Blogging with Windows Live Writer 2011. 4. Inserting Everything bar the kitchen sink.

Insert Ribbon.

Up until now during this tutorial, we haven’t moved from the HOME ribbon, which has contained most of the choices that we needed to make.  We’re now going to take a closer look at the INSERT ribbon, where there are lot’s of other things we can insert into our blog posts.

1. Click on the INSERT tab above the ribbon. Immediately the ribbon changes to a much more detailed one featuring everything that you can insert into your blog posts. Let’s take a look at all the other things we can insert into our posts shall we? 

Insert ribbon

As you can see from this screen shot, we can insert (under the Break area) a Horizontal line, a Clear Break and a Split post. (The latter being where you can post a short summary to be shown on your Home page, and then continue to read the full post by clicking on ‘more’ etc. You can also add a Table into your post, and under the Media area of the ribbon, we have the previous Hyperlink, Picture and Photo Album (which work in exactly the same way as before) Video, Map, Post Tags and Emoticons to show your readers how you are feeling at that time in your post.

Lastly you can add some Plug-ins to Writer which add enhancements such as the Facebook plug-in or Twitter plug in, which automatically send an update to either as you publish a post. Let’s try working our way through the BREAKS area first.

2. Click on Horizontal Line.


A line is then placed inside your post. Next, try the Clear break choice.
Your cursor will do a return and move to a new line.  Next let’s try out the Split Post.

Read more of this post

Windows 8 Consumer Preview. 5. Weather and Maps.

This post, we’ll take a look at any other apps that need personalising, including the Weather and the Maps apps.

Weather.

1. Click on the WEATHER app. Firstly you will be asked if you will allow the app to use your location.

2. Click on Allow. There will be a short pause whilst the WEATHER app loads up the info for your location. You will then be presented with a large picture depicting the current weather where you live on the left hand side of the screen and on the right hand side a hourly forecast complete with descriptive icons for the current day. At the bottom of the picture, you are shown todays temperature followed by the next few days. You can click on the right arrow icon next to the days forecasts to show up to ten days ahead. Clicking on the More icon will show alternative forecasts from other Weather forecast sites such as Foreca and AccuWeather.

Screenshot (11)

3. Scroll right with your scroll wheel to see more information such as the regional and national temperature for your country under Maps. To the right of the Maps info, you can also see a bar graph showing the recent history of the weather in your locality.

Screenshot (5)

4. Click on either of the icons below the bar graph will display the temperature, the rainfall and any snow days throughout the previous months for your locality. . At the far right is a breakdown of those stats for the current month.  Clicking on any month will show the average for that month .

Screenshot

5. Right click Anywhere in the WEATHER app to bring up more choices. The choices are Places and World Weather.

Screenshot (7)

Screenshot (8) 

6. Clicking on Places allows you to choose another location to get weather details from. This could be somewhere where you intend to visit and can be in the same country or abroad. You can then see the same details for that locality.

You can add as many places as favourites as you wish by clicking on the plus sign in the black tile. Clicking on any one of them will show you the same details as you previously accessed with your own locality.

7. Next, click on the World Weather in order to see an interactive world map showing the current weather in several locations. If you stay on that world map you will see the locations change. Click on any of the currently added locations in order to see detailed weather information for that particular location.

Screenshot (9)

Maps.

1. Open the Maps app by clicking on it. As with the Weather app, you will be asked if the Map app can use your location. Click on Allow.

Screenshot (16)

The Map app will then load a local map showing your current location marked by a small orange triangle. In this app, your choices are all available by default. At the top of the map you have a Bing search box, Directions and a larger search box where you can conduct a search for another location or business.

Screenshot (12)

At the bottom of the app, you have My Location, Show Traffic and Map Style.

2. Click on the Map style icon and a pop up allows you to choose between Road View and Aerial View.

Screenshot (2)

3. Using your mouse scroll wheel will allow you to scroll into or out of the Map view.  In the next screen grab, I’ve used the mouse scroll wheel to scroll right out to show most of the United Kingdom. A quick click on the My Location icon takes me right back down to a the close view of my location on the map again.

Screenshot (3)

4. Now let’s click on Directions at the top of the map. Type into the B box the destination that you wish to travel to. The A box is of course your current location. If you wish to know the route from another destination you can input that in the A box.

Screenshot (15)

A from A to B route will then be shown on the map with detailed numbered instructions at the top. Clicking on each instruction will highlight it on the route. As your mouse scroll wheel works to scroll in and out of the Map, you will have to click on the scroll bar directly beneath the instructions in order to scroll through them from left to right.

5. Click on the black arrow on the right hand side of the instructions to close them. 

6. Right click on the map and then click on Clear at the bottom left in order to clear that route from the map.

Screenshot

Conducting a Search of Maps using the CHARMS bar search feature can also be useful to find a particular location on a Map.

TG  Next post, well take a look at the MUSIC app and the VIDEO app.

Blogging with Windows Live Writer 4.

Let’s Get Mapping!

Another very useful feature in Windows Live Writer is the Map feature. This allows you to add a map to your blog in order to show your readers exactly where you are blogging about if  a destination is mentioned in your post. Perhaps you are blogging about a day trip out, or somewhere that you recently visited. A holiday destination perhaps, or just your home town. It can really enhance the story for your readers if they can see a map or birds eye view of exactly where you are posting about or the spot where you took a photo during your visit there.

Once you have composed your story or post, decide whereabouts you would like your map to be placed. I usually place mine either at the top of my post (almost like a header) or alternatively alongside the text that mentions that particular destination. So let’s insert a Map.

Bings Map window 1. Click on the Map icon in the Insert list. A Bing Map window of the world will then open.

2. Type in the area or destination into the search box at the top of the world map and then click on the search icon. Your chosen destination will appear in the default road view. You can now choose which map view you prefer, a road view, an aerial view or my personal  favourite  a birds eye view.

3. Next you need to decide whereabouts to place your Map in your post and in exactly the same way as pictures you can place it to the left, right or centre of your text. You can also enlarge it by ‘dragging’ either of the corner arrows in order to make it smaller or larger, or alternatively by dragging  on the centre arrows to make it wider or taller.

4. Once you are completely happy with the placement and size of your inserted map, you can add a caption to it. Just click on it to make the Map menu appear in the right hand column and then add  your caption inside the Caption  box at the top. Under Options if you click on ‘Customise Map’ you can change it to a different view.  You might decide to insert a pushpin in order to illustrate the exact spot where you took a photo or stayed during your visit or holiday.  In exactly the same way as I illustrated  previously with pictures, you can also add margins to the Map so that your text does not butt right up to the edge of it, making it look so much neater and easier to read.  Using the Birds Eye view gives your readers a fantastic view of a place that your blogging about. Take a look at York Minster for example from the air!

A Birds Eye View
A Birds Eye View

And here’s an Aerial view complete with a pushpin showing exactly where I stood when taking the following photo of York Minster.  

York Minster SNC13723
York Minster

Next post I will tackle adding a whole photo album to your blog post using either Live Photo Gallery and a SkyDrive account on Windows Live. I’ll also show the different ways that you can choose to display that Photo Album inside your post as well.

TG