Aaron\'s Live Writer Blog

December 30, 2010

Great post on how to develop a plug-in for Windows Live Writer

Filed under: Develop, Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 7:46 PM

I do not write enough about how to develop a plug-in for Windows Live Writer and I should try and work on that in 2011.  Microsoftie Dan Waters took time out from blogging about the Cloud to write up a post about writing a Twitter plug-in that supports bit.ly including how to set things up on Visual Studio.


Twitter Notify which can be found on http://plugin.live.com supports many URL shorteners but not out of the box.  You can read about how to modify it and the app to do so in a post I did earlier in the year.

Dan’s plug-in can also be found on http://plugin.live.com.


December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays

Filed under: Live Writer — Tags: — Aaron Bregel @ 10:26 PM

This is a bit late for those that celebrate Hanukkah but Happy Holidays to all of the Windows Live Writer users out there.  Merry Christmas and Kwanzaa.  Enjoy your Boxing Day or Festivus (for the rest of us). 

Have a great New Year. Party smile

December 6, 2010

Autocorrect for a language other than English in Live Writer 2011 (and Live Mail) using Office 2010

Filed under: autocorrect, Live Mail, Live Writer, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 11:22 PM

NOTE: This should ONLY be tried with Office 2010.  DO NOT try with this Office 2007, Office 2003, or Office 97 files.  I have no idea if Live Writer will crash or have undesired affects using older version of Office files and I do not want to have to track down crashes for something that is unsupported in general.

First read the note above!  Second this is NOT supported so use at your own risk.  I have high confidence that this will work with Office 2010 files since Windows Live Writer 2011 used the same autocorrect file as Office 2010 but we only tested with the English file so there is a minor chance that a localize file might not work.

In a previous post I explained how to add additional dictionaries for use with Live Writer.  In Microsoft Office, the applications with keep in sync a localized autocorrect list that matches the editing language and dictionary assuming there is an autocorrect list for that language (sometimes they use English when autocorrect does not make sense for a language and sometimes they do nothing at all).  In Live Writer regardless of what dictionary you are using, or what your UI you are using, your autocorrect will always be in English.  If you own Office 2010 and you really want to use a localized autocorrect list here is how you do it.  I should note that this will change the built in autocorrect list and not the custom autocorrect list you can create and use with Office.  Live Writer does not support a custom autocorrect list.  Second note is that this will change your autocorrect list for Live Mail in addition to Live Writer.  Please make sure you want to have it replaced and used in both applications.

  1. Verify that you have Office 2010 – if you do not then please stop reading now.
  2. Navigate to your “Program Files\Windows Live\Writer\Dictionaries\” folder
  3. Rename mso.acl to mso.bak – this way you can go back to your original file
  4. Navigate to your “Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14” folder
  5. Navigate to folder for the Locale ID (LCID) for the language that that you want to use.  Office use LCID as defined in the table found on Locale IDs assigned by Microsoft.  Look at that list and find the LCID that matches the language you want to use.  Live Writer ships with English – 1033.  Here is a subset of that list including many of the common languages that Windows Live Writer is localized to:

    Language – Country/Region LCID Dec
    Arabic – Saudi Arabia 1025
    Basque 1069
    Bulgarian 1026
    Catalan 1027
    Croatian 1050
    Czech 1029
    Dutch – Netherlands 1043
    English – United States 1033
    English – United Kingdom 2057
    English – Australia 3081
    English – Canada 4105
    Estonian 1061
    Finnish 1035
    French – France 1036
    German – Germany 1031
    German – Switzerland 2055
    Greek 1032
    Hebrew 1037
    Hungarian 1038
    Italian – Italy 1040
    Japanese 1041
    Korean 1042
    Latvian 1062
    Lithuanian 1063
    Malay – Malaysia 1086
    Polish 1045
    Portuguese – Brazil 1046
    Portuguese – Portugal 2070
    Romanian 1048
    Russian 1049
    Serbian (Cyrillic) 3098
    Serbian (Latin) 2074
    Slovak 1051
    Slovenian 1060
    Spanish – Spain (Modern Sort) 3082
    Spanish – Mexico 2058
    Swedish 1053
    Turkish 1055
    Ukrainian 1058

    So if you wanted to use the French autocorrect list you would go to the 1036 folder

  6. Copy the mso.acl file from that folder to the “Program Files\Windows Live\Writer\Dictionaries\” folder

  7. Boot Writer and try a word that you know will autocorrect for that language.  For example, with French if you type “contr ece” it should autocorrect to “contre ce”.

To switch back, just rename mso.back to mso.acl.  Note that running setup to, say, switch your UI language or to upgrade your Windows Live Writer could revert the mso.acl file back to English.   A repair operation could also set it back to English.

As stated above this is unsupported however I know that many users would like to have autocorrect that matches their editing and UI language. 

December 5, 2010

How to configure your SINA blog to work with windows Live Writer

Filed under: Live Writer, SINA, Wave 4 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 11:44 AM

A few weeks ago it was announced that Microsoft had partnered with SINA.com in China to migrate Live Spaces to their blogging service.  There is also cool integration with the sina micro-blogging service which is kind of like Twitter in the rest of the world and Live Messenger. A surprise to our team was that at the same time SINA completed some work on their servers so that they could “talk” with Windows Live Writer. 

Hopefully I can find someone to do a solid translation of this blog post to Simplified Chinese but at least I can give you the pictures on how to configure your SINA blog with Windows Live Writer.

When you first start Live Writer you see this dialog.  From here select the “Other” option and select Next.
Configure Live Writer first step


In this dialog enter the URL for your blog on SINA.  “BlogAccount” is the part of the URL that will be unique to your blog.  Mostly likely your Userneame will be the same as your “BlogAccount” and you will most likely need to include “@sina.cn” as part of the Username.  The Password will be your standard password you use with your sina account.  You can choose to save this information so you do not have to enter it again.  Next click next.

 Configure Live Writer second step


You might be prompted to have your blog theme detected which you can answer Yes or No.  After that the last step is to give your blog a friendly name which is only shown in the Blog accounts drop down list in Live Writer.

Configure Live Writer third step

December 2, 2010

What features should be added to Windows Live Writer?

Filed under: Live Writer — Tags: — Aaron Bregel @ 4:33 PM

At the end of every product cycle and after a product has been released to manufacturing or released to web the next logical step is to start to plan for the next version.  Of course in reality planning starts before product release and continues throughout the development milestones.

The question of the day and this post is “What features should be added to Windows Live Writer?”

Things I would like you to think about before you answer is what are features that are great for all bloggers?  For example “you should add replace to go along with the find feature”.  The other is what features do you selfishly want added? For example, “I do not care about Blogger users I want shortcode support for WordPress” or “clearly you need support for Posterous to be added to Live Writer”.  Also if there is something that you consider a “bug” that you would like to see fixed that would be great to hear about also.  In that case please be as detailed as possible.  It is not helpful to read something like “fix the fact that as everyone knows Live Writer uses <div> in tables incorrectly” (I made this example up but I hope it proves the point I am trying to make in that give as much detail as possible with examples).

I hope that the post fills with comments as I love to listen to your ideas.  I guess I should add that there is never any guarantee that any of your suggestions will make the next version.  Also I guess (I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on television) that by making a comment you are putting your idea(s) into the public domain so that anyone can use it.  The world of blogging is always changing.  Blog servers make changes monthly or even weekly.  New services appear and disappear.  We do our best to keep up while still keeping things compatible with the past.

Update: I am going to lock the comments on this post after 12/26.  I will be passing the feedback onto the team planning future work.

December 1, 2010

New version of Windows Live Writer fixes AltGr issue

Filed under: Live Writer, Ribbon UI, Wave 4 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 9:11 PM

A new build (15.4.3508.1109) of Windows Live Writer 2011 was released today for the primary reason to fix an issue with using the AltGr key on many keyboards used worldwide.  Just about five weeks ago we started to receive reports that AltGr+1 or any number 1-6 or AltGr+V was not having the desired effect.  Here is what should have happened for a few different keyboards:

Keyboard AltGr+1 AltGr+2 AltGr+3 AltGr+4 AltGr+5
Spanish | @ # ~
Swedish   @ £ $
French   ~ # { [
Swiss German ¦ @ # ° §

Instead of the expected character this would get mapped to the ribbon shortcuts since AltGr really is the equivalent to Alt+Ctrl.  For 1-6 it would map to changing your HTML style and for “V” it would do a paste special.  If you were trying to type an email address with the “@” symbol or type a currency symbol it would be very frustrating.  Overall this affected 103 different keyboards used in over 400 locations worldwide.

The built in virtual keyboards that come with the operating system do not generally show this issue and you needed to have a real keyboard with an AltGr key.  My question to our beta testers is why did y’all not see this in your testing?  What can we do different in the future with a beta to help find these type of bugs assuming we cannot find them in-house?  The beta was released in at least three countries where the standard keyboard has an AltGr key.

Why is spelling greyed out for me in Windows Live Writer?

Filed under: Live Writer, Spell check, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 8:00 PM

I have really been ignoring what search terms land people at my blog but there are a lot of things that it looks like people might need help with that I have not blogged about yet.  One of the search terms from yesterday was “spell check greyed out in Live Writer”. 

Spell Check in Windows Live Writer 

If you ever run into this, what has happened is your dictionary language has been set to “(None)”.  I cannot explain why this might be the case but there is an easy fix.  Bring up the Options dialog (drop the Blog accounts drop down and select Manage blog accounts) and then select Spelling and then select the dictionary language you want to check spelling in.  The Spelling option will no longer be greyed out in the ribbon.

Live Writer Options dialog

Submission process for Plug-ins has been made easier

Filed under: Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 12:33 AM

This summer plug-in developers for Windows Live Writer were contacted that changes were coming to how you would submit plug-ins for hosting in the gallery.  Based off of feedback, the process has been refined and it should be easier now to submit plug-ins.  The process has also been consolidated so that if you are authoring a plug-in for Live Writer, Photo Gallery, or Movie Maker it all works the same way.

Plug-in submission process:
  1. Author emails wleplugins@microsoft.com (Windows Live Essentials Plug-ins) including the following information:
    • Author name
    • Author contact email address
    • Plug-in name
    • Plug-in description
    • Plug-in primary language (ex: English; if your plug-in supports multiple languages, please choose one)
    • Writer plug-in category (if your plug-in works with Windows Live Writer, pick exactly one):
      • Buttons
      • Formatting / clipboard
      • Miscellaneous
      • Other content insertion
      • Photos and videos
      • Post publishing
    • Photo Gallery plug-in category (if your plug-in works with Windows Live Photo Gallery, pick exactly one):
      • Publishing
    • Movie Maker plug-in category (if your plug-in works with Windows Live Movie Maker, pick exactly one):
      • Publishing
    • Plug-in tags (up to five sets of one or two words that best describe the plug-in)
    • Plug-in installer MSI file. This can be zipped and attached to your email (the MSI must be within a zip file) or you can provide a link to the file online (you could upload it to Windows Live SkyDrive for example).
  2. Windows Live team adds new/updated plug-in information and MSI installer to this website.
  3. Windows Live team notifies plug-in author that plug-in has been listed/updated.


Here are links to the SDKs for Live Writer, Photo Gallery, and Movie Maker:

November 24, 2010

Paint.NET updates to work with Windows Live Writer 2011

Filed under: Live Writer, Paint.NET, Wave 4 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 11:37 AM

Feedback we have received a fair amount about is that Windows Live Writer 2011 does not work with Paint.NET whereas the previous version of Live Writer worked fine.  Anything copied from Paint.NET and pasted in Writer would do nothing in 2011.  About a week ago Paint.Net produced an update that now works with Live Writer 2011.  Go download build 3.6.5 3.5.6 or later of Paint.NET and you should be able to copy and paste those images right into your favorite blogging application.

Update: I had the build number wrong.  It is 3.5.6, not 3.6.5.

November 16, 2010

Adding additional dictionaries to Live Writer

Filed under: Live Writer, Spell check, Wave 4 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 1:56 PM

While Windows Live Writer only will spell check in one language at a time, you can add additional dictionaries so you can check your blog post for spelling errors beyond the language in which you installed Live Writer.  Currently there are 33 base languages that you install a dictionary for (see the table at the bottom of this post).  Some dictionaries support differences depending on how words are spelled in that country, for example, the English dictionary will spell check words for United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

To add an additional dictionary for Live Writer you need to install the language setting for Windows Live that you would like to use.  In your Windows Control Panel select Clock, Language, and Region.  Here you will see Windows Live Language Setting.  Click to run this application and then select the location for the dictionary you want to install.  This will run the setup program so complete the install.  When it is done you need to go back into the Windows Live Language Setting application and select the language that you originally installed.  This will run a very quick setup program.  If you do not do this, when you run Live Writer it will show your entire user interface (UI) in the new language you pick and not the original one you installed.  You can repeat this process to add as many dictionaries as you need.

Windows Control panel   Windows Live language setting in Windows control panel

After you have installed the new dictionary you can set it as the default or switch dictionaries in the Options dialog.  Drop down the Blog accounts drop down and select Manage Blog accounts. In the Options dialog select Spelling and then you can select from the list of installed dictionaries. Below shows the English and Spanish dictionaries installed.

Windows Live Writer options dialog


List of dictionaries you can install for Windows Live Writer

Language Language ID
Arabic ar
Basque eu
Bulgarian bg
Catalan ca
Croatian (Latin) hr
Czech cs
Dutch nl
English en
Estonian et
Finnish fi
French fr
German de
Greek el
Hebrew he
Hungarian hu
Italian it
Korean ko
Latvian lv
Lithuanian lt
Malay ms
Polish pl
Portuguese (Brazil) pt-br
Portuguese pt-pt
Romanian ro
Russian ru
Serbian (Cyrillic) sr-cyrl-cs
Serbian (Latin) cr-latn-cs
Slovak sk
Slovenian sl
Spanish es
Swedish sv
Turkish tr
Ukrainian uk
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