On Blog Tools: Windows Live Writer

Experimenting with Windows Live Writer for blog posting, after getting a recommendation from a fellow blogger.

So far, I like:

  • Nice user interface, and pretty nice setup wizard.
  • Love how I can preview my post using my actual template locally (wondering how well this works after I modify my template).
  • The HTML it produces seems very clean, which is unusual for a Microsoft tool.
  • More editing space than the WordPress dashboard has. (Funny – Live Writer does not have "WordPress" in its dictionary – I just got red squiggles.)

And some minor glitches:

  • It’s not really clear to me how often my draft post is saved. I like tools that save automatically, ALL THE TIME. Seems like it may be doing that, but I’m not ready to trust it yet.
  • For the few posts I’ve done so far, I’ve gotten a server error back, even though the post published successfully. This caused me to accidentally post multiple copies.
  • My main menu bar disappears unless I hover over it.
  • My cursor up-arrow key just stopped working, partly. Weird. This seems to happen if I up-arrow while on the last line of text in the view.
  • My preview of this post does not show the right category – will have to see how it looks once it is published.

Things I haven’t tried, but am hoping work well:

  • Writing while offline
  • I sync my My Documents folder between computers using Dropbox. My draft posts are stored by Live Writer in this folder. Will I be able to start a post on one computer, and then continue it on another?
  • Updates to posts which are already published. This seems sort of complicated – will the editor modify the local copy and then re-upload? Will it first sync its local copy with the server copy? Will I end up with some sort of weird draft somewhere and the application not being sure what to do with the post?

So, here goes – this post is about to be published using my fancy new tool.

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