Using Live Writer

Blogger’s editor has recently become excruciatingly slow and irritating. I continued using it because I like the way it integrates my Picasa web albums, making it very easy to add photos to my posts (when it works of course). This past week I read Dawn’s post on Live Writer, so downloaded it this morning. I try not to use Microsoft when I can help it, but using *free* Microsoft doesn’t feel as bad . . .

First impressions:

Easy to use interface feels like a minimalist version of Word. No waiting around for blogger/google/adsense to load – you work right on your computer, not on the Internet.


You can save drafts on your hard drive.

It is easy to add labels – just check them on a list.

Links to your own posts and other places on the web are a breeze. You can also set whether the link should open in a new window. Nice!


Integration with Picasa Web Albums is not automatic (I’m using the Windows XP version). The Live Writer help centre is useless and provides no information on this as far as I could see. You first have to download a plug-in here and install it. Then restart Live Writer and a new option “Picasa Photo” appears on the Insert menu.

Once you’ve done this, it’s easy to add pics. 

Your albums are sorted alphabetically and photos appear much more quickly than in Blogger. It seems easy to move them around; align them left, right, or centre; change or remove the caption; use a border or not; or change the white space around them. The only thing I miss is the easy way in which I could change the size in Blogger. But maybe I won’t miss it that much, because I see I can save my preferred settings as the default.

just a random photo from a random album
just a random photo from a random album

And now my paragraphs have the line spacing they’re supposed to have. For some reason Blogger always changed some of the paragraphs to have a very tight line spacing, which I hated.

Edited after publishing: Publishing the post took mere seconds. Love it!


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