Windows Live Writer (WLW) is a visual blog editor for Windows. It integrates with most blogging platforms (WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type, Blogger, and others), allowing you to see how your posts will appear in your blog’s theme, even when you’re offline. It isn’t just another text editor. As a former Notepad coder, I was drawn to WLW as I began to use more photos and embedded content in my WordPress blog. In this post you will get a glimpse of some new basic features and ‘tips and tweaks’ to make a better Windows Live Writer experience.
Here are some new features of Windows Live Writer Beta.
1. Image Cropping
This was the feature WLW arguably needed most as cropping images is part of many people’s blogging workflow. Since the new release I’ve had much less use for processing images outside of WLW. (Note: this only works for images inserted from Insert > Picture. This is not available for photos pasted directly—but perhaps that will be changed before the final release.)
2. Word Count
It’s easy to ramble when you’re blogging; I no longer need to copy and paste between WLW and Microsoft Word to see how unbearably long an article has grown since the word count can be calculated real time, as pictured below in the status bar.
3. Border Options
Little aesthetic touches like the rounded corners pictured below can help with the professionalism and consistency of a blog. Having more options for the borders of images should be helpful for a lot of WLW users.
Tips & Tweaks
Here are some tweaks, that can make your work a little bit easier on Windows Live Writer. By default these options are not set this way, just checking onto the right option you can save a bit more time while writing your blog posts.
1. Automatically Save Drafts:
Tools > Options > Editing > Automatically save drafts - This option will let you save your posts in drafts at a specified time interval.
2. Open a new window for each post
Tools > Options > Open a new window for each post - This will save you time if you copy and paste between posts.
3. Remind me to add categories before publishing
Tools > Options > Remind me to add categories before publishing – If you use categories, then sometimes you’ll forget to set them. This warns you if no categories are set when you go to publish. You can also select a similar category for tags too.
Default Picture Sizes
Image > Advanced > Default Picture Sizes – This option will let you automatically set the same width or height as the images in your other posts. For instance, maybe your full size images should all be 480 pixels wide and caption images 200 pixels? To set these options, click any image, select the Advanced tab within the task pane, and then click the icon of the ruler and drafting triangle.
Word Count In Status Bar
Tools > Options > Editing > Show real-time word count in status bar – while Word Count is always available from the Tools menu, it’s very helpful to have the word count at a glance in the status bar.
To insert Hyperlinks you can use the shortcut keys Ctrl+K . If you’re a regular WLW, Word, or Microsoft Outlook user, you’ll probably use this dozens of times per day.
When copying and pasting into WLW from a word processor or web browser, the formatting doesn’t always look great. Instead of pressing Ctrl+V to paste, try Ctrl+Shift+V, which will give you options for pasting a much cleaner version:
These effects won’t replace the image editing application you use but they’re a very quick way to set a sepia tone, apply a watermark, sharpen an image, etc.
Start tweaking your windows live writer now. If you know some new tips or tweaks don’t forget to share it with us.