Blogging with Windows Live Writer 2011. 1.Let’s begin!

There are many users who blog who have never heard of Windows Live Writer, so I have decided to spread the word about the best blogging editor out there bar none. I can guarantee that once you have tried out Writer, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it and as its free, what have you got to loose? Firstly you’ll need to download it to your computer as its a desktop program, but the upside of that is you can write your blog posts offline if you have no internet connection, and publish to your blog later at a time to suit you.

1. Go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/essentials-other-programs where you can download the 2011 Essentials Suite. Once the installer has downloaded, you will see a Window where you can choose which programs to install, just Live Writer or any of the other programs. As an aside, Photo Gallery works quite well with Writer and is a free photo editing program that you may find useful.

Choose your programs to install

2.  NOTE!  This edition of Live Writer does not work with XP, if you are using XP you will have to download the previous version of Writer. In Vista and Windows 7, its a good idea to pin Writer to your taskbar so that it is just one click away to use. Once downloaded and installed, Writer will invite you to Configure it for your blog so click on Next.

Configure Live Writer

3. Choose the blogging platform that you use, WordPress, Sharepoint, Blogger or Typepad. Writer will also work with LiveJournal and most other blog platforms. For my demo I am going to set up two of my blogs, one on WordPress and one on Blogger. In the topmost area you need to put the URL  (website address) of your blog. If you don’t know this, go to your blog online and note or copy the address from the address bar in your browser.

Filling in the details of your blog

4. Tick the remember my password if you don’t want Writer to be constantly asking for it and then select Next. Writer will then begin to fully sync with your blog settings, the background, the fonts you use, in fact every detail of your blogs theme or template will be synced with. This is so that you can see exactly how your posts will look as you compose them and before publication. It’s what makes Writer so unique and to my knowledge, it is the only blogging editor that is capable of true WYSIWYG syncing.

Writer does its stuff

5. As soon as Writer has completed its sync with your blog, you will see the post area of your blog in its entirety presented in the Writer editing window as shown below.

WYSIWYG edit screen

6. If you have other blogs either on a different blogging platform or even the same one, then simply repeat the procedure as described for each one by clicking on the title of your currently configured blog (to the right of the Publish icon, and select Add Blog Account  from the drop down list. You can add as many blog accounts as you wish from different blogging platforms. I have quite a few on the go including photo blogs and Writer successfully syncs with them all.

Showing list of my blogs

The full sync is best illustrated with another of my blogs which uses a fairly complicated looking theme on WordPress. In the next two screens I am showing you the blog itself online in WordPress and then the editing screen inside Writer to illustrate how Writer really does show your posts exactly as they will look when published.

Firstly, here’s my blog as it appears online.

Screenshot (53)

  And here is that very same post in the Writer editing window where you write and compose your blog post.

Screenshot (54)

Of course the sidebar is missing, we don’t need it for composing the actual blog post of course, and the blog title is also not necessary, but all fonts used, size of fonts etc are present and correct, as is the theme used itself. In a later post, we’ll cover writing one post and then posting the same post to more than one blog which I tend to use fairly often. To see the whole of your blog including the Title and the sidebar, simply click on Preview at the bottom left hand side of the editing screen.

Preview your post

Next post we’ll cover beginning to write your post, choosing your fonts and size of fonts, choosing a header and taking a look at general formatting of your post.

Technogran

Spaces to WordPress step by step. Using Live Writer with WordPress.

11. Setting up Live Writer with your new WordPress blog.

Quite a few Spacers like to use Live Writer for editing and publishing their blog posts. Up until now, Live Spaces was of course the default blogging platform in use in Live Writer, but now that we are all being transferred to WordPress.com, the new version of Live Writer will in future make use of WordPress as its default blogging platform instead. It works in exactly the same way with WordPress blogs as it has always done with Live Spaces, and in fact the new version of Live Writer also includes some new features for your WordPress blog which weren’t available in the older version and with Spaces as those features simply weren’t present on that platform.  So let’s begin using Live Writer with WordPress.

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Moving your Photo Albums over from Windows Live To WordPress.

This how to is specifically aimed at all those Spacers who are requesting that they be able to transfer not only their blog to WordPress but also their photo albums they have stored on Windows Live. Here is a step by step through transferring them over to WordPress.

NOTE!  WordPress does not allow as much storage for your photos for free as is available on Windows Live, therefore it might be prudent to choose only those albums from Windows Live that you really want to associate with your blog on WordPress. Any other Photo Albums might best be either left on Windows Live or if you intend to not visit there once your blog is transferred to WordPress, then it might be better to alternatively download them  and store them all  on an external drive or DVD.

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Problems with your Hotmail upgrade?

LiveSide.net have recently published their latest post regarding some problems that some users are currently encountering since the new Hotmail upgrade. These problems can all be read on the Windows Live Solution Centre and tend to range from not being able to open any emails  in order to read them to not being able to reply to someone. Funnily enough, the obvious workaround for any Hotmail user is to simply use Windows Live Mail on their computer desktop in order to access their Hotmail accounts until such time as the Hotmail team gets these problems sorted out. As a user who never accesses her Hotmail online ever, I have not suffered from any problems with my Hotmail account. Of course, some users may not have used Windows Live Mail before so here’s a step by step through using Windows Live Mail in order to access your Hotmail Account.

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There’s an API for that!

Just spent a not so amusing couple of hours trying to get a set of photos back onto my computer that I had inadvertently wiped from my camera’s memory card. Of course I had also accidentally erased it from my computer as well. When I make a mistake, I don’t do it in halves!  I searched my online SkyDrive in vain. IF I had uploaded it to my SkyDrive on Windows Live I would then have been able to easily download it from there and back to its origins on my hard drive. But for some reason, I had only uploaded this particular set of photographs to flickr. To my annoyance there seemed to be no way to download them again in case of accidents/eraser/stupidity at the users end.

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