Offline Publishing…The Microsoft Way

So a while back I made mention of W.Bloggar, an offline blog posting software. There are a few reasons one might want to use one of these tools. The main one, not being connected to the net very often, is probably the best reason to use one of these tools, but there are other good reasons to use this kind of software. For me, I think it might be helpful to have one place to generate ideas and build posts that I can chew on a little bit before I hit the publish button. I can’t tell you how many times I have hit the cancel button halfway through building a post simply because I hit a wall and I didn’t feel like saving it in WordPress and dealing with it later.

I am giving Windows Live Writer a shot. I am no Windows Fanboy, but I do think they occasionally put out some decent software and when it’s free, I have to at least give it a try.

One big thing I notice about all of these nifty blog integration tools is that some will actually break my site. I have been using a plugin called QuickPost that allows me to post directly to my blog from a link on my Firefox toolbar. I can be on any site, click the link, select the content I want to post to my site, choose my categories to post in, and I’m done. This works with text, images, and video…at least it should. All of these things work for me, but not well. The reason is that these tools do not account for the stylesheet I am using on my site. In my case, images that are wider than 550 pixels will show up, but it looks stupid since the image ends up colliding with my sidebar. Video is totally messed up. I have tried to add a YouTube video through QuickPost and the CSS gets completely hosed. My sidebar will end up at the bottom of my page and the margins for the content ends up being as wide as the browser page….not good. I am, however, able to post YouTube video to my site through WordPress with a plugin…and it has never failed me.

When I setup Windows Live Writer, I was able to download the stylesheet from my site. It appears that WLW pulls the background and the margins for the content because as I type this, the software is keeping my text within the 550 pixel margin that exists on my site. It also uses my color scheme. It really gives me an idea of how things will look when posted, which is the point of a WYSIWYG editor.

So let’s test it out shall we?

First up, an image that is too large for my site…


It inserted as a small image. I assume that it inserts as a thumbnail and links out to the original image…We will see.

Next up, video. I will stick with YouTube since it’s what I typically use for a video source.

It has inserted a blank spot in my post…. we’ll see what happens.

So there we go, if you are reading this, it didn’t destroy my site and I just might be able to use this software again….


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