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Dec 04 2010

Windows Live Writer 2011 – 15 Most Requested Fixes/Updates


image thumb1 Windows Live Writer 2011   15 Most Requested Fixes/UpdatesAaron posted something new on his website and it’s truly more [I think] of a personal existential experiment than what Microsoft would openly offer. But it’s nice to see that Aaron is willing to step out of the box and make an attempt to put a human face to the Windows Live Writer dev team, and for Microsoft in general.

In my opinion… and I don’t know him personally, but I think his post is more of a curiosity thing, more of a thing to show the Microsoft dev team, ‘hey, look at all this feedback!’, the people can and this is what they want— this is how they feel about Windows Live Writer.

Question is; once all this hub-bub has calmed down and the comments subside, will Microsoft Windows Live team even stopped to listen? Will they care? Or is it back to listening to which shareholder is using Windows Live Writer, and what do they want it to do [today]?

Aaron has/had a great idea, but I can’t just respond in his comments section on his post; so I did this post to answer his request/post…

Knowing what’s wanted in Windows Live Writer isn’t really a hard thing to figure out, you just have to go to the support forums. All the problems and wishes are right there to read…

The Windows Live forums are so jacked up you can’t search or find anything, you won’t be notified when your post is updated, so it’s very difficult to find out what Microsoft Windows Live dev team has reported, or what they’ve resolved. And there’s never a WHAT’s NEW in the Windows Live Writer programs— so you don’t know what changes from version to version.

Here’s my list of top things for Windows Live Writer to implement for the greater good, from requests presented in the support forum:
[Like it’s some sort of mystery…]

 

Find And Replace

Absolutely, a must have for Windows Live Writer. Why it’s not already in there— I don’t know; it’s 2011 and so simple to implement. Why it has to require a plug-in to have the option to do a find and replace on a post is beyond me.

http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=f4a3296d-89f2-4ae7-be6a-590c2fe30bf8

 

Attaching Files

Another MUST have for Windows Live Writer is the ability to attach files to a blog. This is another basic function I believe Windows Live Writer should’ve put in place for before the 2011 release. Instead, Windows Live Writer relies on plug-ins to do that for the application.

 

Add the Ability to Indent

Windows Live Writer misses the basic ability to indent. Blockquote TAG is the only option there is to indent in Windows Live Writer. And while some blog themes react to this just fine, this isn’t the case for other blogs and thus there should be an option adjust indenting method.

Indenting text can be done with a P or a DIV tag in the HTML code [very easily] and the application of the callout of the MARGIN is the magical option. Just about every blogging editor has an option to indent [using margins] and still Windows Live Writer doesn’t.

The last time I inquired about it, I was told it’d be handled in the next version. The next version is out and nothing was done.

[this whole section is a DIV section with a MARGIN indent]
http://lehsys.blogspot.com/2010/10/windows-live-writer-2011-how-to-indent.html

 

SYNC Options

Sync Plug-ins, posts and drafts to the ‘cloud’ – not just Skydrive. This would include a service like drop box or somethingelse, like gDrive. Since Microsoft doesn’t want users to have a portable version [see below] — maybe we can have a SYNC option.

 

Storage of Posts

With the current structure of Windows Live Writer right now, all the posts are placed in to a specific location on your hard drive; you can’t change that or move it.

     C:UsersUSERNAMEDocumentsMy Weblog Posts
OR
     C:Documents and SettingsUSERNAMEDocumentsMy Weblog Posts

This poses some problems for some people. Windows Live Writer needs the option to be able to specify where they want to keep their posts and drafts.

Able to store posts and drafts in another places, not the hard coded place Microsoft wants.

 

Extensions/Add-ons Handling

A better extension handling, something like Firefox or Chrome has; something easier. ONe of the most appealing thing about Windows Live Writer is the expansibility of the application, but at the same time, there’s not that many plug-ins in the gallery.

And Microsoft just tried to update the Windows Live Writer gallery with a new format and it’s horrible, so much its been taken down only 2 days of being placed online. Microsoft needs to work on this a lot.

Expanding the functions of Windows Live Writer is easy with the use of plug-ins; here’s a link to the main Windows Live Writer gallery…

Link:
     http://gallery.live.com/results.aspx?bt=9&pl=8

 

Tables Handling

Better handling for tables would be nice; what you’ve now is something from the 90’s. Microsoft FrontPage 2003 has better support right now than Windows Live Writer. You can’t even set a background color for a table in Windows Live Writer right now.

 

Editing OLD Posts

The execution of Windows Live Writer on editing OLD posts is horrible. The current construct of Windows Live Writer says that it has to query the blog, require the server to use all it’s memory to establish a list and then have that list downloaded to the local PC, and this is done per request, each time.

I have already proved that Windows Live Writer retrieval process is flawed and turned in a bug report.  The servers without enough memory will not allow you to read/edit old posts.

http://lehsys.blogspot.com/2010/10/problem-found-windows-live-writer-2011.html

This poses a problem to a majority of Windows Live Writer users that have over 500 posts [dependent on host server memory].

There’s a hack to opening old posts here…
http://www.lehsys.com/2010/07/windows-live-writer-how-to-open-old-posts/

 

Storing Posts offline

Very close in the previous point, posts should be stored offline. Windows Live Writer should’ve the ability to download and store your posts offline [w/images], even if Windows Live Writer didn’t write them; and this is for some very important reasons.

A. Referencing all old posts, to find similar posts/topics in regards to the one your writing— Zemanta does this a bit within it’s plug-in, but having this natively seems to be obvious.

B. To be able to reuse, gallery images, pictures in more current posts [recycling if you will]. I’d like to reference Zoundry Raven [open source] in this section because it has this function already and works very well as an offline resource for finding like stories and images; it’s ver convienient.

C. Backup; everyone in the forums are always asking about backups of their blog/blogs. Currently Windows Live Writer only stores what it composes. Any posts not created with Windows Live Writer in some way or the other, there’s no backup of that content.

 

AutoLinking Per Blog [LinkGlossary.XML]

Everyone who has a blog, most likely has another, or multiple ones.

One of the neatest, and time saving, features of Windows Live Writer is the auto linking feature, but if you blog about technology and about tree pruning, you may not have a need to link technology links in your tree pruning blog; that’s why there should be an auto linking library per blog, and/or the option simply use a global one.

 

Theme Detection Correction

Windows Live Writer biggest draw and point of friction is the Theme Detection. Windows Live Writer advertises the ability to edit posts with a WYSIWYG editing environment, but when Windows Live Writer can’t detect the theme, problems and frustration ensue.

Themes for blogging services [Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress, Etc.] continue to evolve and while Windows Live Writer has made some improvements to theme detection; it’s still not perfect.

This was also a problem with previous versions as well, and Brandon Turner saw this and actually tried to come up with a way to FIX the theme problems with Windows Live Writer, but even when I submitted my suggestion to make the theme FIX part of Windows Live Writer, I knew it wouldn’t.

http://www.lehsys.com/2010/02/windows-live-writer-creating-a-custom-template/

This problem continues to plague users and this is why I believe Windows Live Writer dev should offer more in the form of theme correction and the ability to MANUALLY edit the basic Template theme, per blog account. So, even if you can’t download YOUR blog theme, you can still compose and edit the post based on the FONT and the WIDTH of the blog column…

Something I‘ve asked for repeatedly.

 

Image Editing

Multiple Images

Windows Live Writer needs to have the ability to edit multiple images at once. For instance, if you import 20 images in to a blog post, you should be able to use the CTRL option to select all the images you want and then apply image size, effects, alignment and basic adjustments, at one time; right now you’ve to do that one at a time [unless you’re using a default option]

http://lehsys.blogspot.com/2010/09/windows-live-writer-2011-setting.html

Options for more Image Profiles

Image profiles should have the option to add more, or manage them. Small, Medium, Large and Original just aren’t robust enough. Anyone who’s ever added images to Windows Live Writer knows this is an area for improvement.

http://lehsys.blogspot.com/2010/09/windows-live-writer-2011-image.html

 

Better Access to Plug-ins [Return the SIDEBAR]

With the latest release of Windows Live Writer the ribbon GUI was introduced. While this is great for some, it was a less than stellar addition from my point of view. The biggest issue is the removal of the SIDEBAR.

The Sidebar used to be quick access to all the plug-ins I was using, now the plug-ins are buried in a drop down menu I have to navigate each time I’d like to apply a plug-in effect or function.

In my opinion… there should be at least an option to use a sidebar. There are users out there that more more advanced and would greatly appreciate its return.

 

USB Portable Version

Windows Live Writer is arguably the best blogging tool there’s on the web. Even MAC users want Windows Live Writer for MAC; that’s how good it is, but while the previous version had a hack that’d allow v14 to be loaded on to a jumpdrive, Windows Live dev team seems to have closed that loop and denied users from having Windows Live Writer on a jumpdrive— taking it on the go.

Again, Windows Live Writer is very popular. I fail to see why Microsoft would not allow a portable version— its been requested over and over.

 

I spend a lot of time in the Windows Live Writer forum and I make an attempt offer help and workarounds to issues as they’re presented. Lots of users are requesting help on Windows Live Writer issues, but sadly on a lot of issues there’s only a response to SUBMIT FEEDBACK for features…

I’d speculate this is okay for Microsoft, but I believe people are getting used to, from other projects, seeing what’s being worked on; what’s being fixed. There’s many projects like Hootsuite and others that have open forums,a nd the USERS vote on what need to be fixed.

Microsoft Windows Live dev team [not that I’ve seen] offer an open notice the development of Windows Live Writer. There’s nothing to show direction of Windows Live Writer, or what users are requesting most. I believe this makes a typical user feel powerless and hopeless in the application that they’re using.

And all the issues I have listed here have been presented in the forums on multiple times; you’re welcome to research it— I just wished the Windows Live dev team was more open about Windows Live Writer and it’s current status and future.

Even with all the things that are listed here that need to be fix and/or addressed, Windows Live Writer is still the best blogging software.

If not already, download the latest version…
     http://explore.live.com/windows-live-writer?os=other

I appreciate it…

 

Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.
LEHSYS.com 

 Windows Live Writer 2011   15 Most Requested Fixes/Updates


cancel Windows Live Writer 2011   15 Most Requested Fixes/Updates
 Windows Live Writer 2011   15 Most Requested Fixes/Updates

Windows Live Writer 2011 – 15 Most Requested Fixes/Updates

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14 comments

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  1. technogran1

    The Windows Live Writer team have always, as long as I can remember, been open to suggestions and feedback from Live Writer users. They used to have their own forum quite apart from any of the other Live Teams where not only could your go for help and it would be answered by a member of the team, but you could also request new features and give general feedback as well.

    In fact, you could usually get an email back more or less straight away from a member of the team if you contacted them through Live Writer itself which had a 'help' tab. Its why I have always voted them the Live team of the year because unlike some of the other Live teams, they are so ready to listen to users. So this post on his blog by Aaron is nothing new to me

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      TGran,
      I believe they might be 'open' to suggestions, but the question is, what do they do with them? No one knows; it's not disclosed what they've and what they don't. And accepting suggestions and actually doing something with them are completely different actions… I hope you would agree.

      I just don't see where Windows Live Writer dev team is working on anything specific to really improve the product or respond to what users are asking for… And in 2yrs of 'improvements' all I could clearly see in the NEW version was the addition of the ribbon GUI. Everything is basically the same… from which I offer this…

      Link:
      http://www.lehsys.com/2010/02/windows-live-writer

      I've seen your stuff, and I have read your posts, and I realize you've an affection for Microsoft products and the Windows Live dev team, but my focus is more directed to function. I would easily pay for Windows Live Writer for what it does, but at the same time I'm still going to ask that they keep doing something with the application; improving it and listening to users requests and actually applying them.

      So, while Aaron is asking for feedback from the Windows Live Writer public; I believe it's more of an experiment to draw people out… but to no resolution. To simply allow them to scream at a wall from which no one is listening. People typically will feel better if they're allowed to voice a comment, thinking that it will be used…

      I could be easily swayed back to Zoundry Raven if they ever decided to restart/pickup on it's development again. I believe Zoundry Raven was going in the right direction when Windows Live Writer came out, but the support for Zoundry Raven dropped… If you've use Zoundry Raven, you'd know what I was talking about.

      For what Aaron was asking for, I couldn't just leave this as a comment…

      Always a pleasure…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

      1. Technogran

        Your missing the whole point Larry. Which other Live team can you think of that asks users for their feedback and welcomes it? In fact, which other Microsoft team full stop asks for 'ordinary users' feedback? At least they ask, and seeing as I am just an ordinary user who requested the ribbon interface in particular to be applied to Writer, I consider the Live Writer team to be very open to suggestions. But then I admit, I am biased! ;)
        My recent post Review- Flock the Social Browser

        1. Larry Henry Jr.

          I disagree…all of them get feedback the same way.For instance Windows Live Movie Maker.Feedback for the Windows Live Movie Maker team for suggestions/improvements:https://feedback.live.com/default.aspx?productkey=moviemaker and again, taking suggestions, and using them; two completely different actions.Have a nice day… Happy Holidays! Until next time,Larry Henry Jr.

  2. Larry Henry Jr.

    Glad to help.

    Until next time,
    Larry Henry Jr.

  3. Indhu

    I absolutely agree about returning the sidebar. Initially I thought I'd hit some wrong key combinations that made the sidebar go away and was strugging for a while searching the options (phew!!). Another thing I found missing was auto-saving of the drafts – accidental closure in midst of a post means having to type the entire post again.
    My recent post In the Woods

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      Hey, sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, things are so busy.
      But you might want to see this… If you're using Windows Live Writer 2011, and you want to Set the time interval for saving posts… check this out. It's a registry setting now.

      Link:
      http://bit.ly/hvQQmr

      Just trying to help…

      Thank you,
      Larry Henry Jr. http://www.LEHSYS.com

  4. David

    Larry,
    Thanks for being "courageous" enough to declare that everyone's favorite darling in blogging software has some gaping holes. It's no wonder I agree with you though, I too was a Raven user and would still be using it until it stopped working on my Win7 machine and no amount of cajoling/uninstalling/reinstalling could make it work again. Now I "settle" for Live Writer and BlogDesk for my blogging duties. I also have an XP machine and find that the old interface was much better than the insane ribbon that's taken over Microsoft products like some mind-control drug.

    Interestingly, in my search for a replacement for Raven, NONE of the paid options were as feature-ful as I needed. The "free" tools really rule the roost in blog clients. Windows Live Writer probably IS at the top currently but frequently the Emperor has no clothes!
    My recent post Naked and Unashamed

  5. David

    Larry,
    Thanks for being "courageous" enough to declare that everyone's favorite darling in blogging software has some gaping holes. It's no wonder I agree with you though, I too was a Raven user and would still be using it until it stopped working on my Win7 machine and no amount of cajoling/uninstalling/reinstalling could make it work again. Now I "settle" for Live Writer and BlogDesk for my blogging duties. I also have an XP machine and find that the old interface was much better than the insane ribbon that's taken over Microsoft products like some mind-control drug.

    Interestingly, in my search for a replacement for Raven, NONE of the paid options were as feature-ful as I needed. The "free" tools really rule the roost in blog clients. Windows Live Writer probably IS at the top currently but frequently the Emperor has no clothes!
    My recent post Naked and Unashamed

  6. David

    Larry,
    Thanks for being "courageous" enough to declare that everyone's favorite darling in blogging software has some gaping holes. It's no wonder I agree with you though, I too was a Raven user and would still be using it until it stopped working on my Win7 machine and no amount of cajoling/uninstalling/reinstalling could make it work again. Now I "settle" for Live Writer and BlogDesk for my blogging duties. I also have an XP machine and find that the old interface was much better than the insane ribbon that's taken over Microsoft products like some mind-control drug.

    Interestingly, in my search for a replacement for Raven, NONE of the paid options were as feature-ful as I needed. The "free" tools really rule the roost in blog clients. Windows Live Writer probably IS at the top currently but frequently the Emperor has no clothes!
    My recent post Naked and Unashamed

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      David,
      Hey thanks for your gracious comments. I'm not able to say I'm courageous enough, but after trying package after package of blog applications to work with, Windows Live Writer IS the best… and while there are holes in the application, it's still better than others— and that's VERY surprising. Windows Live Writer isn't complicated. And the fact there's such a limited set of options for the application, as far as formatting and blogging, it's nuts.

      I have lamented over the possibility that another entity might create something much more robust thanWindows Live Writer… but that has yet to materialize. And I would wonder if something like that would happen at all, considering that most everything is going to a web-based interface anyways, but there's always going to be a requirement to be able to compose information off-line…

      I would really love to see someone step forward and create something really robust, and something that was really built for bloggers to compose their information.

      Thanks for your comments…

      Thank you,
      Larry Henry Jr. http://www.LEHSYS.com

  7. Manoj Sharma

    Very good article, many many thanks for sharing with us.
    My recent post Zebstation Lite A Portable Speaker

  8. Mouad

    Hi Larry. I believe you are the same Larry who helped me couple of times on the WLW forums :)
    I must say WOW, I have experienced the need of every single feature you suggested above. Thank you very much. I hope the dev team have seen this !! (please make sure they do ) !

    My recent post ?????? ???.. ???? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ?? ?????????? ?????

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      Hey— I greatly appreciate your time…
      and your comments. Hopefully the dev team will make an attempt fix some of these issues with the next version, but I believe they\’re going to be more occupied with getting LIVE to the cloud; which isn\’t really going to be the answer.

      again, your time is greatly appreciated…
      I hope your weekend was good…
      And I hope you have a nice day!

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

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