Windows Live Writer: 5 steps to publishing success

By Matt Brady 

For those of you who blog already, you may be interested in a new Microsoft product called Windows Live Writer (still in beta).  It's a desktop application that allows you to write posts on a "WYSIWYG" interface and publish to your blog, whatever the platform.  Whether you're online or off-, it doesn't matter.  Live Writer also makes it easier to publish rich media with your posts, such as maps, images, videos and more complex stuff.

To get started, visit the Live Writer download page.  Prior to installation, uncheck the box if you don't want your IE homepage to be set to the MSN homepage.  Just 5 steps follow on from this:

  1. The welcome message will invite you to create a Windows Live Spaces account).  If you already have a blog, click Next to continue.
  2. Configure Live Writer so that it works with your blogging platform - either Live Spaces, SharePoint or another service.
  3. Input your account details for the blog service that you use - homepage url, username and password.  Once inputted, Live Writer will try to detect these.
  4. Confirm your settings if successfully configured.
  5. Start writing!

Once open, you can do all sorts of things in Live Writer.  You can insert a map, for example, as shown on the right (the elegant town of Reading), or a table, simply by clicking on the relevant item in the Insert drop-down menu. 

You may wish to check speling, using the built-in spell checker.  Or you may want to add a "plugin" to enhance your blog with something like a video, or photos from Flickr. 

I created this very post on Live Writer and published the draft to this blog, where I was able to preview it.  You can also preview the post as it would appear in your blog in Live Writer by opening the View menu and selecting Web Preview. 

Anyway, I will shut up now.  Give it a go, and let me know what you think!

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