Thursday, September 13, 2007

Windows Live Writer - Portable and Wishes

The sudden tropical storm that became a hurricane that left Houston high and dry has come and gone.

Jim Thompson's experience and feeling closely mirror my own: Updated: Where did this come from?

We have had to delay a project rollout by half a day, but still should be on target.

So as I have a few more hours before heading into work, I thought I would pass on these Windows Live Writer tidbits.

Make Windows Live Writer Portable

Some great folks have been hard at work making Windows Live Writer portable for USB drives.

I really wish more applications were designed this way, or provided "optional" install to USB features.

Ryan over at Cybernet News did a great job explaining how to make the latest version USB Portable: Making Windows Live Writer Portable - CyberNet News

He provides nice screenshots, a great walkthrough, and links to the files you will need.  It's an easy process.

ShanKri-la blog has a few more details on the same technique: Windows Live Writer Portable 2.0 - With U3 Support

Finally, TechLifeBlogged tackles it all with a highly detailed technical post on the entire process: Windows Live Writer Portable 2.0 Now with U3

Pick your poison.

Windows Live Suite Download Magic

In a show fit to make David Copperfield amazed, when you download any Windows Live Suite applications, it makes use of a unified installer.

This gets you a single "installer file" (similar to the Internet Explorer installer from IE 6.0 and 5.0 days) that then goes back to the Net and downloads the actual components.

You can download individual apps from their pages, or select the applications from a website page.

What magic lurks behind the mirrors?

Long Zheng spills the beans...but they are not Boston...they're cookies.

The cookie magic behind Windows Live Suite installer -  istartedsomething blog.

Long provides a great peek into the workings that key which Live apps get downloaded by the installer.

Words from WLW Warriors

Adam Vero left an update comment on my Changing Windows Live Writer Dictionaries post.  He appreciated me tracking down the source(s) of alternate forigen language dictionaries that can be used with WLW. Adam did an update post mentioning my post (thanks!).  I look forward to seeing Adam's views on this new version of WLW.

Rick Mahn left a very kind comment on one of my recent WLW post. That led me to his blog and this post: Windows Live Writer Wish List.  Great blogging with an interesting perspective.  Going to add Rick to my RSS feed list.

And Kent Newsome mentioned my WLW musings as well in his Evening Reading: 9/9/07.  I haven't intended to be this focused on WLW but I do seem to have taken on a role as a WLW evangelist. 

Maybe I need to stop by and pick up a KFC bucket to pass around....

Claus's Windows Live Writer Wish List

Since Rick make a wish list, I thought I would revisit my own wishes for Windows Live Writer.  I really need to track down how to contact WLW developers directly...but haven't yet.

  • We need to be able to customize the toolbar icons like we can in other Microsoft Office products.

  • Why isn't the Font Color format icon/option on the toolbar? I use font colors for headers and it is a real drag to go up there into the file menu to get to it. While we are at it, why can't I right-click and have some of the formatting options show up in the context menu as well?

  • How come I don't have sub-script and super-script formatting options?

  • Something that would be really cool would be to add "insert special character" support: HTML Entities. I'm always adding some symbols like ™ and the like. To do that I have to drop into the HTML view mode and add it there.  Yes, there is a plug-in to help with this but I would like it native to the application.

  • While we are now on that, why doesn't the program remember where my cursor is at when I switch from web-view mode into HTML view mode? I hate having to go picking through the post code from the very beginning and try to find where I want to add my "custom" code.

  • Dragging and Dropping links still takes a bit of practice. Too often I find myself running my dragged link up and down the page for a time until I can finally get it settled down to the location where I want to drop it. This isn't a video-game, guys. A little control would be nice.

  • I would like just a bit more control over the formatting (spacing) for the bullet and number lists. Most of the time I want to add a space between each bullet/number item for visual clarity. However, the only way I am able to do so is to drop into HTML mode and add some paragraph spacing codes. Give me an option to set that separation, or just let me be able to add a return and then delete the bullet but keep the space. Yes, a plug in for WLW allows me to do this but I want better native control.

Keep up the good work, WLW guys!



Anonymous said...

A pretty good wishlist, I hope the right people are reading this post...

A couple of tips I found recently. You can get a smaller space between lines by using SHIFT-ENTER instead of enter (this adds a br break instead of a p paragraph)
If you do this within a bulleted list you get a runon line with no bullet and a smaller space. This is great where you want a list of things with a heading and some follow up details for each one. Again this is just using a br and it is far neater than dropping out of the ul to a paragraph and back in for the next item.
If you are using a numbered list this is essential to keep the numbering going properly.

One to add to the wishlist:
support for WordPress tags by default, rather than after a registry hack. I suspect this will arrive in the release version, but a beta 4 might be prudent since it does seem to cause some instabilities when editing old post (in my experience):

Anonymous said...

URL broke. Try tiny version:

Anonymous said...

Hi Adam,

Great tips! I appreciate you sharing them.

I think that Shift-Enter combo is going to be my new best-friend in WLW!

I wonder how many other "unlisted" key-combos for WLW there are?

Loved your post discussing Categories and Tags. I hadn't thought about fully but you captured the issues great.

Here's a hyperlink to your post for the lazy who don't want to copy/past the URL's you left into their address bar.

How to make WordPress’ new Tags work with Windows Live Writer