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Travis has already introduced Windows Live Writer Easy Blog Publishing with Microsoft Live Writer Easy Blog Publishing with Microsoft Live Writer Read More to Make Use Of readers so I just thought I would tell everyone about some features that can be turned on, some settings that can be configured so that you can make use of Windows Live Writer better.

Windows Live Writer

1) Turn on Spell Check

One thing that I missed a lot on Windows Live Writer (WLW) is a spell checker. But when Travis told me that there was a spell checker inbuilt and only that it needed to be turned on, I was overjoyed. Here’s how you can turn it on:

spellchk

  • Go to Tools > Options
  • Under Dictionary, select a language of your choice to turn on spell checking
  • Turn on real time spell checking by selecting the 2nd option.

2) Use Link Glossary

Link Glossary – What is it anyway? You can add a few words, and relate URLs with those words. For example, Make Use Of can be coupled with http://www.makeuseof.com. You can do this using the options in Tools > Options > Link Glossary.

linkglossary

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This way, the next time you type Make Use Of in any of your posts, the words will automatically be linked to the URL http://www.makeuseof.com You can add an endless list of commonly linked sites from your blog here, it’ll save you a lot of time.

3) Configure FTP

Please don’t neglect this one. Don’t forget to configure FTP settings for your blog. Without configured FTP settings, using images in your blog post is worthless, and then you’ll have to manually upload and insert images via the WordPress post editor, which is a pain.

You’ll have to configure FTP settings from the Tools > Accounts > (Select the blog account) Edit > Images > Upload Images via an FTP server > Configure FTP.

ftp

FTP hostname should contain the FTP address of your server, for example, ftp://mysite.com. In the next fields, type in your username and password, specify the folder in the server where the images should be uploaded and also specify the address of the folder as a http:// URL.

Here’s another example: if your site’s ftp address is ftp://mysite.com, and the folder where the images are uploaded is ftp://mysite.com/images/, the http URL will usually be http://mysite.com/images.

4) Learn the Shortcuts

Windows Live Writer comes with a set of shortcuts that are make using it very easy, convenient and also productive. Here’s a list of shortcuts supported by WLW. Make sure you keep them by heart, they’ll come in big use when you’re writing posts.

New Post Ctrl + N
New Page Ctrl + G
Open Ctrl + O
Save Drafts Locally Ctrl + S
Publish Ctrl + Shift + P
Print Ctrl + P
Insert Link Ctrl + K
Insert Image Ctrl + L
Check Spelling F7
Normal View Ctrl + F11
Web Layout View F11
Web Preview F12
HTML Code Shift + F11
View Post Properties F2
Toggle View of WLW Sidebar Options F9

5) Set Blog Pings

Don’t you want your blog posts to get listed by blog search engines and other sites as soon as possible? It’s good for getting traffic since Google tends to rank a page using the time it was published for keywords that are gaining instant popularity on searches.

Go to Tools > Options > Ping Servers and check ‘Send Pings to the URL below’ and specify the ping URLs one by one.

Here’s a screenshot that lists two ping servers. The first one notifies Google Blog Search that a new blog post has been published, and the second one tells FeedBurner to update the feed with the new post:

pingservers

Do you use Windows Live Writer? What settings are your favourites? Or do you prefer another blog editing tool? Let us know in the comments!

  1. 小程
    February 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    thanks for the Shortcuts tips, god, i use wlw one year and i never knew that before.

  2. dean
    January 27, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I have tried everything, but it will not download a copy of my theme, and I can't seem to enter it in manually. So if I cannot do either, livewriter is useless to me :(

    Anyone have a problem getting their theme to download?

  3. john
    September 5, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Windows live writer only saves 5 or so draftes & deletes older ones. Is yher some way to increase this so tyhat it ALWAYS saves every draft locally?

    Thanks

  4. Mike Huang
    November 13, 2008 at 3:24 am

    I didn't even know there was a Windows Live Writer, lol. Seems like Vista isn't too bad afterall.

    -Mike

    • danny
      April 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm

      Mike,

      Live Writer is not a Vista thing. I have Vista on my laptop and wife's PC and have not warmed to it yet. My home and office PCs are still happily running XP - and those are the two PCs I put Live Writer on. Heh, I guess I subconsciously avoid Vista :-)

  5. bakhlawa
    August 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I am also having the problem with WLW changing my image file names to "windowslivewriter[RANDOMSTRINGHERE][imagename].jpg

    I tried switching to FTP transfer and now it dropped the windowslivewriter, BUT added a folder RANDOMSTRING to wp-content/upload/ and then dropped the correct filename in there. But why would I want a RANDOMSTRING folder!!!?

    I am using WordPress 2.6 and WLW 12.0.1370.325

    How do I fix so that WLW just pushes the filename to wp-content/upload/ without messing with the filename or adding thumbnails?

  6. Mulligrub
    May 17, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Thanks for the Link Glossary tip
    I hadnt seen that expalined before and hadnt bothered to work it out for myself
    I host my 2 blogs with Blogger (on custom domains)
    I put categories (blogger calls them labels) on my posts and use the Blogger widget to make a list of posts by topic. The link assigned to each topic has a url and I have assigned that url to the topics/categories so that when I type a keyword into a post it will automatically link which is cool
    Need to be careful I guess or I could get over-linkified
    Cheers :)

  7. icie
    May 1, 2008 at 3:57 am

    I also suggest activating the "Save Drafts Automatically" setting. It's funny how it isn't activated by default. When using a WYSIWYG blogging application one so often forgets its not actually a word processor...until you get a power shortage or whatever, and return to find your half-written post totally disappeared. So the first thing I do after installing WLW is to turn on the option.

  8. Joe Cheng [MSFT]
    April 22, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Brian--if you're using WordPress and uploading through WP rather than via FTP, Writer should leave your image filenames alone. If that's not working for you, feel free to drop me a line at joe.cheng *AT* microsoft.com.

  9. Brian - The Finance Gourmet
    April 21, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Is there a way to keep it from doing this: "windowslivewritersellyourownhomeday6-10d06forsale-sign-2.jpg"
    to my carefully chosen filenames ("forsale-sign-2.jpg") that were named EXACTLY what I wanted them before this piece of junk decided that it would be so much better to put a big fat microsoft ad in every single one of my filenames on my personal finance web site?

    I'm pretty sure this happens even if I configure the FTP settings.

  10. Olga
    April 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I have Writer and I actually love to see the post before posting and not having to be thinking about the conexion. But there is only one thing that bothers me and it's that as Sherri says there is no way to include other dictionaries like in Word. Does anybody knows how to include other dictionaries you might be using in Microsoft Word?
    Thanks a million for the help.

  11. Joe Cheng [MSFT]
    April 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Sherri, FYI... "Ignore All" means ignore all instances of that word, for the current post. It doesn't mean to ignore all spelling mistakes in the post. (I can see the confusion though)

    • danny
      April 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm

      Joe,

      I think what Sherri meant was that if the same word is spelled wrong in three places in one post, there is no way to have the spell checker fix it once but leave it wrong in the other instances.

      I can think of many occasions (with names and technical terms) where I would want this.

  12. Sherri
    April 9, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I don't care for their spellcheck so far; it doesn't allow for ignoring single words. I either have to add a word, or ignore all. I don't want to add every single unique word if I'm not going to be using it in the future; it would slow things down after a while. But I would like being able to load different dictionaries like with Word.

  13. Stephen
    April 9, 2008 at 6:42 am

    I love using live writer. I also have a lot of plugins on mine for various tasks. The plugins can be found at http://gallery.live.com/default.aspx?pl=8

  14. Jeff B
    April 8, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I am not sure I agree with #3. It seems if you leave it to 'Upload images to my weblog' it works fine. Also On #5 if you have a wordpress blog then it seems that if you use the ping service there it would negate this option. Unless when you publish a post from WLW it does not use the ping service built in to the wordpress theme?

    Other than those two issues I found the post a great resource and look forward to using the keyboard shortcuts. I have always used the spell checking which is highly recommended. Using the link glossary is something I have never done but will start what an awesome resource.

    Thanks for the great information.

    Jeff B

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 8, 2008 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Jeff.

      Clarifying your doubts - I don't think #3 - 'uploading to weblog' works all the time. Configuring FTP is much better and will save you from hassles later.
      #5 - Yep, I agree with you on that - however for those who've not put up ping server list in the WordPress settings could use with this list on WLW.

  15. Vinod
    April 8, 2008 at 6:22 am

    Windows Live Writer is THE reason which brings me back to Windows even on a Mac! :)
    Thanks for the tips.

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 8, 2008 at 8:36 pm

      Haha yes I'm sure WLW will be useful for Mac guys too. It's a great program, though it's from MS ;)

  16. Amit Agarwal
    April 7, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Definitely a good list.

    I will add one more point - If you are on WP, tick the box that says "Remind me to add Categories" - it's a life saver.

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 8, 2008 at 5:11 am

      Wow, thanks for dropping by to leave a comment, Amit.

      And yes, keeping that option checked is really useful.

  17. Nik
    April 7, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you for these! The Link Glossary seems especially helpful!

  18. Owen
    April 7, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    You know this software's been discontinued...right?

    • Shankar Ganesh
      April 7, 2008 at 8:27 pm

      As far as I know, it's still in development and they're continuing to release the updates. I think you're not aware of them, Owen.

      Check their blog - http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/blog/

  19. Keith
    April 7, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    For some reason I could never get Windows Live Writer to work with my wordpress. I tried everything but still got nothing. Maybe I will try again now.

  20. Kyle Judkins
    April 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I love Windows Live Writer! Thanks for the tips.

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