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Windows Live Writer Review MakeUseOf guest author Adam Hirsch covered Windows Live Writer back in August when it was still in beta, but still a good application with promise.

Now it’s out, and Windows Live Writer is a great application with millions of users using it as their desktop blog publisher of choice.

Blog Services

Currently, Writer works with most of the major blog providers out there. Including but not limited to Windows Live Spaces, SharePoint, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Movable Type, etc. It really only takes a few seconds to get started thanks to Writer’s built-in automatic configuration that sets up your application, syncs your categories and downloads your blog’s template files so that you can see what your blog post will truly look like.

WLW - Configure Blog Account

Post Preview

As mentioned above, Windows Live Writer gives you the ability to preview what your posts will look like by downloading the templates locally. This truly is as WYSIWYG as you can get. Once you’ve finished typing that long post, or in my case a simple Lorem ipsum dummy post, you can see what it looks like.

Windows Live Writer - Preview

Publish Now or Later

WLW - Optional Publish Date Writer allows you to create blog entries and then post them to your weblog for further review. Alternately, if you’re without Internet access, you can save a local draft and post at a future time. An interesting feature of Writer is that you can set a particular post to publish at a certain date. Say you write your regular Friday-night article on Wednesday. Fine, just set your article, once finished, to publish two days later. Done. WLW will set the publish date for your article and Friday it should show up (If your blog service permits).

Extend WLW with Extensions

With the growing number of extensions, Windows Live Writer is even more powerful than ever. At the time of this article, there are 80 extensions available for Windows Live Writer including adding things like music feeds, picture galleries, emoticons, and even a Digg This plug-in.

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One of my favorites is Flickr4Writer. As the title states, its an extension that allows you to access and interact with the Flickr™ API. You can browse photosets, search tags, and more.

WLW - Flickr4Writer

Easy Does It

Everything you add to your blog entries, Windows Live Writer will post to your blog provider. This makes adding rich content to your blog entries a breeze. Just type, add pictures and other content, then click a button to publish…its literally that simple.

All in all, this is the best desktop blog publisher out there. I’ve tested a few of them, but Microsoft wins the gold prize for getting all the nice features most bloggers want.

Who uses Windows Live Writer out there? Let us know about your experiences and your favorite extensions for the best desktop blog publisher.

Hungry for it? Get it here.

  1. Basil
    February 9, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I'm downloading now just to explore live writer...

  2. Sherri
    April 9, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I tried Live Writer after reading about it here. I tried it with Blogger, but didn't care for how Blogger saved it as a draft instead of a post. I haven't found a work-around for that yet. Also, I tried it with an image, so I had to start an account with Picassa -- I guess that's the default photo storage. When I clicked on the thumbnail, Firefox wouldn't load it, asking me which photo viewer I wanted to load the image with. So I'll probably be checking out the plugins to see what other photo storage options there are if I stick with Blogger.

    I also tested it with WordPress, and it worked great. Too bad WordPress's servers are so unstable, but maybe it's only when a blog is linked from big sites like reddit and digg.

  3. arturogoga
    February 22, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Indeed, the best blogging application there is. I just wish there was something similar on OSX or Linux.

  4. little guy
    February 22, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Will it work for Macs?

    • Travis Quinnelly
      February 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm

      Unfortunately little guy, no love from Microsoft for your Mac.

      According to the System Requirements page, it only works on Windows XP SP2 or later.

  5. Shankar Ganesh
    February 22, 2008 at 8:09 am

    I've been using it for over two months, and I'm absolutely in love with it. It's one MS Product that I happen to be using the most (next to XP, of course ;) ).

    One thing is that it doesn't come with a spell-checker built in, is there an extension available that checks spellings?

    • Travis Quinnelly
      February 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm

      I couldn't find a spell checking extension out there. We'll have to keep our fingers crossed that someone out there will write one for us!

  6. eka bini
    February 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    I discovered Live Writer couple of weeks back and have been very pleased with it, as I told my Finnish readers. The app makes the management of multiple blogs so much easier. I can't understand how I put up with going back and forth with Blogger Dashboard.

    Now I can concentrate on the content of my blogs instead of worrying about inserting pics, videos or writing technorati tags in html (!!). I'm also pleased with the possibility to write entries beforehand and kick back for couple of days and let Live Writer do the publishing for me.

  7. Sean RN
    February 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    I have been using WLW since it's beta inception and it's been a blessing from the start. I initially used it to save my blog entries to my computer in an HTML format, but it grew from there.
    You can post to muliple blogs from one screen, as well as view your blog entry from multiple views (web format, rich text, or HTML code). Which can come in handy for the novice as well as experienced user if you wanted to add additional code to a formated blog text.
    I especially like the ease of use. It's always a click away. Adding pictures, or video is a simple click away.
    I utilize the extensions as well. I abuse the smiley's extension which offers all smileys from MSN, Yahoo and others. And just recently they upped the anty. Instead of the Digg extension you can add a whole list of social bookmarking tags to each blog entry.
    Take a look at my latest blog entries to view a sample.

    All in all it's a great packaged deal.

    Great subject!!

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