Discovering Windows Live Writer: Blogs and technical writers

Posted on March 10, 2009

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Discovered LiveWriter today through IT Author on WordPress.

LiveWriter09

If there’s a ‘text editor for writers’ to be emulated, this is it. 

Its a model for ‘online’ and even offline text editors. Google Docs it is not.

Expecting an ad-driven application of sorts in the vein of Live Messenger, you will be surprised. No ads. No popups. The interface, clean, elegant and simple. Setup, fast and easy, over a moderate internet connection.

From a review on ZDNet, Writer is Microsoft’s first Live killer app

Windows Live Writer

Despite a deceptively simple appearance, Writer has been several years in development, and it has a great pedigree. Its architect is JJ Allaire, best known as the co-creator (with brother Jeremy) of the Cold Fusion platform acquired by Macromedia in 2001.

…In less than two minutes you can be posting a blog entry — or editing an existing one. This is awesome usability.

…There’s a proper set of buttons for blockquote, bullet points, numbered lists, spellcheck.

…It handles thumbnailing, resizing, borders, drop shadows and other effects.

Though published in 2006, its still relevant. However, the version I used was Windows Live Writer 2009 which you can get from here.

Tags, tables, and images

LiveWriter09-img In the new 2009 edition, you can now insert tags into your posts. Inserting images like the screenshot on this post was a breeze all in three clicks.

The Help for LiveWriter is minimalist and web-based. Counted no more than 10 topics structured as questions.

Tables!. Inserting tables in Live Writer is a no brainer- no more fiddling about the rich text editor in WordPress.

The first of its kind?

In commercial demos of web Content Management Systems, a client based text editor not unlike the one you see with Windows Live Writer is not unusual.

But an offline editor to publish to blogging engines? Perhaps among the first.

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