Windows Live Writer – Review & Intro

The Windows Live Writer (WLW) its a rather handy tool for Bloggers, as it makes blogging very very easy, and the advantages are pretty obvious at first glance.

  1. Blog Offline; and then upload it whenever you have net access, which means you can type your blog posts as you want them to be on the net on the move or while your waiting for a train or bus.
  2. Wide variety of plugins and I mean a really wide variety of plugins which makes blogging more fun and improves your blogging experience.
  3. Easy to use.
  4. Integrates with almost every blog.
  5. Multiple blogging accounts can be accessed and updated.

The window of the Live Writer has a very simple interface. You have the text formatting bar, the tool bar, and the normal file, edit menu bar, and the side bar which is an easy access to the basic blog tools and blog entries you have made online and the one’s that are not uploaded but typed.


Setting up your account is a breeze! Click on weblog, select add new blog and you shall see a pop-up like this one, below. Follow the steps punch in the details (password, host, etc and you’re done).

Next, if the settings you entered were wrong or you changed your host or password or want to edit your blog’s account settings, go to weblog > edit weblog settings. There you have a window for advanced settings. Click on Update Account Settings and you get another window. Change what you have to.

Another interesting feature that is note-worthy, is that it gives one an option of choosing as to where you’d want to upload your images, which you put on your blog.

The settings don’t end there. It gives you a lot more control over account settings and your blogging. Click on tools > accounts and you get such a windows. (if you click on tools > accounts, the same window opens up, but takes you directly to preferences, rather than accounts)

Look around those settings, if you wont some tweaking; but my suggestion … leave it to default.

Next up, is something I personally find very very useful : The different views ! Its got four different views.

  1. Normal view – its just a normal window to type and your sidebar
  2. Web layout view – the normal window is replaced with the template background your blog has on the net
  3. Web preview – You cant type in this view. It shows you the preview of how your blog entry will look complete with the header and footer of your blog template.
  4. html view – It replaces everything with html codes.

Now the Sidebar : Self explanatory, very helpful, easy access to whatever you need !

You can directly open your blog in the web browser by clicking on view weblog. You can go to your blog settings page by clicking on Manage Weblog. You can directly open your drafts and any of your recent entries from the sidebar (it shows the one’s you’ve uploaded).

But the fun part is in the formatting and plugins…tables, images, hyperlinks… absolutely no hassles !

That’s it ! Once you think your done with your blog entry just hit Publish and it will upload !

Do visit the Windows Live Writer Plugin Gallery for some great plugins.

10 Useful Plugins for Live Writer:

  1. Digg This Plugin for Live Writer: The Digg This plugin inserts a “Digg This” button to your Windows Live Writer posts and provides seamless integration with Digg.
  2. Social Bookmarking Tags: Using this plugin, you will be able to add automatic social bookmarking tags to your blog posts like and Technorati. (Check out this URL for an example.)
  3. SkyDrive Attachment Plugin: The SkyDrive plugin lets you upload, manage and use a SkyDrive file within your blog posts.
  4. Amazon Book Lookup Plugin: This plugin helps you locate books in the Amazon store and now includes a thumbnail image of each book found.
  5. Insert Website Image: This plugin inserts a thumbnail image of a website into the Live Writer window.
  6. Insert File Plugin: This plugin lets you insert a file into a Live Writer post.
  7. Insert Quick Link: Instead of having to click on the Insert Link in Live Writer, you can now bring up those options just by pasting a link into Writer with this plugin.
  8. Imtech Word Count Plugin: This plugin counts the number of words in the selected text.
  9. Flickr4Writer Plugin: Flickr4Writer is a plugin that enables interaction with the Flickr service. You can browse by tags, photosets, or a photostream. After browsing, the plugin enables inserting the image reference into a post. (Since I use Flickr, this is my favorite, others of you may enjoy these other photo plug-ins more: Polaroid Picture plugin, Live Spaces Photo Album Plugin, or Live Image Search Plugin)
  10. Code Snippet Plugin: Great for techie geek bloggers, the Code Snippet plugin lets you interactively review the sample code before inserting it into your post. It also allows for formatting and/or applying syntax highlighting to the sample source code.

One note of caution for some WordPress users. They may get some error when they upload their entry. The entry will be published but wont be updated in the WLW … this fix will help you here.

Those of you, who have Word 2007 installed, may not find this much useful as it already has good blogging features for any blog provider out there including WordPress, etc. Another dampener is that the system requirements for WLW are on the higher end.