If I could name one Microsoft application which has met with the near unanimous approval of the tech crowd then it’s Windows Live Writer. I can only speak for myself, but I know a lot of bloggers who wouldn’t be able to live without this handy piece of software”¦ and now it has just got even better.
Shankar has previously discussed this subject but the latest Windows Live Writer code drop has been released as a technical preview and so I think it’s as good a time as any to go through a few more of the things you do with Writer and describing the changes in this build.
Live Dev stated that “this release is largely about updates to the Writer SDK” but once you load it up and have a bit of a poke around you’ll find quite a number of subtle new features and UI changes. Here is a rundown and a guide to making the best use of them as you can:
Yep. This is a bonza one.
In the previous Live Writer getting a word count required a plugin. That was still pretty simple, but more involved then it had to be (such as, select all text> insert> word count).
Now its been added into Writer itself and you can simply go to Tools > Options and select “Show real-time word count in status bar“ to get it displayed just like this:
This is another great new feature which will save you a lot of time if you find yourself repeatedly linking to the same place. For example I can now set Make Use Of as an auto-link, every time I type it now it’ll be instantly linked to the pre-specified target. You don’t have to worry about your paragraph being filled with identical links either, an option is available to “Link to each term only once per post”.
You’ll find a number of additions to image editing in Live Writer. For a start you can now centre your image from the properties panel (this was limited to just three options before) and five new borders have been added; photocopier, reflection, rounded corners, solid 1 pixel and solid 3 pixel.
Better still are a couple new options to crop and tilt images. No more cut-and-pasting into another image editor for a some quick edits, then cut-and-paste back into Writer.
Support has also been added for Lightbox“¦ which is great I know, but what is Lightbox?
Lightbox is a script you can install on your blog so selected images are overlaid onto the page, rather then being opened in a new window or tab.
It’s quite popular and I’m sure you’ve recognized it by now. It’s dead simple to set up and if you’re interested here’s how you can do it.
Have you noticed these settings way down at the bottom of the properties panel?
Writer automatically pastes images with a drop shadow, so if you don’t want that it’s a pain to change.
It’s quite simple to fix, just change the border once then “save settings as default”. I must admit I didn’t notice this one for some time but when I did it sure made things easier.
That’s just a few of the new things you can do with Live Writer, with the updated SKD expect to see some great new plugins soon!
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