When I was on the Windows Live Desktop site to get some info on the new Windows Life Movie Maker I reported about, I noticed that they also released a new version of Windows Life Writer, a desktop blogging tool. I think I gave this software a spin when it was released for the first time and haven’t touched it since then. So, I downloaded the latest version and tried it out.
Writer still uses the classic interface (no ribbon here), which is actually a plus in my book. I am not really comfortable with the ribbon interface after having used to the classic windows interface for many, many years now.
Setting up a blog account was pretty easy. You just enter the blog’s URL and your login data, the software then connects to your blog, downloads the current theme (for preview purposes) and your’re ready to go.
When you write a new post in a comfortable WYSIWYG editor, your editing window looks almost exactly like the post would look on your site. By switching to the preview tab you can see how the new post looks on your site. Alas this didn’t work so well with the theme I use on my RPG blog. But this is a minor issue.
Adding links, pictures, tables, maps and even video is pretty easy. Embedding videos from YouTube or Soapbox is supported for everything else, you will probably edit the source code by hand. Apropos source code: by switching to the source tab you can always edit the posts source code and aside from what I am usually expecting from a Microsoft software, the code is pretty clean.
Adding images works like a charm and they are automatically uploaded to your host. You can even do some minor image manipulation, like adding a drop shadow or rotating the image before you upload it. Very nice!
There is one thing that I am missing: editing older posts. The Writer is a pretty nice offline blog editor but this feature would actually make me use the software regularly. Right now it’s just a nice gimmick, but most of the time I will probably create my posts in WP directly.
Update: Ok, I just found out that you can actually edit older posts, but only the ones you created in Writer. Why they didn’t add the ability to edit all posts is beyond me.
Update #2: Ok, it seems I am still half asleep. You can access and edit all post by clicking on Open. Writer seems to be much more features that I expected! I think it deserves a more closer look.