This is the first entry that I am writing using life writer, and I am not sure if it’s because of the settings, or if it’s emulating my CSS of my WordPress theme. It seemed to be the same form and header that it looks like in my blog!

So what am I going to write about? Naturally, I am going to go through the step by step installation of Windows Live Writer (WLW) up to the point I submit this post.

You would have to firstly download the latest non-beta version of WLW at http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/, which will also give you an insight of what WLW is all about. Beta testers have complained about crashes, so this might be something that you want to look into. Currently, WLW supports MSN Spaces and WordPress. I am not sure if it supports the more popular Blogspot thought. Anyone Blogspot users out there? =)

So, after you are done with your download, you should see the following screens:

wlw01

Now, you should really click on Accept because clicking on Cancel is not going to get you anywhere. This you have to trust me. =) After this, you should get the next screen:

wlw02

Now, because I am not exactly an avid fan of MSN Live yet, I unchecked all the rest of the checkboxes. You should check according to your preferences. After you have decided on this, you click on Install. For obvious reasons, you may also choose to click on Cancel. =)

wlw03

This portion begins the scan of your computer for other Windows Live programs, such as your Windows Live Messenger, which is essentially your MSN Messenger. This should take quite a while. It took a few minutes on my computer, and lo and behold, you get the follow screen:

wlw04

Installation has apparently started without me knowing, except that it says so in the middle of the window, and  that you may feel free to do other things while you wait. This is really interesting. This is the first time that I see such messages. I hope they don’t mean that I can do *many* other things while I wait.

wlw05

Thank goodness it finished within a reasonable amount of time. However, instead of the usual blank screen that screams *installation is complete*, this still looks pretty much the same, except that it tells you that the Start Writer is installed and the Cancel button changes to a Close. At this point of time, should you decide to install Messenger, Mail, Toolbar, Photo Gallery (wow!) and Family Safety, you may check on the respective boxes and click on Add to installation. It should probably continue.

When you first start WLW, it’d prompt you to set up your blog settings, or if you would like to sign up for one using either Windows Live Spaces or SharePoint blogging. Since I am using WordPress, I selected "Another Weblog Service".

wlw0A

After making your selection, you would go on to the next window that’d prompt you on your Weblog Homepage and Login. For WordPress, you just need to specify your blog URL as well as the username and password that you use to access your /wp-admin.

wlw0B

When this is done, WLW starts scanning the URL for more information as well as downloading the current WordPress theme so that you have a WYSIWYG effect in the editor.

wlw0D1

Lastly, it confirms with you your configuration. If you see a "Switch to this weblog now" checkbox, it means that you have a preconfigured weblog using WLW previously.

So, installation of WLW did turn out to be a rather pleasant experience – and hence, the next challenge would be the usability. Remember I mentioned something about the editor looking like my WordPress theme? Well, here it is:

wlw06

Quite a cool interface, isn’t it? If you noticed, the title "First entry using Windows Live Writer resembles that of my current WordPress theme! This is totally awesome! Ok, let me enlarge that a little.

wlw07

Did you see that red line under the "wordpress" word? Yes, there’s also a spell checker installed, and apparently it supports 4 languages including English, French, Spanish and German.

So, what’s my 2 cents worth of this? I’d think this is a pretty good offline blogging tool – that means I am no longer at the mercy of my WordPress which dies on me every now and then and not saving my drafts properly. The next challenge is of course, using this as a platform to live blog – to test if it can publish and then "save and continue editing". If this is doable – without the system crashing, then this will indeed be my ultimate blogging tool.

One last thing. The images inserted in this entry is done effortlessly using the Insert Picture command on the sidebar panel. It’s totally incredible because you can just resize your pictures while maintaining aspect ratio. In addition, it throws in the shadows for you too (there are options on the right panel when you select the picture)!

This entire blog post was done using 3 tools: Windows Live Writer, Windows Snipping Tool and Windows Paint. I do hope WLW lives up to its name. =)

PS: The reason why I put a "Part 1" is because I think there’d be more to come. So do stay tune if you are interested in offline blogging (not that this is the only tool around, but it does seem to work well so far).



Reader's Comments

  1. Miccheng | November 16th, 2007 at 2:27 am

    Wow… looks good!

  2. First Post from Windows Live Writer at Constructive Deconstruction | November 16th, 2007 at 4:09 am

    […] After a simple(but rather long) installation process, i’m finally making my first post from WLW. Thanks Jean for the Step-by-Step guide! […]

  3. Steven | November 16th, 2007 at 6:35 am

    Yep, it posts to Blogger as well as Typepad and others. I use it with my Blogger blogspot blog.

  4. Random News of the Day: 16th November 2007 at Constructive Deconstruction | November 16th, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    […] has redeemed itself for past mistakes…at least for the next 2 weeks.( Reviews & Guides : Here and Here […]

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