To My Writer Friends

Windows Live Writer 2009, yes, this application had everything to seek my attention the last week, when I accidentally ended up to the writer’s zone of Windows Live. Don’t read this if you are on a platform other than windows, it will waste your time. Windows users like me, generally don’t care to use applications provided by Microsoft. Reason-- Money, honey; I am quite a fan of FOSS. We easily get similar identical software over the net for free. I just don’t get Microsoft’s policy of pirated license. Okay, enough bragging. Lets get to the point.

In case you are unfamiliar with Writer of which the chances are quite high, allow me to do a little introduction. As the name suggests, it is a writing tool for windows users and unlike other Microsoft products, it’s free. Writing tool? No, I don’t mean Word! Writer provides you a platform to writer over your blogs/websites, offline--Windows Live, Wordpress, Blogger, Live Journal, TypePad, and many more. The 2008 edition had minimal functionalities but the 2009 release is cool, in every sense of word. You write from your desktop offline and publish to your blog on one push of button; of course after connecting to the internet. Not just that, you can add photos/albums, hyperlink, table, maps, and video(s) on just one push. And it has more. You can set/add categories, time and date, add tags, save draft and what not! Yes, no need to go to your dashboard. All you have to do is, to set up your blog in writer by entering your username, password, blog url and you are done. It downloads the theme of your blog in no time and you start blogging straight from your desktop. So, it simplifies blogging.

Full Feature List

  • New border treatments (including Instant Photo)
  • Crop and tilt photos
  • Insert multiple photos
  • Toolbar alignment commands enabled for images
  • Insert and upload Windows Live photo albums
  • Insert and publish video to YouTube
  • Additional spell checking languages: Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, English (Australia), Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Turkish, and Ukrainian
  • Server-side tagging (for supported blogs)
  • Type-down filtering in the Open dialog
  • Twitter, Digg and Flickr Plug-ins
  • Improved blog account setup
  • Lightbox and Windows Live Spaces inline preview support
  • Improved category control: adding categories, type-down filtering
  • Tabbed view switching
  • AutoLink glossary
  • Smart quotes/typographic characters
  • Word count
  • Support for bidirectional languages (like Hebrew and Arabic)
  • Tabs for view switching
  • Beautiful look and feel

The Good.

Let me tell you what I like most about this tool. I have been using Wordpress since long forget that I am writing on blogger now and I always wanted to customize my font style at my blog, but wordpress allows you limited customizations. Again, Money, Honey. But guess what, Writer provides you all the fonts that you have installed on your computer to use on your blog and infinite number of customizations. Unlike the boring dash boards of blogs, where you are bound to write in a visual box, Writer downloads the layout of your blog and you actually write on your blog page, plus you can always see the instant preview of your post which is integrated in an inline tab; again the one push thing comes into action and, and, and, for those who like html editing while writing, there is a ‘source’ tab also integrated inline and shows your html in twinkling of eyes. It also gives you an option to publish your post as a draft to your blog and do online editing.

The killer feature of this tool is that, you can add as many blogs as you want, write on them at the same time by instant switching from one to another.


The Interface.

The Windows Live Editor Instant Preview HTML Source

Like every Microsoft product, it’s quite user friendly. In one window, you have every tab to comfort you, and also, it allows you to opt for multiple windows for different blogs. It’s very light. There is a side bar, which is basically useless, because the utilities on the sidebar are also present on the task pane. You can always remove the side bar. The feel is awesome. The light blue menu bar is nice and you can always change it’s color according to your mood. You can add plug-ins from windows gallery to suit your needs but that might ruin the light experience.

The Bad.

The major drawback of Writer is that you can not add pages to your blog using writer, it only gives you an option to create new posts. Repetitive menus in the interface irritate. I mean, the menu options on the menu bar under different menus are the same ones on the task pane and the side bar. As you publish your post, it doesn’t appear publicly until you update it on your blog; this happens with Wordpress. Though works flawless with Live space. On other blogs, I am yet to figure. Another thing that is bothering me is the preview with blogger, it’s showing a comment and Shivi’s name as the author of this post. Though preview works fine with all other blogs.

The Conclusion.

I will give a Seven out of Ten to this product. Try it and tell me what do you think of it. You can download it here for free. For my Linux and Mac friends, I will find something like this for you and review it, not accidently though.

Anyway, talking so much about windows and Microsoft reminds me of Office. Did you guys try MS Office Beta 2010? Found anything new? Okay, I am not a MS fangirlboy. :)


Admin, Team arbitSpeculations said...

Oh awesome. Started reading this review and downloaded the Windows live Writer before I could end the post... :P
It indeed seems to be a cool one from Windows. Especially the extra fonts thing, better picture control and the instant preview thing.

The goods far outweigh the bads.
I must say that from now on, all my posts on this blog are gonna originate from Writer only... until I stumble upon some serious drawback, of course.

Btw, adorable style of writing. Loved the way you striked through words to get politically correct. Looking forward to read more of this sort.

Admin, Team arbitSpeculations said...

And as for the 'Shivi's name and one comment thing', it actually takes 'inspiration' from the last post published. In your case, it was Shivi's, and it had 1 comment... :)

Shivangi Shaily said...

@Alec- I dint get the point?!

Admin, Team arbitSpeculations said...

@Shivi... In the post, Mohi talks about the fact tht when the windows live writer showed her the preview of whatever she was writing in real time, it showed your name as the 'writer' and arbitrarily put one comment below.

It seems that the coding has been done in such a way that the writer lifts everything else (like writer's name, comments etc.) from the immediate previous post, and shows them all in the preview, with only the body and title of the new draft.

Shivangi Shaily said...

oh now I got it!
Sorry Mohi I am a total dumbo when it comes to technology...oops ho ho ho.

Mohi said...

@Alok Great to know you are using and liking it. Everything else can be fixed but I think we can not add pages to blog using writer. I am adding this point to the cons.
Thanks for appreciating the new writing style, you will see more of it here, definitely.

@Shivi Hehe. Why sorry! I am a big time nOOb in your forte.. :)

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