Windows Live Writer (WLW), the first external blog editor supporting the Atom Publishing Protocol (APP), now is out of beta and available for download as version 2008 since a couple of weeks already. I grabed it right away and can tell you: I am impressed. It comes with an excellent user interface and like most other Microsoft products is a solid peace of very useful software.
I have been very impressed how easy and convenient it is to tag blog postings, to edit them once they are out on a blog and to maintain multiple blogs.
My satisfaction definitely has been increased by discovering the fact that WLW can be further extended through plug-ins and that actually 70 plug-ins – some of them very useful – are already available !
To find and install a plug-in simply click on the “Add a Plug-in…” link. As you see in the screen shot below I already installed a few plug-ins which turned out to be real useful.
- The “Insert Space Emoticon” plug-in allows you to easily enrich your blog posts with some emoticons from Windows Live Spaces.
“Insert Quote Of The Day” allows you to pick a quote from a list of recent quotes and insert it into your blog posting as a quote for the day: Quote of the day:
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not. – Mark Twain
- “Insert Amazon Link” lets you create a nice reference to a book from Amazon in your blog posting. In order to do this you first need to find your book in Amazon of course, then invoke that plug-in. Grab the first number appearing in the URL to that book in Amazon and fill it in as “Affiliate Id” and “ASIN”, then also specify the country extension of your Amazon site ( like DE for Germany ) – and you get something inserted into your blog posting as seen below. Yesterday night I finsihed reading this book:
- “Insert Acronyms” is another very useful plug-in. It allows you to find the meaning of acronyms and actually make those descriptions appear in your blog post. You have several options how and with what HTML tags this will be done. See the abbreviation I used in the first paragraph of this blog article ? Just hover over this one with the mouse and you’ll learn what APP means. ( This one actually was not resolved by the acronym search, but fortunately the plug-in allowed me to type in my own description )
- Like to reference to a particular posting in any RSS feed ? Use the “Insert Form Feed” plug-in to insert a link to that article including the first so many words ( configurable). Let’s see what I have been blogging about last time here in my blog:
From San Francisco to Seattle in 30 days – Day 19+20
September 22nd (Day 19): Skyline Trail Marmot at Nisqually Glacier at Mt. Rainier, getting ready for the winter The nicest birthday present I could possibly get for today was this gorgeous weather with blue skies and sunshine. After a hearty breakfast at Copper Creek Restaurant we again drove through the park and then we saw the mighty […]
How to use the Template plug-in…
Invoke menu options Insert -> Template…, define a new template or re-use a template you already defined before.
- “Templates Plugin” is a powerful tool to manage your favorite HTML code snippets to enrich your blog postings even further. For instance if you have a code snippet to create a text box on the right you can store and re-use it easily through this plug in. It becomes available through the menu item Insert -> Template …
- Inserting code snippets into blog postings on BlogCentral always has been a pain. Let’s see what the “Insert Code Snippet” plug-in can do for us:
Note the syntax highlighting and line numbering ? How cool is that ! Here you see the HTML code I have used for this template mentioned above.
- Inserting images you host on flickr or picasa becomes easy now with the help of the “Insert Flickr Image” and “Picasa Link” plug-ins.
This is excellent stuff, isn’t it ?! There are more plug-ins out there to explore and I have the strong feeling that blogging in the near future becomes twice as much fun as it always has been already.