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More Live Writer Experiences

I started this new list immediately after posting my "Liking LiveWriter" entry.  Here are some links that I've accumulated as well:

I haven't made any additions to the list lately, so I think it is time to post it, after inclusion of one more item I've been putting up with and haven't documented.

  1. Immediately correcting a post is easy.
    As always happens with me, I notice something that needs correction as soon as I view the blog entry on the actual blog.  With LiveWriter, the just-published entry is still in LiveWriter and (as installed), the updated blog page is open in my browser.  So, crossing my fingers, I edited the LiveWriter entry a little more and clicked "Publish" one more time.  Miraculously, I did not end up with two almost identical posts, but a replacement of the first post of the same article.  Nice.  dh:2007-06-05
  2. Keeping Font Sizes at Defaults is Tricky.
    I notice that once I ever fix the size of a font, it is very difficult to unfix it later.  In fact, it will stick from then on and I can't stop it unless I edit the HTML to remove the <font> tags that show up over every new element (<p>, <li>, etc.).  I have had similar problems with alignment of paragraphs, where if I ever center a paragraph, I have to force the next one to align left, and this will end up with an explicit alignment in paragraphs from then on.  I suspect this is a limitation of how runs are handled.  It is not a new problem, I am just finally recording how it leads to too much work for me.  dh:2007-06-05
  3. Honoring XML Tag-Balancing is Defeated
    When I am touching up the HTML of my blog posts, I habitually clean-up stand-alone HTML tags so they are also valid as XML and XHTML.  That is, I make sure that any <p> has a matching </p> and that tags like <hr />, <br />, and <img ... /> have those little "I'm alone here" "/>" endings.  I'm not completely obsessive about it, but I do it when I happen to be in the neighborhood for other reasons.  The much-maligned Microsoft FrontPage tolerated that in my HTML 4.01 Transitional pages.  My blog editors, including LiveWriter, don't seem to.  (I suspect it is in the use of a common control for the WYSIWYG Web Layout entry form.)  I just did that in this list item, and every time I go back and look at the HTML, the little "/>" tag endings have been forced back to ">".  Bummer.  dh:2007-06-09
  4. Blog This In Windows LiveWriter Quotes Funny
    I don't recall asking for the LiveWriter version of "Blog This" in my browsers Tools menu, but it showed up just fine.  When I highlight something I want to quote from a blog page, the initial draft that comes up in LiveWriter is a little peculiar.  First, the <head> <title> of the original post -- the one you see in the browser's title bar -- is made into the title of the draft.  That's easy to repair.  Secondly, the body of the draft begins with the selected material, indented as a quotation.  That's fine too.  And third, the first line for new body begins with a repeat of the draft title and a link to the original blog post.  This sentence is in the wrong place for me.  I basically have to cut it and paste it up above the quotation so that I can also provide an appropriate lead-in.   I can then continue with more of my own additions beyond the quotation.  It's the third bit that I find is making me work too hard.  It's also different than other "blog this" tools I've used.  Here's an article that I fashioned this way.  dh:2007-06-12
  5. Fragment Linking Works Great.
    I will put fragment Ids on blog-post paragraphs and sections so that I can cross-reference to them by linking.  I did that on this post by manually editing the footnotes/references to have anchors such as <a id="1">1</a>.   I can then make links from other text and enter the fragment Id (#1 in my example) as the URL.  And the fragment Id works as a shortcut.  That's great.  dh:2007-06-12

  6. Monospace Works Great.
    I like to use typewriter or Monospace fonts for fragments of code and bits of HTML.   The LiveWriter Format | Font ... menu doesn't provide anything like that.  However, I discovered that I can type "Monospace" as a font name and it works.  What is particularly nice about this is that Monospace seems to scale properly in browsers and "Courier New" often does not, leading to text that is too small and unreadable.  The only problem with doing this is that I have to select the material, do two mouse clicks, and then type "Monospace" every time.  If I could have definable styles or something, I could streamline LiveWriter to my own style very usefully.  dh:2007-06-12
  7. Having Multiple Articles Open - Tabs Would Be Wonderful
    I've gotten to the point where I keep LiveWriter open on my desktop, especially as I am working through unread items in my Feed Reader.   I can switch between drafts easily, but I have been wary of opening one draft, or even an old post, while I have an unsaved draft already open.  I have selected the Tools | Options | Preference "Open a new window only when there are unsaved changes to the current post" option and it did work.  I got two open instances.  Because I may have saved the changes and still want a new window, I am going to try the other option, "Open a new window for each post."  Somehow, tabs would be very useful, although behavior on closing the application would have to be smart.  dh:2007-06-16
  8. "Blog This" Improvements Needed.
    I notice that I use the "Share on Facebook" up in my IE7 Links ribbon far more readily than the "Blog This in Windows LiveWriter" link.  First it is two clicks instead of one click away.  Secondly, the Facebook applet comes up really fast.  Finally, it also makes a summary and gives me a place to add my own comment.  This is great for snatch and grab quick posts and capture of links for future reference.  The advantage of using LiveWriter is that it does not obscure the page being blogged about (which the "Share on Facebook" link does), it does not require me to keep providing my password, and the post shows up on both a blog and in Facebook, whereas Facebook items are like what happens in Vegas.  The only ways I can think of having the same flexibility in LiveWriter all make LiveWriter more complicated.  It is also an advantage of LiveWriter that I can keep my clipping as a draft and polish it later.  Still, "Share on Facebook" is really easy.  Unless the bloglet or whatever those script-embedded links are called could cause a template to be used for commenting.  No, Dennis, you are making things complicated.  Still, I want a faster way of having this all work.  Oh, I get it.  I need a different tool that makes LiveWriter drafts sort of pre-prepared in a desired comment/clipping format.  No need to overload LiveWriter itself with oddities and complex options.  Hmm ...
  9. Style Rewriting Hurts
    I am teaching myself to use styles.  In wanting to put a border around a video frame (so there is something there in the RSS feed even if the video window doesn't render), I used a simple style="border:orangered thin solid;" attribute and it was automatically expanded into the painful equivalent style="border-right: orangered thin solid; border-top: orangered thin solid; border-left: orangered thin solid; border-bottom: orangered thin solid".  This is painful not just because of the bloat.  It is a pain to change when I am experimenting with the style until I achieve the presentation that I want.  I have to make the change four times or completely deleted the generated style and substitute a single border style each time.  I chose the latter just to avoid mistakes, but it is a pain to have to do it.  dh:2007-07-05

Thanks for the great feedback. Some of your concerns will be addressed in the next version of Writer.

Did you know you can customize Blog This templates? Tools | Options | Blog This, then select the content type and hit Customize.

Also, note that you can launch new Writer windows by "launching" Writer again (it will launch a new window in the existing process).

Hope that helps!
@joe cheng: Launching again may be useful. I am back on the only-unsaved-changes option and Launching again would be an useful companion to that.

The "Blog This" customization looks helpful, although I am not clear how the various content types show up. I will repair the link customization. I should also be clear that I would also like to have more than one "Blog This" and also be able to have it on my Links menu, which is one click closer than anything on the IE 7 Tools pull-down.
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