls at the top of the composition box.)
Third: spell check is quick, easy, and accurate.
Forth: Live Writer does tables…and does them well.
Fifth: at least in Windows 7, you can insert a pic from a website by simple copy and paste. Live Writer does the linking for you. Resizing is as simple as grabbing a corner and scooting it up or down to fit the column. It will either snap to edge or provide an auto margin. Just select the pic and hit either hyperlink icon, or right click and choose hyperlink from the pop-up, to bring up a dialog where you can back link the image to its source page. Very fast and very intuitive. It is also easy to specify a margin around the image in the actions panel on the right. The only thing I have not figured out how to do is to add a caption to a pic.
Sixth: you can manage and compose all your blogs from one central app. Live Writer will connect to as many blogs as you own, and, as above, tailor the composition space to each one individually.
Seventh: Live Writer saves local drafts, and, of course, you can easily compose a whole blog without any internet connection, and publish when you are connected again. This is truly liberating for those of us who spend significant amounts of time in the air (or at least will be until they take our netbooks away from us on airplanes).
There is, as far as I am concerned, a lot to like about Live Writer for the blogger. I now use it all the time.
Maybe best of all: it is free!
Get it here.