A great Blog post editor: Windows Live Writer

When working on my Mac, I’ve been using Ecto as my blog editor of choice. It gives me a lot of flexibility, enables me to write the drafts of my blog posts while off-line (I find airplanes a great place to write entries) and integrates nicely with Apple iPhoto. You can also customize it greatly and automated many tasks and repetitive HTML snippets quickly.

On the Windows front, I have also used Ecto for a while. While it works almost as well on Windows than on MacOS, except for the iPhoto integration obviously, you can feel that this is not a native application. Listening to episode 42 of Windows Weekly, I wanted to know more about the Windows Live applications from Microsoft, and especially the one to write blog posts: Windows Live Writer. And I have to say: Microsoft, great job!


Windows Live Writer seems to be compatible with almost all the blogging platforms out there. I’ve only tested it with WordPress.org (this site) and with CommunityServer.org (my other Blog about Graphics). Setting-up the accounts is really easy. In addition to enabling you to post, Live Writer will actually get a copy of the template and style of your blog, so that you can type and preview the posting as if you were live on your site. This is a really nice feature that puts your content into context. But if you really want to, you can always revert back to HTML mode :)

There are also more and more plug-ins that are made available to add functionality to Windows Live Writer. You can for example insert YouTube videos, maps, tags, … and much more. The only thing that I seem to be missing compared to Ecto is the capability of editing previously posted blog entries. You cannot, or at least I haven’t figured out yet how to, list the previously published and drafted entries for editing.

All in all, for a free software from Microsoft, this is really worth the download. If you are looking for a blog editor that is easy to use, compatible with your blogging platform of choice and for Windows XP or Vista, give it a try.

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