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windows live writer review 2009I rarely find myself recommending a Microsoft product to people, but Windows Live Writer certainly bucks the trend here.  As a desktop application for blogging, it’s powerful, simple to use and set up.

If you’re a blogger and you’re not convinced, here are 7 reasons why you should try out Windows Live Writer 2009.

1. Much faster than writing your post online

Being a blogger for several years now, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out both the Blogger and WordPress platforms with my websites – and while they were relatively easy to update, just like most web services at this point – I’ve always felt that they just lacked the speed and smoothness of a desktop application.  Windows Live Writer fills this gap by taking everything blog related offline.  Tasks like inserting pictures into posts, and previewing posts, which used to take time to load up online, now happen instantaneously.  Not only do you speed up your work, but you can take more time to play around and edit your post without having to wait every time you make some changes.

2. Ability to import your blog theme so you preview your post as you write

Windows Live Writer has an excellent feature called “˜Edit Using Theme’ which allows you to download and incorporate your existing blog theme so that when you write your post, you’ll see it as it would appear in your real blog.  Think of it as a real-time preview as you write so you don’t  have to keep hitting the preview button to see how your post would actually turn out.

3. Extendible and Customizable

As most Firefox or WordPress users would testify, having a community which builds up plug-ins and extensions which make a product better is very important.  Windows Live Writer allows for such customization and has a gallery for such plug-ins for you to browse.  Granted, the amount of plug-ins aren’t fantastic at this point, but with the release of the 2009 edition of the Windows Live Writer, you can see Microsoft making an effort to take this community up a notch by releasing official plugins for Twitter, Digg, and Flickr as well as tutorial videos on their blog.

4. Switch between blogs at a click of a button

Write for more than one blog?  With Windows Live Writer you can easily switch between blogs in an instant.  All login details are stored in the application so everything is incredibly snappy.  The picture below says it all.

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wlw

5. Easily insert rich media

Inserting rich media like videos and maps are a walk in the park with Windows Live Writer.  For example, if you want to upload the latest video in your YouTube account, rather than copying and pasting large chunks of code, you can login directly to your YouTube account from Windows Live Writer, and pick your videos to insert.

You can also quickly insert maps from Live Maps (Microsoft’s equivalent of Google Maps) – again, no copying and pasting code involved – just point and click.

wlw2

6. Immediate access to drafts

Windows Live Writer allows you to store post drafts either locally on the client side, and have them displayed on the sidebar.  This option of local drafts allows for instant access to any posts you’ve been working on so all your most recent work is only a click away.

7. Superior image handling and effects

When it comes to handling images, Windows Live Writer comes with a plethora of options so you can do all your image editing right there and then within the application.  You can handle everything from adding borders, and resizing images, and even adding watermarks to your photos.

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“¦and there you have it, 7 excellent reasons why you should consider trying out Windows Live Writer 2009 to update your blog.

If you’re interested in finding out how to set up WIndows Live Writer, check out our previous post on Five Things To Do After Installing Windows Live Writer Five Things To Do After Installing Windows Live Writer Five Things To Do After Installing Windows Live Writer Read More , and if you want to take at a close look at some of the finer details of Windows Live Writer check out our previous post which details how to take advantage of Windows Live Writer.

I’d be interested to know “˜How do you blog?’  Would you consider using a blogging client like Windows Live Writer?  Share your experiences with us in the comments!

Title Photo credit: Ravage

  1. Marthinus Raath
    March 4, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I also like Windows Live Writer especially since I blog to my blog using it. It's so easy to blog to multiple blogs. They have so many feature rich add-ins. I would like to use the "post to many at once" add-in, but it doesnt seem to work. I really like your website and all the great articles. Keep them coming! :)

  2. Rosie
    January 8, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Thanks for your post James. After reading it, I downloaded Live Writer to try. I absolutely love it! I spent ages fiddling with pictures etc in WordPress' online editor. I can see that this will be much easier.

  3. James Yeang
    January 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    @Simple: Not many are better, I can't think of one really. If you run Windows that is :)

  4. Simple Country Physicist
    January 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

    WLW is about middle of the pack as blog editors go, so it nay be better than half. Unfortunately it only works on Windows which is not good. That is, Windows is not good.

  5. Krisditya
    January 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Perhaps this is only for my personal course, is more comfortable using the previous version. This article is interesting for me to try the latest version. Thanks

    Sincerely

  6. James Yeang
    January 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    @Everyone: Thanks for the great comments.
    @Nicole: Scribefire is great for mini-blogging, but for more heavy duty stuff it fell short for me (Been a long time since I tried it).
    @Rarst: Never noticed the image sizes - thanks for pointing that out. Image quality is still great though.
    @Joe: Add WordPress Custom Fields Support please :)

  7. Joe Cheng [MSFT]
    January 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Rarst,

    Can you elaborate on what you mean by "recompress image"? We aren't aware of any image quality problems right now (except perhaps with transparent/animated GIF images, where we sacrifice quality to maintain the transparency or animation).

    Thanks!

    • Rarst
      January 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      It means that if I take my image (I use PNG mostly but same with JPG I think), drop it in WLW, set it to original size, without using any tweaks, set to FTP upload.

      Then image uploaded to FTP won't be binary equal to original image. It will retain original type and dimensions but size will be different (usually larger).

      I've seen it mentioned by other people (for example here webtechdaily.com/2008/10/01/top-10-reasons-to-use-windows-live-writer-for-writing-your-blog-posts/ ).

      Thanks in advance, I know I should've probably made formal bug report but hoped for fix in new version, then kinda forgot.

  8. Rarst
    January 6, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I use WLW and hadn't seen anything on par with it but its habit to recompress image is ugly. And judging by it surviving version change it isn't getting fixed. :(

  9. Youngistaanblog
    January 6, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Nice post on window live writes 2009

  10. Guy Cross
    January 6, 2009 at 5:58 am

    I loved WLW but then had some problems with it, but I am rocking a home-baked Acer Aspire one, tinyxp and for a while I was using rocketdock.

    Rocketdock didn't agree with tinyxp at all - i digress...

    WLW is brilliant and you have inspired me to have antother look at it.

    Guy Cross
    http://www.sleepywhisper.com

  11. Claw
    January 6, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Very useful program. You has shown me the advantages of using WLW.

    I'm downloading to check it.

  12. venkat
    January 6, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Windows Live writer makes blogging very easier,I can't imagine posting posts to my blog without WLW.

  13. Nicole
    January 6, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Thank you for making me feel less bad about thinking that Live Writer turned out quite decent.
    I still have Scribefire installed on my Firefox but am very impressed with this little tool!

  14. T.J. Mininday
    January 5, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Wow, I'm convinced. I remember when the first beta of Live Writer came out and being impressed. It looks like it's come even father.

  15. Rick
    January 5, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    WLW just plain rocks. The best thing I like about it vs. the native WP editor is that you get so much real estate to work with. Also, maneuvering pics and other files around is quite a bit handy in this environment. I've been using WLW for a couple of years now, and it's one of the blogging tools I could not live without.

  16. Useless Affiliate
    January 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    nice write up! i will be reading more!

  17. uchari
    January 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    It's true WLW is so far one of the best Microsoft products that I like... because I wasn't able to replace it complete it with a OSource or Freeware App... but so far since I don't blog too often and mostly right now is in blogspot... then I found enought with the blogspot tools + some userscripts that I use with greasemonkey.

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