Blogging with Windows Live Writer 2011. 3. Let’s insert something!

One of the best features of Live Writer is how you easily it allows you to insert Hyperlinks, Pictures, Videos and even maps into your blog posts and have complete control over whereabouts they are positioned and how they look. We’ll tackle each one in turn.

Hyperlinks

1. Firstly adding a Hyperlink. What is a Hyperlink? Well, this is best illustrated by demonstrating one. Let’s say you are doing a blog post about a recent holiday and you mention the place visited. This could be a town, or even a restaurant. For this post I’m going to use the example of The White Hart Hotel in Hayle, where we enjoyed a very nice lunch during our last holiday. Firstly I need to find out if The White Hart Hotel has a website. It has. Now I need to copy the URL of the website by highlighting the URL in the address bar in my browser and then returning to Writer.

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2. Next I need to click on the Hyperlink Icon in the ribbon. The web address that you just copied in your browser will automatically be inserted in the Web Address box. All that you need to do is fill in the words that will be associated with that address inside the Text to be displayed box. (Linking.) For this demo, I’ll use White Hart Hotel in my text, and I’m also going to tick the box ‘Automatically Link to this Text.’  Click on INSERT. White Hart Hotel will appear in your post, and whenever any reader clicks on those words, they will automatically be taken to the relevant website. You can do this with any word/words used in your post that has a relevant site. So when I talk about Windows Live Writer, I can direct my readers with a Hyperlink to the webpage describing Windows Live Writer and its features. The colour of the Hyperlink will be dictated by the link colour set in your blogs theme, but you can make it stand out even more by highlighting it and then making it bold. (See above.) Try clicking on both of my Hyperlinks and see where you are taken.

Pictures

3. Next, we’ll insert a picture. Clicking on the Picture icon from the INSERT area of the ribbon produces a drop down list of choices consisting of

  • From your computer
  • From the web
  • Create an online Album (This album will be stored in your SkyDrive.)
  • Add an online album (Already available from your SkyDrive)

4. Clicking on From your computer will take you to your pictures folders, usually the last one you had open, so that you can choose a picture to insert. All you need to do is simply click on a picture from your library and it will be inserted into your post. NOTE! The picture will be inserted wherever your cursor happens to be in your text so its best to use return to begin a new line before inserting a picture.

Butterfly in Christchurch, New Zealand

Your chosen picture will be aligned to the left hand side of your post by default and will be the smallest size. We’ll run through changing its size and position in a future post.

5. Alternatively you can insert a picture from the web by clicking on the second choice from the drop down list. However, first you need to know the URL or web address of your chosen picture. Open your browser, choose your picture and then copy the URL from the address bar just as you did with the Hyperlink.

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6. Insert the Web Address by right clicking with your mouse and choosing Paste. Your chosen picture will appear in the small window. You can Preview it first if you wish. If your happy with it, click on Insert, and your chosen picture from the web will be inserted into the post where your cursor is currently positioned.

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Photo Album.

7. The next choice is Create Online Album so let’s choose that next from the drop down list.

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8. A window will open for you to choose From Files or alternatively From Online Albums. (Albums that if you already have a SkyDrive account, you already own.)  You firstly need to sign in, and clicking on Sign In opens a sign in window where you can fill in your credentials in the relevant boxes, choose whether or not you wish Writer to remember your password or keep asking for it, and click on OK.

9. If you don’t own a Microsoft Account (you can use your Hotmail/ Live account) then click on Don’t have a Windows Live ID? to be taken to the relevant webpage where you can create a Microsoft Account. You will then have access to SkyDrive which you can use to store all of your photos/documents etc for free.  When you have done that, fill in your credentials in the window and click on OK.

10. Now you can create your first online album and display it in your post. Your visitors will be able to access the album by clicking on it and also view all of its contents as a slideshow. So let’s add some photos to our album!

11. You add photos by either opening your pictures folder in a separate window and simply dragging them over to the Add Photos window one by one, or alternatively click on the green + Add Photos choice, highlight the photos that you wish to include in your pictures folder and they will be added to the album.

Adding photos to your albums

12. When you have added all of your chosen pictures, click on Insert. As you can see below, your photos will now be displayed in a very attractive manner inside your post. By default they will be aligned to the left hand side of your post, but you can change this by clicking on top of the whole album, (a striped square will now appear at the edges of your photo album) and a new Tab will be highlighted above the ribbon in Writer called  Photo Album Tools. Underneath you will see the tab Format. Click on it and the ribbon will change to show completely new choices and icons to use.

13. This ribbon will appear every time you click on top of a Photo Album or a single picture, although the choices offered are slightly different for a single picture.  We’ll tackle these in a later post, but for now you’ll see that the Alignment area is highlighted. To centre your new Photo Album, simply click on the Centre icon. Now your photo album is placed central in your post and looks much neater and tidier.

We’ll cover all the things that you can change about how your Photo Album is displayed and work our way through all of the different choices open to you in a later blog post, but for now we’ll leave this demo Album as it is. Writer will automatically save the whole album to your SkyDrive when you publish your post.

14. The other choice we need to set up before publishing our blog post containing the photo album is to set up our album privacy. Seeing as our album is part of a blog post and you probably want all of your readers to be able to look at it and access it fully, it might be best to set this as Public, unless of course you only wish certain readers to see it, in which case you will have to set their permissions individually. Its much easier therefore to make a photo album public when you insert one in a blog post. To do this, click on top of the album again in order to invoke the Photo Album Tools and then click on Album Privacy icon. This will be set at ‘Don’t share this photo album on my Windows Live profile’ by default, so untick that choice.

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15. You are also offered the choice to include additional file information like the location where you took each photo, camera description and time taken. You can disable this if you don’t want it included by unticking it. Click on OK.

16. The last choice from the drop down list under the Picture icon is to include an album in your post that you already have on SkyDrive. Of course this will only apply if you have had a SkyDrive account previously and saved photos to it. If you are new to SkyDrive then this choice is not applicable until you have some albums saved. Here’s my choice of albums. To insert one of your current albums into a post, simply click on it to select it, and then click on Insert.

Adding an online album from SkyDrive

17. Writer will download your chosen Album where your cursor is currently placed inside your post and display it as before aligned to the left hand side and as the default display. As before you can click on top of the Album to bring up the Photo Album Tools and then Centre your photo album in your post as before by choosing the Centre alignment under the format tab.

Next post we’ll cover adding a video to our blog post from the different choices offered, and also take a look at inserting a map as well.

Technogran.

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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.

Read more of this post

Blogging with Windows Live Writer. 3

Let’s try some picture effects!

Now that we have tried positioning our pictures into our post let’s take a look at some other cool things that we can also do in Live Writer with our pictures that we insert.  It’s all about making a post look attractive to our readers and giving it that certain something that encourages our readers to return  again and again.  Maybe you are posting about a holiday that you have just taken, a wedding, a night out, a birthday celebration, or maybe you just want to illustrate your post with pictures to accentuate its content. For whatever reason, with Writer there is no need to just insert a picture and that’s the end of it, you can do so much more.

Black_and_white_cat 

 Here is a gorgeous picture of a black and white kitten.  It’s ideal for illustrating what you can do with the picture effects in Live Writer.  First of all, I shall place it to the left of this text and then I am going to apply Tilt to it, give it some contrast and crop it all from the Advanced tab in the Photo Menu.

 

Black_and_white_cat

Firstly I give it a Photopaper border. It now looks like a snap.  I also give it a Margin of 10 to the left hand side so that my text doesn’t butt right up to it. Next I click on the Advanced tab in the Picture menu which becomes available in Writer every time you click on a photo or picture, and then I shall  enlarge the picture to 350 Width.

 

 Next I am going to give my picture some Contrast so that it really stands out by clicking on  Contrast and then adjust the sliders to 20+ for contrast and –5 for brightness followed by clicking on OK. Following that,  I will  add a watermark to the picture. I click on @Watermark from the Advanced tab. In the topmost box I type in my Watermark ‘Black and White Cat.’ followed by choosing my font Kristen ITC. Hmm.  It is hard to see at the moment as by default its positioned at the bottom right hand side of the photo. So by  moving it to the top left hand corner I can make my Watermark easier to see.  

  

Black_and_white_cat The other choices in this Advanced tab are Rotate, Crop  and Tilt. Let’s try the Tilt one. This feature  allows you to tilt your photo either to the left or right in varying degrees. It looks very attractive if you do this when you have a line of photos in your post as well.  I will tilt my picture to the left by 5. Note how your text moves over to the side as you tilt your picture if you have text wrap. Next we will try some cropping of our picture and ‘home in’ on the cat’s face.

 

Cropping can be really useful if you have a photo or picture but it contains background information that you don’t want to include, or perhaps you just want to focus on a particular aspect of that photo. What you probably will notice as you drag the cropping lines around your photo is how the ‘ratio’ of the photo changes. However, you can keep the same ratio of the original  by choosing ‘original’ from the drop down box at the top left of the cropping window, or alternatively you can choose your own size from the drop down list if you wish. Note as well that you can always reverse any cropping by simply  choosing ‘Remove Crop’ at the bottom.

 

Completed Cropped picture in WriterNext let’s  move onto the third tab in the picture menu, the Effects tab.  When clicked on it shows an empty box with a green plus sign and a red minus sign.  By clicking on the green plus sign, you will be presented with a list of effects to try out on your picture. These are as follows; Black and White, Sepia Tone, Adjust Temperature, Colour Pop, Sharpen,Gaussian Blur and Emboss.  Why not try them all out to see what effect suits your picture best?  You can always remove any of the effects if you are not happy with any of them by clicking on the minus sign.  So that you can see all each of the effects, I am showing my Black and White Cat picture below with each of the different effects applied.

Black_and_white_cat Black_and_white_catBlack_and_white_cat  Black_and_white_cat Black_and_white_catBlack_and_white_cat

Black_and_white_cat  Black_and_white_cat

Next post we’ll take a look at including a full photo album into your post (if you also have Windows Live Photo Gallery installed as well as Live Writer) and inserting a Map into your post in order to show the place that you have visited or are blogging about.

TG

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Blogging with Windows Live Writer 2.

A picture says a thousand words!

An old saying but one that is so true especially when writing a blog!  Not only that, but including a picture into your blog post can enhance the content, breaking up those realms of text for your readers. It also makes any post look far more attractive to look at if it is accentuated by lot’s of nice photos and pictures to illustrate your story or post.  Writer allows you to quickly and easily add photos and pictures into your text. Then it also allows you to do a multitude of different things with those pictures. Place then where you want to inside your text, resize them to any size you like, add different borders and effects to them, add a caption and even add to your blog post a whole photo album if you want to!  So let’s take a look at some of the possibilities with your pictures inside Writer shall we?

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1. To add a picture from your photo’s on your computer, firstly place your cursor where you wish the picture to be placed inside your text and then select the Picture icon from the Insert list in the right hand side column. I have chosen a picture of a neighbourhood cat lazing in the sun which I took on one of our walks. By default the picture will be inserted ‘Inline’ so it will be placed on the left hand side and your text will not ‘wrap around’ it.  Any text that you insert after you have inserted the picture will simply push the picture further down the post  Added to that, it will leave a large gap in your text next to the inserted picture. By default the picture will also use the ‘drop shadow’ style of border and will be of a small size.  So let’s change its position within the text first of all.

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2. Click on the picture. The right hand side column now changes to the Picture menu to show you all the options for your picture.  Firstly let’s make our text ‘wrap around’ the picture either on the left or the right of it. Click on the small arrow under Layout, text wrapping:  and choose left or right hand side.  Now note what happens to your text.  The text will  move and ‘wrap around’ your inserted picture! 

Trouble is that it really looks rather untidy as our text is butting right up to the edge of our picture therefore making it hard to read. We can change that by giving the picture a margin at that side where the text is wrapping around it. So let’s alter that next.

 

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3. Click on the picture to bring up the picture menu and then click on the black arrow under margins followed by  selecting Custom Margins. If your picture is on the left hand side of your text, you will need to add a margin to the right hand side of your picture and if your picture is on the right hand side, then you will need to add a margin to the left.  I have added a 10 margin to my picture. Now the text is no longer butting up to the edges of the picture and is much easier to read. Next I am going to add a border to my picture.

4. Under the Borders choice in the Picture menu, you will note that it already shows as Drop shadow. By clicking on the box, you are presented with a list of  other types of border to choose from. These are as follows, None,Drop Shadow (default), Instant Photo, Photopaper,Reflection, Rounded Corners, Solid 1 pixel and Solid, 3 pixels. Try them all out to see how each makes your picture look. Some suit different pictures and also different blogs. The Instant Photo one makes your picture look like a Polaroid shot.

Instant Photo border  PhotoPaper border Reflection borderRounded corners border

Here you can see some of the different borders applied. The instant photo, the Photopaper, the reflection and the rounded corners one.  As you can see, you can really make any picture that you include inside your post look very attractive. But what if you want to make the picture larger than the default size?  No problem! 

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5. Click on the picture again, and from the picture menu click on the Advanced tab. Here you can fully adjust the size of your picture and either use the default sizes available at the top or alternatively input your own size into the boxes provided. Its a good idea to keep the Lock ratio box checked unless you want a stretched picture. the default sizes offered are small (default) medium, large and original.  You can customize these sizes if you wish but for now we will leave them as they are.  Instead, let’s choose our own size by changing the width and/or height in the Size boxes.

6. Input your new size for your picture by adjusting the number in the width and/or height boxes. Your picture will then change to your custom size inside your draft post.  I am going to change my picture to  width 600 pixels. Because I am leaving the Lock ratio ticked as I wish to keep it the same, the height will automatically be altered as well.  Now I have my new size. The text on the right moves narrower to make room for my wider picture. It now has a new border, the Solid 3 pixels one to make it stand out.

 In my next post I’m going to show you other cool things that you can do with your pictures such as adding a caption, tilting them in your post, making them stand out by changing the contrast, and also trying out some cool effects on them.

TG

 

 

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