Saturday, 28 February 2009

Windows Live Writer for Blogger Rocks!

Thanks to the Mossman (Randy Drisgill) for testing and recommending Windows Live Writer for posting to your blog. After a few years of using the Blogger editor with it’s tiny editor window, limited functionality, and ever-changing formatting, I'm a complete Live Writer convert after two posts. 

Live Writer initially set me up with a new Live Spaces account so once I figured out how to point it at Blogger instead I was rolling. First point of joy: a big, resizable editor! I love how easy it is insert tables and save a draft locally or to your blogging engine of choice. It even sucks down your existing Blogger labels, making the transition that much easier.

I publish using the Arial font and normally change that manually in the Blogger editor. Live Writer defaulted me to Verdana but the font didn’t make its way across to my first draft post. For this post, I changed the font first before my first publish action the font change was propagated. 

I also used to have a footer inserted automatically into each of my blog posts—the Blogger editor would do this for me when I created a new post. Live Writer misses that but a minor complaint; it would be nice if Live Writer offered a template function or something but I see there is an Add a plug-in link so maybe someone’s writing/has written something like that. I could probably also hack my blog template.

Live Writer’s preview function is better than Blogger’s by a mile: it actually previews the post in the blog instead of in some half-way viewer. The source view is also surprisingly clean and readable for a Microsoft product.

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