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.


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.

Screenshot (65)

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.


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.

Screenshot (68)

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.


Photo Album.

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

    Screenshot (69)

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.

Screenshot (72)

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.



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

Google+. From a Granny’s point of view.

For the last few days, I’ve been trying out Google+, the new social network to arrive on the scene from Google. What, another one? I hear most of you cry, but I for one love it, in fact I haven’t been able to keep off there since I received the invite!  Some of my readers may be aware that I have never been a fan of Facebook, I only began using it because members of my family asked me to join. Google+ is far more to my taste, from it’s brilliantly conceived circles that allow you to keep everyone separate so that you can just post an update to those you choose, to its fantastic integration of Picasa and your photos. Oh, and don’t of course forget Blogger!

Read more of this post

Windows Live Essentials 2011. Windows Live Messenger.


Windows Live Messenger has undergone some very extensive changes in Windows Live Essentials 2011. . It is now far more than just an instant messaging program, it is a fully functioning social networking centre which brings together all of your connected social networks inside the Messenger Social  window so that you don’t have to visit all of those different websites which often means having  to create yet another account..  Whether your family and friends are on Facebook or MySpace or any of the other services that you have chosen to connect to. You can see all of their updates, comment on them,  share photos and videos with them without leaving your desktop in order to do so.  Messenger has now become the ultimate social dashboard for staying in touch whilst eliminating the noise. Here are just a few of my favourite features.

Read more of this post