Aaron\'s Live Writer Blog

January 24, 2011

Drupal 7: Better together with Microsoft technology

Filed under: Drupal, Live Writer, postaweek2011, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 11:37 AM

On of the program mangers on the Windows Live Writer 2011 team is a big fan of Drupal and in his spare time he even supports a few Drupal installs for a side business.  With the blog module Drupal and Live Writer work great together and even better with Drupal 7.  He was really excited today when Microsoft’s Interoperability team announced that in addition to the SQL Server Driver for PHP 2.0 with PDO support which shipped last Fall that four new Drupal modules have been released from Microsoft:

    • Bing Maps Module: enable easy & flexible embedding of Bing Map in Drupal content types (like articles for example)
    • Silverlight Pivot viewer Module: enable easy & flexible embedding of Silverlight Pivot in Drupal content types, using a set of preconfigured data sources (OData, a, b, c).
    • Windows Live ID Module: allow Drupal user to associate their Drupal account to their Windows Live ID, and then to login on Drupal with their Windows Live ID
    • OData Module: allow data sources based on OData to be included in Drupal content types (such as articles). The generic module includes a basic OData query builder and renders data in a simple HTML Table. The package includes a sample module base on an Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) OData source, showing how to build advanced rendering (with Bing Maps)

In addition to the announcement the Interoperability team has a blog post about a hands on look at using Drupal on Windows Azure and using the four new Drupal modules. 


January 19, 2011

How to get Lightbox, Thickbox, etc. to work with Windows Live Writer in WordPress


If you host your own WordPress server one of the plug-ins you may have installed is one for image effects such as Lightbox or Thickbox so that when a reader of you blog clicks on an image it might do a fly-out and fill the screen.  A common question is “How do I make this work with Windows Live Writer?”

By default if you bring up the Source Picture Options dialog via the Link options button on the Picture tools Format tab it will look like this:


If you have installed the plug-in on your hosted WordPress blog before you configure Live Writer then it should just work and you will see additional options in the dialog.  If you have installed the plug-in on your hosted WordPress blog after you have configured Live Writer then you need to reconfigure Live Writer.  To do so from the application menu select Options.  Next select Accounts and then pick the blog that you want to enable image support for.  Click Edit and then click the “Update account information” button.  At this point just step through the wizard clicking Next and when it is finished you should now have support for your image effects plug-in.

Here is an example of that the Source Picture Options dialog looks like if you have installed the Thickbox plug-in:


This tip should also work for other blog servers that have plug-ins for image effects like dotnetnuke.

January 12, 2011

How to configure Windows Live Writer to work with Squarespace

Squarespace as a blogging platform has been around since 2003.  It was not until the 2011 release of Windows Live Writer that Live Writer really worked well with Squarespace.  Configuring Live Writer to work with Squarespace is fairly simple.

First launch Live Writer and if have already configured a blog select “Add blog account…” from the blog accounts drop down.

Step 1.

Configure blog step 1

In the first dialog select “Other services” and click Next.

Step 2.

Configure blog second step  Progress step

Enter the URL for your blog on Squarespace blog. If you do not have a blog on Squarespace you need to go and create an account and then come back to Writer and enter the URL for your blog.  Also enter your User name and password in this dialog. Then click Next.  You will see that it is setting up your blog account.  There is a slight chance that it might prompt you to do a temporary post to detect your blog theme but for Squarespace the themes are generally straight forward and you might not see the detection dialog.

Step 3.

Final step of blog setup.

On the final step you can enter a blog nickname that is show in the blog accounts drop down in Writer. You have the option to share your blog with those on Windows Live. Click Finish to complete the setup. 

At this point you can now use Live Writer as the blog editor on Squarespace.  Enjoy!

December 30, 2010

I’m Posting every week in 2011 using Windows Live Writer!

Filed under: Live Writer, postaweek2011 — Tags: , — Aaron Bregel @ 8:16 PM

WordPress has launched a drive to have people blog every day (or at least every week).  If you are going to blog you might a well be using Windows Live Writer!  Work is too busy to blog every day on this blog, especially since I am not on the direct Live Writer team anymore but I should be able to post at least once a week about Live Writer.

My question to y’all is when do you want to see the post or does it mater?  Is there a day in the week when you tend to do more reading? Does it matter what time the post would go up (let me know in UTC time if it does)?

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog at least once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.



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.

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