This is a quick post to capture some of the highlights of what has been added or changed since the first Beta release of Wave 4 Windows Live Writer. The development team is not done yet and this is not the full list of changes. I will have individual posts that give more details about some of these items over the next few days. Many of these changes are based off of direct Beta feedback or reinforced changes the development team wanted to make but needed customer feedback to push the work to the top of the list.
This did not quite make the Beta but now Live Writer has jumplists on Windows 7. Right click on the application icon in the task bar and you will see jump list entries for recent drafts and recent posts.
Drafts and Posts on the application menu.
This is another that we new we wanted to change after moving away from the sidebar and many customers let us know that this was a must have. We hope you like the fact that you now have a way to move quickly to drafts or posts via a “most recently used” like list.
Much better theme detection
As WordPress has changed over the years Writer has not kept up with the theme changes. I would like to think that Live Writer is back on par and can accurately detect all current themes from WordPress including their new WP 3.0 theme Twenty Ten. The theme detection changes are not exclusively for WordPress. Writer will now work a lot better with the new custom Blogger themes also and should work better for really any blog server you use. WYSIWYG is much better in Blogger now. I should note that Writer still cannot themes for blogs marked as private on servers such as WordPress.
Post draft to blog now has a ribbon button
This one kind of surprised us. People really wanted a ribbon button that post draft to blog. We read many reports where people say that they post a draft to their blog and then directly go to the web to actually publish the post from there. No one really went on to explain why they need to do the extra step of publishing from the website but since y’all asked for it we were able to accommodate you. This moved the “Add blog account” button to the Blog accounts drop down list.
Much better copy/Paste from Microsoft Office
Writer has always had issues with what is the “right” way to paste content from your clipboard. Should it paste everything that was there. Does it try and make things “web friendly” and exclude stuff on the clipboard that is there but is not needed? With Office there is a lot of CSS on the clipboard that will not be needed in your blog post. If it was pasted it would really bloat your post. We think we have a good compromise of pasting what you need to keep the formatting. Bullets/numbering, heading styles, etc. all should paste better when copying from Office into Writer. I will give a lot more details and examples in a separate post.
Updated spelling dictionaries
Yes Live Writer dictionaries were really out of date. It now have the same ones that are included with Office 2010. Live Writer will have updates for all languages that it is released in. It also has an updated autocorrect list that matches the English list in Office 2010.
Photo Album improvements
Photo albums should upload faster now. This is true in Live Writer and also in Live Mail. In Live Mail there is also a better indication as to where you can add additional photos to your album. Live Mail also has some UI to set of a Photo Album expires after 90 days or not.
More keyboard shortcuts
There are more keyboard shortcuts which should appear as help topic on the web and I will have a separate post with the full list.
Hopefully this small list make you happy and that the build works much better for you. Please keep leaving feedback in the forums or on feedback.live.com.
Update: Here is where you can download the new build from: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials-beta