A new version of Windows Live Writer was just released and it has quite a long list of changes. I have been using Windows Live Writer ever since it was opened to the public and I couldn’t imagine not writing with it now.
Here is a list of the new features:
- Tagging support
- Support for Blogger Beta
- Categories are sorted by name and support scrolling, plus improved support for reading categories from your blog
- Improved startup performance
- Paste is enabled for Title region and TAB/SHIFT+TAB navigation between title and body supported
- Insert hyperlink added to context menu when text is selected
- Title attribute in Insert Link dialog
- Custom date support for Community Server
- Improved keyboard shortcuts for switching views
- Change spell-check shortcut key to F7
- Add ‘png’ to insert image dialog file type filter
- More robust image posting to Live Spaces
- Improved style detection for blogs
- Fixed issues with pasting URLs and links
- Remember last window size and position when opening a new post
- Open post dialog retrieves more than 25 old posts
The biggest problem that I still have is that Windows Live Writer doesn’t support nested categories. However, the category list now has a scrollbar, a refresh button, and is now alphabetized by category name. That means I will still upload a post as a draft in order to ensure all categories and information are correct before the article gets published.
There are also six plugins available for those who are looking to add new features that Windows Live Writer currently doesn’t offer:
- Blog This For Firefox – The “Blog This” Firefox button launch Windows Live Writer prepopulated with content from the current web page. Use it to quickly blog about interesting content you find while browsing the web.
- Blog This For Internet Explorer – The Blog This for Internet Explorer adds a button to IE which starts a new Windows Live Writer blog post prepopulated with content and title from the current web page. Blog the whole page, or just selected snippets. Interacts with other registered plugins to parse and structure web content where appropriate. Blog quickly when you find something of interest on the web.
- Event Plugin – Create your own events or find existing events through intergrated search of the Eventful.com website. Format the event, add a picture, edit the description, customize what data is displayed. The published post included correct hCalendar microformatting. The plugin also enables pastes of Live Clipboard copied events and Blog This of events from the Eventful.com website.
- Flickr4Writer – Flickr4Writer is a plugin that enables interaction with the Flickr(tm) services. You can browse by tags, photosets, or a simple photostream. After browsing, the plugin enables inserting the image reference into a post. A Flickr(tm) account is required. See http://www.flickr4writer.com for more information and screenshots.
- Acronyms Plugin – This plugin lets you search for an acronym description and insert it the acronym with the description in the blog post.
- Insert Spaces Emoticon – This plugin allows you to select one of the many Live Spaces emoticons and put them onto your blog. The best thing about this plugin is it’s not limited to just Live Spaces. You can use this plugin for any type of blog and still have the Spaces’ emoticons on it.
I think that Windows Live Writer is really starting to come along nicely. They still have some work ahead of them but it is definitely evolving into a nice piece of software.