From Microsoft Live Writer with apprehension

I have been reading some good reviews about Microsoft's Live Writer tool for blogging. And so far I've tried quite a few blogging tools in the open source area, so I have decided to give Live Writer a shot. Let's see how it goes.

So here's are some notes on my initial impression:

  1. It has all the standard bells and whistles I.e. formatting, spell-check, support for multiple blogs, support for Pinging blog services and so on.
  2. I like the fact that it allows me to edit my posts as I would expect them to appear on my blog. Live Writer downloads my blog template when I add my blogs to the tool.
  3. As usual it's editing features are pretty good. One thing I particularly like is it's ability to re-align, re-size and play around images that I want to insert in my post (such as the one one the right-hand above).
  4. There's a plug-in gallery which has 103 items at the time of writing this post. I've downloaded a file like Polaroid Picture, Flickr4Writer, Wikipedia Link Inserter and so on. I intend to try them out over the next few days.

Update (11th Nov 2008)

  • Love it's ability to drop shadows to pictures. There's an option to "photo paper" it (makes it look like a paper photo)
  • I love the fact that I can copy-paste screen shots straight into the editor. With the tools I have been using so far I've had to first save the image and then insert into my post. Live Writer takes care of everything including uploading to the blog. I see this as a huge plus.
  • I am not too impressed with it's Wikipedia Link Inserter plugin. All it seems to do is convert the selected text into a hyperlink. I am not too happy about having to have to re-edit it. But this is the plugin's limitation and does not reflect on the Live Writer.
  • Creating and editing blog posts in preview mode is quite catchy. I especially like it since the HTML generated behind is reasonably clean.
  • The only problem I've faced so far is when trying to change font (Format >> Font). I end up getting a "Error: 501 - Permission Denied" message. Not sure why, but at the moment that doesn't really affect me.
  • I also recently grabbed the beta from the MLW website. It does offer quite a few improvements over the stable release. See screenshot below

    image

All in all, I am quite happy with this tool and have decided to continue using it as my primary blogging tool. That is, until I find a better replacement ;-)

Do you use Microsoft Live Writer for blogging too? How has your experience been? Any tips and tricks?