Windows Live, stats and nostalgia.

Seeing as I have been so bored waiting for the new Wave 4 updates to arrive,  I thought I’d do some ‘homework’ on the Windows Live site itself. Who uses it? How many users per month? Are there less users now than there were last year? What sort of user is the ‘average user’ of Windows Live? What do users search for and what do they mainly use when they are on the site?   These are questions I often ask myself as a Windows Live user, and so I recently did a search for a ‘Social Site statistics’ site and found Alexa.

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Windows Live Writer 11.

Changing your blog theme.

In this post I intend to cover re-syncing Windows Live Writer if you ever decide to change the theme in your blog.  We all tend to do this from time to time especially me, I am always trying out different themes for my blogs, especially on Blogger.  Once you have set up your new theme on whatever blogging site you happen to use, then its very important to update your blogs Windows Live Writer  settings so that it can fully work with your new theme or the formatting etc will be incorrect for any of your new posts.

At the moment I am using the Journalist theme on this WordPress blog, and to give Windows Live Writer a very tough test in its syncing abilities, I intend for this post to change it to a much wider theme.  I’ll take some screen grabs of the Live Writer compose screen before and after in order to illustrate how this works . First of all, here is my current theme inside the  Live Writer compose window. 

My Current theme in Live Writer

Next I will go and choose another theme for this WordPress blog. To really tax Live Writer I have changed from an average width theme  to a much wider one . See the next screen shot of my new chosen theme in WordPress.

New theme in WordPress

Next I need to update Live Writer  so that I can see exactly how my posts will look like inside the compose window. In order to do this  I click on the View tab and then select Refresh Theme from the drop down list. Live Writer will then attempt to  sync itself with your newly chosen  theme. As soon as Live Writer has completed its download of your new settings for your new theme, it should then appear in Writer’s composing window.

Allowing Writer to pubish a test post to your blog NOTE. If Live Writer asks you if it can publish a temporary post to your new theme then click on YES. That post will be automatically deleted once Writer has the full configuration of the new theme.

New Theme inside Live Writer

To illustrate this, here’s a picture of my new WordPress theme inside the Windows Live Writer compose screen!  Now isn’t that clever?  I can now see exactly how my posts will look inside my new theme. Next post I’ll show you how to set up all those plug-ins that only tend to function as you publish your blog post to your blog such as Facebook Notification, DiggThis, Twitter Notify etc and TweetMeme.





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Windows Live Writer Wave 4, some more screen grabs.

Of all the leaked screen grabs of the upcoming Windows Live Wave 4 updates posted on the Internet so far  Windows Live Writer certainly seems to be the furthest ahead in terms of development judging by these pictures.

windows_live_writer_wave4_image_editThe screen grab above shows the Picture tab choices across the ribbon complete with all the obvious choices available to the user in easy to click on (and find!) icons which are really simple to understand for the most novice user. These are divided into seperate areas across the ribbon as follows, Size, Rotate, Picture Styles, Properties, Settings, Alignment ( complete with easy to understand icons of each picture position in relation to the text) and lastly Margins. (which I find that most Writer users don’t make enough use of.) Also note that the Set Category and Set Publish date are now placed just below the ribbon so the user isn’t constantly having to scroll down to the bottom of the edit/compose screen in order to access any feature.  Good thinking team!  Note also that the right hand side bar is now no longer needed as every choice and feature that it contained is now easily available via the ribbon interface thereby allowing the full width of the screen for a users blog post.

Wave 4 Live Writer ribbon

This next screen grab shows the Home tab on the ribbon. There does seem to be one area  of this screen grab that I feel is not needed on the Home ribbon and that is the Insert area.  The Home tab ribbon is divided into Clipboard, Publish, Font, Paragraph (which also contains tabs,numbering, quotes and align) HTML styles reminiscent of those found in the Word ribbon and which appears to work in a similar way, Insert which is not necessary in this Home ribbon seeing as it has its own tab and so is surplus to requirements in this part of the Ribbon Interface, and lastly Editing which contains the inbuilt spelling checker, word count, find and Select All. Note everyone that lovely wide area now available for your composing and editing!  Brilliant!

Smileys in Writer wave 4 1

Lastly a much closer view of the Insert tab ribbon showing everything that you can insert into your post. Firstly we have the all new singing and dancing Breaks consisting of Horizontal line (Hurrah!) Clear break and Split post followed by Tables, Media which naturally includes Hyperlink, Picture, Video, Photo Album, Map, Post Tags and some cool new Emoticons, and lastly Plug-ins containing Add a plug-in and Manage plug-ins. I just wish I had my mitts on it all!

My grateful thanks to for these screen grabs.


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