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Windows Live Writer – Have your Say

Posted By Darren Rowse 14th of August 2006 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Microsoft has just announced Windows Live Writer today (downloadable from here if you’re a PC user).

I’m a Mac guy so it’s not something I can give you any recommendations on but it’s a blogging tool (in a similar class to other desktop blog editors) with most of the features that I’ve seen in other editor including WYSIWYG authoring, photo publishing, map publishing etc. It’s compatible with most main blogging platforms. Keep in mind it’s still in beta.

I’m hearing from a number of people that it’s quite good but until they cater for Mac users I’ll have to take others word for it.

If you’ve tried it – I’d love you to give us a mini review in comments below.

Read more about Live Writer at:

  • Liveside – a podcast interview with J.J. Alaire about Live Writer
  • Techcrunch – announcement post with a few first impression reviews from commenters
  • GigaOm – Om’s a fan
  • Rick Segal – first impressions
  • Paul Kedrosky – calls it eye candy
  • Mark Evans – first impressions are positive and says Qumana should be concerned
  • Duncan Riley – at it’s beta stage it’s not going to kill other blog editors but it does have potential.
  • Elliot Back – says it works and looks pretty good (although has ‘lots of strange bugs, some editor weirdness, no copy paste, unpolished interface etc and each blog post opens in a new window).
  • Dave Winer – thinks its great that Microsoft is making it – but points out it’s taken a long time.
About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. The ability to paste images straight into the editor is pretty darn cool. I was posting a quick review – so took a screenshot, and then was able to paste it straight in – very impressive. If developers start getting cracking on the plugin functionality for things like technorati tags – it’ll be huge!

  2. Geoff
    the biggest issue for me, as much as that part of the image stuff is cool, is that it won’t let you either crop the image, make a thumb nail out of it, or name it. The rest is pretty cool though…but I still think Blogdesk is better.

  3. I had a quick run with it, not that bad afterall.

    I especially like the fact I can write it on my “actual” template (web layout) to get the overall look and feel. And when I published it, it appears exactly the way I want it to be. Most of the editors I’d used have this issue about alignment. It’s either the text of image.

    And because I’ve been using MS office for a looooooong time, so I felt very comfortable using it without having to tear my hair out.

  4. Well I reviewed it on my blog and it’s mostly praised. I was previously using Performancing’s Firefox Extension, but I like this a lot more. :)

  5. It seems ok but at the end of the day none of it seems good enough for me to change away from what i use now

  6. I downloaded it this morning and have been using it to write my articles on my blog. So far its been pretty nice, the interface is very similar to Microsoft Office which is great for users like myself who have been using Office for a long time.

    I was glad to see that it worked great with WordPress 2.0 and allowed me to edit my older articles, which needed some spell checking, which this application does pretty well too, I believe it uses the same dictionaries that Office uses or pretty close to.

    I’ve not tried the add a map feature, or inserting images directly yet, but I’d imagine probably soon if my blog takes off.

    Anyway I’d give it a 4 out of 5 right now.

  7. My immediate impressions are good; I’ve already posted twice with it today and it’s behaved well for a beta.

    The image handling is pretty good. There isn’t a ‘thumbnail’ option but it’s very easy to choose one of the default small/medium/large auto-resize options. The choice of drop shadow or photo border around images is neat.

    The built-in Mapping functionality seems to work well. It’s dead easy to find a map and drop it right into your post.

    Auto-detection of blog settings works fine for both Blogger and WordPress (the two I’ve tried so far) and as Renee above says, the replication of blog look and feel is an excellent feature. The Web Preview and Web Layout options give you an extremely good idea how the post will look once it’s been published.

    The obvious omission so far is lack of a tagging interface, as Geoff mentioned. That’s got to be high on the list of priorities.

    I find Elliot Back’s comments a bit odd – the app strikes me as solid and intuitive. Perhaps it depends on what you’re used to.

    I think Live Writer could find an immediate marketplace with those people whose first blogs are Live Spaces. If it catches on with those guys, then it’ll be a success if only in terms of number of users.

  8. I am a big fan of Live Writer, I’ve used it a few times and the only bug I can see is that when creating a long post you can not scroll down to see the rest of the post. Minor bug that I’m sure will be fixed soon.

    its a big time saver especially vs using blogger’s interface.


  9. I wa sceptical at first but am VERY impressed by it, extremely.

    I have tried a few other blog editors, Qumana, BlogJet and I prefer this for sure.

    Set up was easy, detects your blog software, (if not you can select it)… It then analyses your styles so it knows what your posts will look like.

    There are lots of image features, align, alt, size, watermark and much more which is great.

    The thing I love best is how you can view your posts while writing them, by default it uses your styles of the article, ie, the title style and main text style, but you can also preview the result (as it would look like on your site) with out posting it. Very nice, you can also view the code if you wish.

    Spell checker.

    Changing between blogs is very simple and quick.

    Another nice features if when you add links, you can be more flexible, but selecting to open in a new window, or even add the “nofollow” tag, I have not seen this before.

    It also remember your settings for each blog separately, for example if on one of your blogs you always align your images to the left and link to the main post, you can edit the default html template for images.

  10. I like it. To the point that I finally uninstalled ecto and Blogjet from my PC because it had been so long since I used them. ecto is still too buggy, and Blogjet hasn’t been updated in so long that I got frustrated waiting for some of the more obvious issues to be updated/fixed.

    I have a few small nits:

    1. it doesn’t render images in CSS. My blog titles and bulleted lists have images and MLW just ignores it. Fine for the title where the image is just an accent, but in unordered lists it’s the bullet.

    2. I’d like to be able to add some custom HTML, such as when I want to add code, comments or Javascript without switching over to HTML mode. Ecto does this very well, and it’s one thing I do miss in other readers.

    3. I’d like to be able to specify the path for uploaded images.

    4. “Post to draft” posts the entry as Published in my Movable Type blog.

    I think the real power of this application will come when plug-ins are developed. You can expect a Flickr and Technorati plug-in, I’m sure. But how about something that links to Amazon or “what’s playing in iTunes” (a la ecto)? Maybe an easy way to build a “related to” list? I’m sure anything I can think of is something that someone else is already writing.

  11. Like Darren, I’ll have to await a (possible) Mac OS X version!

  12. Frankly, I think it’s pretty damned good. You can read my thoughts on my review (which just hit digg homepage) http://paulstamatiou.com/2006/08/14/review-windows-live-writer-beta/

    If I used XP as my main OS, I actually might use Writer for blogging.

  13. Nice to see so many comments already, and well written too. I was afraid I’d see nothing but a bunch of anti-Microsoft quasi-religion nonsense … definitely a more mature group here a PB. ;-)

    Some may remember I’ve asked several times for a MSFT Word plug-in, like the excellent one available for Blogger. Many don’t like Word and that’s fine, but it is one of the most widely used writing programs in the world (even some Mac users ;-)).

    In my prime non-blog business, i sell and service commercial software built on Microsoft’s .NET / .MSI framework. For the people who pay good money for it, this platform does a darn good job.

    I posted a number of entries with photos this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised. Such a treat compared with the hassle of re-sizing off line, uploading to WordPress, fiddling around with thumbnails versus full size, dropping in properties to get a link, etc.

    With respect to the no thumbnails comment above, true but it doesn’t matter. Look closer at the interface … you can make any size images on the fly or as a default … much more flexible than just the thumb nail vs. full size choices.

    Very creditable effort and well worth using. So much superior to Ecto for Windows it’s hard to describe and substantially better than Perfromancing’s latest version. By the way there is a tag interface … it doesn’t put a row of Technorati tags at the bottom of your post but it sends the tags to Technorati none the less.

  14. i use this and i am very satisfied with it. the problem is, it’s not available in MAC OS. I use it here in my desktop at home because it’s windows. i hope there’s a MAC version soon, I’m planning to buy a MacBookPro.

    Good thing:
    Can edit or compose posts like writing directly into your page because you can modify the background like your own page.

    Different views like HTML view, regular/normal view, Web format and web preview mode.

    You can post pictures, videos, maps, tables, not music. hehehe

    Very very easy to use, i am guaranteeing you!

    Oh, it has wrong-spelling indicator.

    Recent posts are remembered


    Can be used in multiple blogs

    Overall? Very flexible. Recommended!

  15. the biggest issue for me, as much as that part of the image stuff is cool, is that it won’t let you either crop the image, make a thumb nail out of it, or name it. The rest is pretty cool though…but I still think Blogdesk is better.

  16. I haven’t figured out how to get the snipit of the first picture of my post show up on my blog linkers pages. Does anyone know how to do this? It used to be there when I posted from blogger.

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