Aaron\'s Live Writer Blog

August 7, 2012

Go download the new version of Windows Live Writer 2012

Filed under: Live Writer, Live Writer 2012, Wave 5 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 2:30 PM

As of right now you can go to Windows Essentials 2012 (Web install) and download the Windows Essentials suite which has Windows Live Writer 2012 as part of the package. This version runs on Windows 7 and Windows 8. This is build 16.4.3503.728.

I have not had a chance to talk much with the team as to what has changed, but I am using the new version to make this post.  I know that they are taking advantage of IE 10 in Windows 8 so it should, and I can say does, work well on Windows 8.  Some of my pet peeves are fixed.

Windows Live Writer 2012 About box

Of course Windows Photo Gallery is also great which is what my team worked on Smile

March 20, 2012

An update for Windows Live Writer–Wave 4 is now available

Filed under: Live Writer 2011, Wave 4 — Tags: , — Aaron Bregel @ 1:38 PM

While I am no longer working on Windows Live Writer I still talk with that team and today we announced that there is an update to the Windows Live Essentials suite — http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2012/03/20/update-for-windows-live-essentials-2011-now-available.aspx.

When talking with the Writer team they said they just made QFE level bug fixes and did not add new features to the product.  As always I would recommend updating as things should be more stable than what you have today.  You can get the new version from http://get.live.com

As an aside working on the Photo Gallery team we did make some improvements when working with web services in that users of flickr, Facebook, or Geo-tagging will enjoy and that should be reason enough to update your build.  Smile

February 21, 2012

Shorten YouTube URLs are not friendly with Windows Live Writer –- A solution

Filed under: Live Writer 2011, Wave 4, YouTube — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 10:06 PM

About a year ago I blogged about how the URL created for sharing of a YouTube video would not work in the Insert Video dialog in Windows Live Writer.  Well it turns out that between now and then Google has changed things again, hence this blog post.

If you want to insert a YouTube video via the URL you have to use the long version of the URL and not the short version which is the default.  Once you have found the video you want to embed in your blog post on the YouTube site click on the Share button.
Share button on YouTube

Next check the Long Link button. 

Long link in YouTube settings

This will change the link from something beginning with “http://youtu.be” to beginning with “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=”. Copy that longer URL and then paste it into field on the From Web tab in the Insert Video dialog.

Windows Live Writer Insert Video dialog

August 12, 2011

How to record a setup log

Filed under: Develop, Plug-in, Wave 4 — Aaron Bregel @ 7:11 PM

This really is not Live Writer specific but is here is how to record a setup log that any setup author can use to debug a problem with setup.  This could be used with Windows Live suite setup or even for a Live Writer plug-in.

To enable Windows Installer logging yourself, open the registry with Regedit.exe and create the following path and keys:

Reg_SZ: Logging
Value: voicewarmupx

If you do not see the Installer key then with the Windows key selected then select the Edit menu, New, Key and name the key Installer.
Next with the Installer selected, select the Edit menu, New, String Value
Rename the key added to Logging and then  right click on the key and select Modify.  Enter voicewarmupx for the data value.

After you have done this run setup .msi file for the program you are trying to get the log for.

When setup finishes you should have a MSI*.LOG file in your TEMP folder.

After you have captured the log file please delete the key you have added to your registry. If you keep it there it will create a new log every time you install or uninstall software and slow down your machine in the process.

July 6, 2011

A new version of Windows live Essentials 2011 is now available

Over on the Inside Windows Live blog, Arthur de Haan announced the availability of an update to Windows Live Essentials 2011 (Wave 4).  While I did not work on this directly for Writer I know there were a few changes for Writer and Writer technologies.  SSL was a big part of this of this release for Windows Live Mail and photo mail which runs the same code as Writer was updated to enable SSL support.  This means that when your photo mails are created the images linked to SkyDrive now use SSL.  This holds true for images you add to your blog posts in Writer that are saved to SkyDrive. 

You can go download the new bits via http://explore.live.com, search for them in the Microsoft Download Center, or wait until before month’s end when you will be prompted to optionally update the suite when you boot one of the applications.  Across the board this update is worth the download.  SSL support means things are more secure for you and there are bug fixes to almost every application that just makes life better.  My team worked on the Photo Gallery changes and help a bit with the Movie Maker updates and there are some great fixes there that make things more stable.

May 21, 2011

New plug-ins

Filed under: Develop, Live Writer, Live Writer 2011, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 10:33 PM

Maybe the needed plug-ins for Windows Live Writer have all been written as there has been a big slow down in what has been submitted to be posted to http://plugins.live.com over the last few months.  Since the beginning of 2011 there have three plug-ins added plus an update to an existing plug-in.  Since there is not RSS on the site you have to go looking for them but if you do you can find some great plug-ins.  Here are the ones added/updated in 2011:

  • Twitter Update – this plug-in is a little more extensible than the plug-in published from Microsoft and allows for tweeting to three accounts on post of the blog entry.
  • Amazon Book Linker – Do you blog about books? Add your Amazon associate id and if people click through from your blog to buy you will get your commission.
  • Source Code Formatter – this is an update to a plug-in that has been available for awhile that allows you to added formatted source code to your blog entry.
  • GeSHi Server Blocks – This is another source code highlighter that works with many server side plug-ins for GeSHi.


I hope to see many more plug-ins submitted for Windows Live Writer to the plug-in site.  There are many things you can do when you are blogging.

April 16, 2011

Is the current Windows Live Writer crashing for you?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aaron Bregel @ 9:31 AM

Hi how are things?  I know I have not blogged about Live Writer for awhile but I have been sick a fair amount over the last few months.  Today, for example, I was supposed to be at WordCamp Seattle but I just cannot seem to get over this cold I have.  Work has been keeping me busy as I learn all the ins and outs of Windows Live Photo Gallery and I still try to keep an eye on what is happening with the Writer team.  I also have been blogging more on my personal account and recently used the Photo Album feature in Live Writer to upload 100s of photos to my SkyDrive share to share photos from a family vacation.  Also a few fun videos were uploaded via the post to YouTube.

My question today is to ask about if the current version of Live Writer is crashing for you?  I see tweets about crashes and blog posts being lost but I never know if that is the previous version or the current version.  You really should not be seeing blog posts lost with the new version.  If that is the case make a comment in the support forum — http://windowslivehelp.com/forums.aspx?productid=9 and also make a comment on this blog post.

February 10, 2011

IE9 Release Candidate fixes the known issues with Windows Live Writer

In the past I had blogged about a few issues with IE 9 that might have you second thinking beta testing IE 9 on the same machine that you blogged with Windows Live Writer.  I am happy to say that with the Release Candidate that came out today all of the know issues between IE 9 and Live Writer have been fixed.  If are still having issues with the release candidate and Live Writer or Live Mail please make a comment in this post and also report the issue in the forums.

If you have been using the IE 9 beta it is recommended that you uninstall it before installing the release candidate.   Once you have done the uninstall you can find the new version at http://www.beautyoftheweb.com/#/download.

Ed Bott at ZDNet has a great write-up about IE 9 and tweaks you might want to make if you find a few things different from what you are used to in IE 8.

February 3, 2011

Maps with Live Writer are more than just the address to a location

One of the nice things about inserting a map into your blog post using Windows Live Writer is that you have the full capabilities of the Bing map services for Virtual Earth. This means you do not have to enter only an address as the location but you can also enter landmarks.  For example, in the location field in the map dialog instead of an address for the Space Needle you can just enter “Space Needle” and hit the search button.  At this point you see a map for the location of the Space Needle in Seattle.

Live Writer Bing map dialog

Another nice feature is that in many places you can select from the Road, Aerial, or Bird’s eye view of a location of the map you want to insert in your blog.

Bird's eye view of Space Needle

Of course the best part of inserting a map in your blog is that for the readers of the blog they can click on the image like a hyperlink and they are taken right to the Bing map website where they could get directions to the location you are blogging about from where ever they are.  Click on the images/maps below and you can map a trip to the Space Needle, Disneyland, or the Taj Mahal!

Space Needle -- Seattle, WA


Disneyland -- Aniheim, CA


Taj Mahal -- Agra, India


I should note that depending on the language of Live Writer you are using the Bing map service might behave differently.  Different countries have different guidelines for what is displayed in maps and fun things like border locations.  In these cases Live Writer matches what you would find if you just went to Bing maps in your browser for that country.  Not all places have a Bird’s eye view.  In a few cases you might not see Aerial view, only the road view and that might not allow you to zoom in to the same detail as other locations.

January 26, 2011

Embedding YouTube videos in Windows Live Writer (IFRAME problems)

Recently there has been an uptick in the number people asking about how to embed videos from YouTube into Windows Live Writer so that you can include the video in your blog post.  The problem stems from the fact that YouTube is using <IFRAME> as the default for their embed and Liver Writer is not really happy about the <IFRAME> tag in the Source view or pasted into the Insert Video dialog.  There is a couple of reasons for this but one of the main reasons is that not very many blog servers support IFRAMEs and if you were to publish with one it would just get stripped out of the source and that might cause data loss for you.  Off of the top of my head Blogger is the only one I know that lets you add an IFRAME in their blog editor.  This post is about how to help you add a YouTube video to your blog so let’s move on.


If you are on the YouTube site you should be able to just copy the URL from your browser and paste it into Live Writer and it should convert it to a video and the location you have pasted.  Alternatively you can select to Insert a Video from the web and paste the web address.














A problem can occur when you want to use the embed created from within a YouTube web page.  The embed can contain more options beyond what you get by just pasting the web address into the Insert Video dialog.  You used to be able to just copy that embed and paste it onto the Insert Video dialog or change to Source view and paste it there.  Since YouTube has gone to IFRAME by default in the embed instead of an OBJECT tag this no longer works but there is a quick way to get it working with Live Writer.



When you click on Embed on the YouTube page check the check box to “Use old embed code” and this will switch the embed source from an IFRAME to an OBJECT which Live Writer can work with.  This way you can paste it right into the Insert Video dialog in Live Writer or into the Source view.  As you can see you have a lot of flexibility when pick the embed option in YouTube.  You can pick a specific size for the video or elect to play the HD version as examples.



If this was helpful for you please leave me a comment in this post.

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