Blogging with Windows Live Writer. 2. Writing your post.

The Home Ribbon.

Now we’ll take a look at setting out your posts as you want them to look. Above the Editing screen, you’ll no doubt have noticed the Ribbon interface used in Writer. When you open Writer, the HOME ribbon is the one visible to you by default. This ribbon consists of the following areas, Clipboard (which I never really use personally, so for now we’ll ignore it) Publish (where you are given the choice of publishing your blog once completed, either as a viewable post or as a draft post) Font where you can choose which font you would like to use for this post and its size etc, Paragraph which includes bulleted, numbered lists and quotes. This is followed by HTML Styles, and once you set your cursor into the main writing area, the Paragraph choice will be highlighted by default, followed by various headings to choose from, Insert, where are given the choice of inserting either a Hyperlink, Picture or Video, and finally Editing where you can check your spelling, find a word and select all of your post.  Let’s work our way through them shall we?

Filling in your title

1. Place your cursor in the post Title area and fill in your Post Title. You can’t choose different fonts or sizes for the post title in Writer, this is dictated by whichever theme you are using.

2. Once you have completed your post title, click return to move down to the writing area. Now the Paragraph icon in the HTML styles will be highlighted. If you don’t wish to add a header to your paragraph, you now need to choose your font and size that you wish to use, and also its colour if you wish to change it from the default one’s used in your blogs theme. To change the font, click on the small arrow next to the font box. A drop down list will appear that you can scroll down. Choose your font from the list.

Choose your font

For this how-to, I’ll choose Segoe UI. Note that all fonts that are available on your computer, including any that you have downloaded, will also be available to use in Writer including those used in Word.

3. When you have chosen your font, click on the size box on the right of the font box to select the size of your font. In my case I could go right up to 36 size

which is quite large! The small icon on the right of the

size box will clear all formatting, returning you to clear text, so use with caution!

4. Below the font box are other choices for your text. You can make it bold italic underline it if you wish to make it stand out place a strike through it as if you had crossed it out do a subscript or superscript and also highlight some of your text including choosing the colour. In order to do that, you will need to highlight that particular text by selecting it all via your left mouse button and holding it down until all of your chosen text is highlighted.

Choosing your own colour

5. Finally you can choose the overall colour of your written text, and this is best chosen right at the beginning at the same time as you choose your font and size. If you click on the underlined A, a drop down box will appear with the colours for you to choose from. If you are not happy with the default choice of colours available, click on More Colours followed by Define Custom Colours to choose your own. See screen grab above.

  • In the Paragraph area of the ribbon, you can add a bulleted or numbered list. by simply clicking on each.
  • Now whenever you begin a new line, a bullet or a number will automatically be added to your text.
  • To stop the bulleting or numbering, simply deselect it.

6.

You can also make selected text into a block quote like so by selecting the ‘quote’ icon to the right of the bullet and numbering icons. Once you have completed your block quote, just deselect it.

7. Normally when writing you want your paragraph to always be left aligned or placed against the left side. However, you might want to include a paragraph or part of your writing that is centred on the page or even placed up to the right hand side.

To centre your text simply select the centre icon by clicking on it. It will be highlighted and any text place in your post from then on will begin in the centre of your post and move outwards, but will remain central until you deselect the Centre icon. Try it out to see exactly how this works and how it looks.

You can also do the same with the Align Text to the right.

Finally you can Justify all of your text, or just a paragraph. Justify makes the words in a paragraph ‘spread out’ so that they all line up at both the right hand side of your post and also the left hand side as well. This is done by spacing each word and some people like it better because it looks neater as it doesn’t end with different length lines. As you can see by this paragraph. Of course, if you have never done any word processing, you won’t be familiar with any of this!

8. Next let’s choose a header. Normally I never have the need to place any headers in my blog posts, but if you are writing a more ‘professional’ looking post, you might want to use headers in order to talk about separate subjects or areas of your subject. To include a header, place your cursor at the beginning of a new line, and select one of the headers in the HTML styles area.

This is my Header.

As you can see, depending on the style of your blog theme, some of the headers include a dotted line underneath.  If you don’t want this, then choose one of the other headers that do not include the line.

This is Header 3.

As soon as you begin a new line after you have placed your header, Writer automatically selects the Paragraph formatting for you.

Next post, we’ll tackle inserting a Hyperlink, a Picture and also a Video into your post.

Technogran

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Windows Live Writer. Adding a Watermark.

Although you have been able to add a watermark to any of your photos included in a blog post in Live Writer, in its previous incarnations this feature tended to be overlooked by users as it was  hard to find, buried as it was under the Advanced tab in the Pictures sidebar. In Live Writer’s latest version available from HERE  it is far easier to both find the Watermark feature and use it as well. Here’s how to put your own stamp on any of your photos that you include in your blog posts  directly from Live Writer!

Adding a Watermark

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Beginning Blogging. Tips and Tricks.

This will be my very last post in this Beginning Blogging series for anyone new to blogging. I do hope you have all found my posts on Blogger and WordPress.com to be helpful. Which blogging platform you choose is of course entirely up to you and where you feel that your blog fits in. To end, here are some tips and tricks to try and help all of you newbie bloggers out there achieve a long lasting readership of your blog.

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Beginning Blogging 6. The Template Designer.

In this post, I am going to completely alter my Template with the aid of Bloggers template designer. The main post  area (blog) will be made full width so that means that the sidebar will have to disappear. Any Gadgets  I already have included will therefore have to move either to the bottom Gadget area or the top area. I will also add a background  to my blog using the template designer. Fonts and colours will also be changed. So let’s work our way through using the Template Designer.

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Decisions decisions, which one do I choose?

I am going to have to make some fairly tough decisions soon regarding which blogging platform I am going to reside on permanently. At the moment I seem to be all over the place, and have practically as many blogs on the go as I have social networking sites! Each one has to have a separate username and password, and being of the ‘muddle headed, lousy memory’ type, I am constantly having to move from one persona to the other, causing me to have to keep a very large writing pad handy just so that I can check on which username is for which blog. I have even got one or two blogs on the go which are simply used for testing themes etc out!

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Blogging with Windows Live Writer. 1.

Let’s start Blogging!

One of the  most useful programs I have found to use if you do any blogging  is Windows Live Writer. I am constantly amazed by how many bloggers are not even aware of its existence. So I intend to do a series of posts about this wonderful little program that is part of the Windows Live Essentials package. You can of course just download Writer by itself if you are not interested in the other Live Essentials programs but it does work well with the other programs in the Live suite especially Live Photo Gallery. So let’s begin shall we?

1. Firstly download LIve Writer from HERE and install it.

2. Once installed, on opening the program you will be prompted to insert the details of your blog into Writer so that it can fully ‘sync’ with it. 

Input your details

You will need to supply the URL of your blog, your user name that you supply when accessing your blog and also the password that you use. Once this is done Writer will sync with you blog, including all its settings, the theme style used, the fonts etc, so that as you compose a post for your blog, you can see exactly what it will look like when posted.  Take a look at the pictures to see it syncing with my WordPress blog. Writer also works with Blogger,Typepad, Live Journal, Windows Live Spaces and most of the popular blogging sites.

Now you can begin to insert some text.  Writer will use the font specified in your blog theme by default but you can change this to another font if you wish.  You can also give your post a heading. Any headings will also be as specified by your theme but again this can be changed so let’s make a heading, change the font and size, underline it, make it bold and then alter the font of our main paragraph.

Choosing a header 3. Once you have given your post a title (and who’s format you can’t unfortunately alter in Writer) Click on the small arrow in the box at the top of the writing area which currently says Paragraph.  A drop down list will appear allowing you to choose different headers for your chapter or paragraph.  Alternatively you can insert some text for your header (such as Let’s start Blogging!) and then highlight it, click inside the box and then choose the style for your chapter header. I have chosen Header 1 for my header. But I want to underline it as well, so again I will highlight it and then select U from the composing taskbar. Note. It is possible to alter the  font/size/style for your chapter header after you have chosen the type of header from the drop down list by simply  leaving it highlighted and then choosing Format, font, style, size.

Once your satisfied with your chosen header you can move onto the main content. If you don’t want the default font for your  main text  here is how you change that.

Selecting a font in Writer

4.  After moving you cursor from the Chapter Header to the main writing area, (Paragraph will now show in the box) click on Format from the Menu, then select font from the drop down list.  A small window will then appear where you can select a different font, its style and its size. You can also change your fonts colour here which is very useful if you wish to highlight particular text within your post.  Once you have selected your font and clicked on OK, you can begin to type in your content.  So far, Writer is working for you more or less like a simple word processor.  Now let’s change some settings in Writer for blogging.  For example, how often  you wish Writer to save your work to a draft copy so that you don’t lose any of your work.  I tend to set mine to save to draft once every 2 minutes but this is entirely up to you.  So let’s set that up next.

5. Click on Tools from the main menu bar at the very top and then select Options.  A new window will open with lot’s of different settings for you to tweak.  The top option is Preferences and here you can set up whether or not to use a single window when your editing your posts or a new window for every edit, whether or not you wish  to be taken to your blog once a post is published to it and also any reminders that you need Writer to prompt you for before  publishing a post such as Specifying a title, setting up categories and/or tags.

Editing Options6. The option that we need for now is the Editing option so click on that. I’m going to save my drafts every minute but you can choose to save a draft as often as you wish.  There are also other options that you might wish to choose here as well, including ‘show real-time word count in status bar’ which many bloggers might find useful.

There are lot’s of other options available in Writer and you might like to take a look at some of them whilst your in the Options window.  Another useful Option is the Spelling option so let’s set that up now.

Spelling choices.7. Click on the Spelling option in this window. Here you can specify which dictionary Writer should use (in my case the United Kingdom one) whether you want Writer to employ real-time spell checking, ignore words in Uppercase when spell checking, ignore words with numbers in them and/or check spelling before publishing.  Just tick each choice that you prefer and then click on OK.

We’ll take a look at some of the other settings as we need them in later posts.

Next post I will move onto inserting pictures into your post and the cool things you can do with them in Writer.

TG