I have been using Windows Live Writer 2009 for about a month now; for me, it was love at first use. If you haven’t used it before you should really take advantage of the new Windows Live Writer.
For me, Windows Live Writer really makes blogging enjoyable and I especially love the ability to add plugins. There is an extensive list in the Windows Live Gallery but these are the 7 that, in my opinion, are a must have for Windows Live Writer users.
But before we begin, I strongly recommend you check out earlier MakeUseOf article “Five Things To Do After Installing Windows Live Writer,” which shows you how to:
– Turn on Spell Check
– Use Link Glossary
– Configure FTP
– Learn the Shortcuts
– Set Blog Pings
Now, back to plugins.
If you use Flickr for uploading and sharing your photos then this is a great plugin for you. With Flickr4Writer you can browse photos from your own account as well as anyone else and then insert the images into your blog post. You can choose to search all images, photosets, or certain tags. One you find an image that you like, you can then specify how you’d like it to appear in your post. You can customize the alignment, spacing, border, CSS class, and you can even choose whether or not to include a link to the image.
This plugin is for all of you Ping.fm lovers. xPollinate lets you cross post to other blogs linked in your Windows Live Writer and social sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and more through the use of Ping.fm. You have the option to customize the setup of how your blog posts, micro-blog posts, and status messages will look. For others blogs that you may choose to cross post to already added in your Windows Live Writer, you can also include a footer and/or header.
This is great for all you Twitter lovers. Twitter Notify allows you to send a tweet for any newly published blog post. With the TinyURL integration, you don’t even have to worry about long URLs; a shortened link to your blog post will be automatically created. You will be prompted to customize your message format You can customize your default message and will be prompted to do so before publishing a post.
This is a very simple plugin that allows you to manually add a Digg button or badge to your blog posts. There are 4 styles to choose from and can set it for right or left alignment.
This plugin automatically generates tags based on the content of your blog post. Tag Generator allows you to generate tags for Technorati, Windows Live Writer, WordPress, and Blogger. After selecting all of your blog text and clicking on “Generate Tags” your next step will be to edit them. As you can see below, you can modify, delete and add tags. Even though this plugin is more geared toward beginning bloggers, it’s still a tool that can come in handy for anyone.
The final 2 plugins are personal favorites of mine; I definitely could not live without either.
This plugin is a must for anyone who uses repeated text or html in their blog posts such as banners, signatures or an invitation for readers to leave comments. With Text Template you can create and save templates containing text and/or html for later use, and then quickly and easily insert them into your posts. Templates that you create can also be put into categories to make them easier to find if you have a lot saved.
Screen Capture [No Longer Available]
Currently there are 4 screen capture plugins available but this one is by far my favorite and the easiest to use in my opinion. First you’ll need to decide and specify if you want to capture the full screen, browser window, or a customized area. Whatever you choose to capture, it will automatically appear in your blog post. Once inserted you can customize the layout, size, rotate, crop, tilt, contrast, watermark and even add special effects. If you use WordPress, when publishing or saving your blog post these images will be uploaded to your media gallery.
Which plugins do you use and which are your favorite? Please feel free to let us know in the comments.