Friday, January 23, 2009

Windows Live Writer

I initially set up this blog as a way for me to explore the whole Web 2.0 world and as a working example to a co-worker who I had discussed the idea with for sharing industry information within our team.  At that time, I was using the Google toolbar as a means of facilitating the process.  Since that time, I’ve done a little more exploring and I ended up installing Windows Live Writer because I wanted to update my messenger client.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out how good this actually works.  The nice thing about it is that it is a full featured text editor that has nice formatting features and tools for inserting and positioning images, creating tables, links, maps, tags, videos, etc.  I found that although the built in editors for blog tools are nice, this one allows me to maintain a whole bunch of blogs with a common interface and publishing tools.

To get started you have to go and download the live installer at http://download.live.com.

This installer allows you to install the whole suite from windows live, including office live and messenger.  You don’t need all of this to use the writer, but the other tools have their uses too…I just haven’t found a need for them yet.  You just uncheck features you don’t think you need.

Once you have the writer installed, you can fire it up and add your blog account to it.  It downloads all of your labels, styles and so on and then opens an editor window.  You can add as many accounts as you like and switch between them easily.  Also, it creates a menu item in your Internet Explorer tools menu so that you can easily blog while browsing by clicking the ‘blog this in live writer…’ menu item.

I also encourage you to check out some of the plug-ins from the online gallery…tools to insert and format code snippets, videos, etc.  There is also a plug-in for integrating the blogger with firefox.

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