Blogging with Windows Live Writer 2011. 5. A closer look at photos.

Picture Tools

Once you have inserted a photo into your blog post, there are a plethora of choices open to you. You can precisely place your photo in your text, resize it, crop it, add effects and an assortment of other features and additions.  So this post, I’m going to concentrate on these photo features.

1. Once your photo is inserted into your post, click on top of it in order to open the PICTURE TOOLS ribbon. As you can see, this contains a vast array of choices and we’ll work our way through them one by one. Reading from the left of the PICTURE TOOLS ribbon is Crop.

Picture Tools ribbon

2. Clicking on the Crop icon will open a window containing your photo with a white square inside the photo that can be resized or reshaped by left clicking on one of the small squares and holding down the left hand mouse button, then dragging the lined square until you have cropped out the area of the photo that you don’t want to show. There are also some custom sizes for you to choose from via the drop down list, and you can also show a grid over your chosen area. Click on OK once you are happy with your Crop or click on Remove Crop.

Doing a crop in Writer 

3. Next to Crop on the PICTURE TOOLS ribbon is the Resize area. Here you can customise your sizes for future use so that once set, when you click on Small, Medium or Large your photos are set to a size that you prefer to use inside your posts. To change the Custom size, click on the size box, a drop down list will be available, and you can select the last choice of Set Default Sizes.

Setting your default sizes of photos

4. Another window will open and you can then select the width and height for your default sizes of your inserted photos. Once set, in the future all you need to do is select Small, Medium or Large and your photos will be at your own custom size.

5. Next we come to Rotate. This feature allows you to rotate your inserted photo from Landscape to Portrait or visa versa, or you can Tilt the photo inside your text which gives a very attractive result.  Try it out to see how it looks.  You adjust the angle of tilt by sliding the slider either further to the right or left and once you are happy with your tilted photo, click on OK.

The Last Rose

6. Next area along the PICTURE TOOLS ribbon is Picture Styles. This allows you to add different surroundings, effects and shapes to your inserted photo. Choices are as follows: Inherent from Blog, None, Drop shadow, Instant Photo, Photopaper, Reflection, Rounded corners, solid 1pxl and solid 3 pixels. Try them all out by clicking on each one to see how it effects your inserted photo.

7.  Picture Effects are next in the Ribbon, so click on the Picture Effects icon in order to access the choices available. These are Recolour, Sharpen, Blur and Emboss. If you click on Recolour another windows opens containing other icons for you to select and you simply click onto each one to choose. Try them out on your photo to see which one looks best.

8. Clicking on Sharpen gives you the choice of a sharpen icon, Blur gives you no Blur or Gaussian Blur and Emboss allows you to Emboss your photo. Again, try them all out to see the effect. You can always change the effect back if you don’t like it.

9. Under the Picture Effects area is Contrast and this choice is adjusted by  altering the two sliders for Brightness and Contrast either left or right. Click on OK once your happy with your photo.

10. Lastly under Picture Styles we have Watermark. This allows you to watermark any inserted photos so that your name is placed on it for the purposes of copyright. Click on the Watermark icon and a window will open where you can choose your text such as your name, which font you would like to use for your watermark, the size and finally its position on your photo. Click on OK once you have set up your watermark and it will be added to the photo. (See above.)

11. In the Properties area of the PICTURE TOOLS ribbon, you can choose where to link to when your readers click on top of the photo, either the source picture or a web address, the options for the size of the source picture, and any alternate text you would like to display when the photo is clicked on.

12. Under the Settings area of the PICTURE TOOLS ribbon, you can set to revert to the original version of the picture before any effects etc were added, or set the current picture style, alignment, properties etc as the default for all other pictures.

f042dc0d-faec-4fbb-8fef-d2c2c440d34613.  Next in line on the PICTURE TOOLS ribbon is the Alignment area, and this basically allows you to place your photo to the left hand side of your text, to the centre, to the right hand side. Just choose the placement by clicking on one of the icons. You can then resize your picture if you wish to accommodate any text that you wish to have at the side.  Its also a good idea to set up a margin around your picture so that your text does not butt right up to the edge of your photo and look unsightly.

14. To alter the margin next to your picture and separate your photo from your text, simply click inside the box next to the relevant margin and increase the pixels. In my case, I have increased the pixels to 12 to the right hand margin, so that now my text is separate from the photo. You can adjust the spacing around your photo at the top, bottom, left and right, so that it all looks neat and is easy to read.

Next post, we’ll cover the Blog Account ribbon, and also adding Categories to our posts, setting our post date, updating the theme, and posting the same post to different blog platforms.


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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