Windows Live Writer
Just the other day, a good friend of mine, Mithun, coaxed me into using another tool, that does the job of posting from the desktop, and do a small comparison: Windows Live Writer. I had it downloaded a while back, but after I saw w.bloggar, I didn’t proceed to try out the next one I had in hand. But tell you what, WLW got me impressed in a manner more than the former i just reviewed.
You can download WLW from here. Its a web based installer, so you need to be connected to the internet to get the installation done. On a decent broadband connection, installation completes within 5-15 minutes.
Once the installation is over, you are given your options. If you don’t have a blog, WLW presumably lets you set one up at Windows Live Spaces, but if you got a client running with WordPress or TypePad or Blogger or any other, the last option will do.
Setting up WLW to connect to my blog was much easier than w.bloggar. You are just asked to provide your blog address (http://yourblog.yourhosting.com), your username and password, and then wait for a few seconds and you are in. That’s it. No technico crap to stop and go pondering for help.
After you are connected, (this is the best part), WLW downloads your theme settings (upon your confirmation), and arranges elements to show you how you will see your final post on the web browser. So, this works more like a WYSIWYG editor(What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get), just like FrontPage, another web designing tool from Microsoft. This way you have more functionality and flexibility when designing and organizing a post.
There are lots of features and options when it comes to posting. You can do a local draft save or do a save on the server, there are options to schedule a post (same as that of w.bloggar), You can open all your recent posts (and maybe all of them), you can embed videos, pictures, audio, tables etc.
On comparing WLW with w.bloggar, the latter had a blocky outlook with things, you wouldn’t see the same formatting options as those seen with WLW. One of the very things that bothered me was that there wasn’t a dictionary involved for auto checking grammatical and dictionary errors in w.bloggar, the same tool that you see in Office Word. Dragging and dropping texts were also not possible. Inserting pictures were at times was smooth and when you do so from a URL, the picture loads along while you continue editing, and when you multi task between a web browser and the software, chances are there that you will see a crash as well. By crash, i mean its mostly a minimizing of the window and secluding itself with the taskbar (you will start fidgeting once it disappears from the screen); i haven’t lost any written files anyway.
But with all those aside, w.bloggar was stable in its working, in the sense, when you are using the program, it works and scrolls through tons of text with no issues at all, but when you do the same with WLW, the screen gets jittery and at one point, came to a complete stop, that i had to wait for a resume-able moment.
Because of the WYSIWYG feature of WLW, the tool is absolutely perfect for (amateur) users who wants to add the jazz the way they want it to be seen. That is not possible with w.bloggar; i had to go to my online editor and clean out a few mistakes with text and picture alignment and stuff. Picture inserting with WLW is another factor, and right now i can’t seem to add pictures from URLs, (you are only given option to select files from the PC), which was very much possible with w.bloggar, where you could load the picture through the internet and could continue working with the minimal picture settings available. This part of WLW is a major headache and I had to go through a crazy route of inserting pics (you see on this post) using the online dashboard, w.bloggar and Live Writer. Guess there are things still to be improved upon.
A load of plug-ins are available for WLW; free and premium ones, and do they a lot, promising extended usability of the software.
All in all, WLW is another tool that lets you blog easily, tag photos, videos, and other content, as easy as writing a document and saving it. And the WYSIWYG feature along with the ease of setting up, will impress many and probably set this software as their default desktop app.