How to Use Windows Live Writer

November 24, 2010, By Christian Cawley

As we’ve seen in previous articles, there is a built-in tool in Microsoft Word 2010 to allow you to write blog posts and send them to the WordPress, Blogger and of course Windows Live Spaces blog platforms.

But what if you don’t have Word 2010? Well a suitable alternative would be Windows Live Writer, which comes as part of the Windows Live Essentials pack for Windows 7.

This tool can be used to create and edit blogs and blog posts, and is free to download and use. Visit explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials to download the small installer file, which (depending on the options you choose when you run it) will quickly download Windows Live Writer.  Alternatively take a little time to download the entire Windows Live Essentials suite.

Windows Live WriterGetting Started with Windows Live Writer

When you open Windows Live Writer, you can choose to Create a new blog or select to create a blog post for WordPress, SharePoint, Windows Live Spaces or a variety of other services such as Google Blogger, TypePad and others. The Create a new blog option will take you to a screen asking you to click a link to create a blog at WordPress.com – ideal if you don’t have a blog already.

Otherwise, choose one of the other options to create a blog post. For this tutorial, we’ll use the WordPress option. Click Next when you have made your choice of blog platform and make sure you have your blog username and password details to hand.

In the next screen, you will need to enter your blog’s Web address and the User name and Password that you would normally use to access the admin page, or in the case of WordPress, the Dashboard. Click OK to submit these details – Windows Live Writer will then connect to your blog via the web and once setup you can give the blog a nickname. There is also an option to share your blog on Windows Live whenever it is updated from Windows Live Writer, a great way to let people know that your blog is updated.

Click Finish to continue into the blog editor.

Writing a Blog Post with Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer is a very clever desktop blogging client – as you will find out as you launch the blog post editor, Windows Live Writer will display a real-time live preview of your blog for you to see exactly how the post will look as you type it.

You can start typing right away, and use the Font options on the Home tab to add the usual underlining, bold, strikethrough and other text stylings to your post. Meanwhile the HTML styles section gives you a choice of headings and the Paragraph tools provide blockquote, ordered list and unordered list (numbered and bulleted list) tools.

Using the Insert tools meanwhile, you can add hyperlinks, pictures and videos, and the Editing tools even offer a spellcheck facility, something your web browser probably doesn’t have!

With the fields directly above the text entry area, you can select a category for your blog post as well as insert comma separated tags and even schedule a date and time to publish the post.

This powerful, free blogging tool will also let you save blog posts on your computer, avoiding those sticky situations when your internet connection goes down while you’re publishing the blog. Simply use File > Save > Save or click the disk icon to store a copy of the post on your PC.

Finally, Windows Live Writer will even let you Publish the post, or save a draft copy to your blog to be published later!

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