Aaron\'s Live Writer Blog

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 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

November 10, 2010

Live Writer works great with Subtext

Filed under: Live Writer, Subtext, Wave 4 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 11:05 PM

The other day I was asked if Windows Live Writer works with Subtext.  My answer was of course!

You might not be familiar with Subtext and here is their tagline:

Subtext is a blog engine that focuses on usability, elegance, and simplicity. If you’ve ever caught yourself throwing your hands in the air and declaring that you’re going to write your own blogging engine, then Subtext is for you.

It uses ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL server.  Wikipedia writes that Subtext was founded as a fork of the BSD Licensed .Text blogging engine written by Scott Watermasysk. .Text went on to be packaged within the Telligent Community product (formerly known as Community Server by Telligent Systems. Subtext is the blog engine used by MySpace for its Chinese site.  You can do a one click install of Subtext as part of the Microsoft /web.  Here is a link in the Windows Web App Gallery – link.

Configuring Live Writer 2011 to work with a Subtext blog server is very simple.  Just select Add blog account from the Blog accounts drop down in the Publish section of the Home tab.  Next select Other Services and select Next.  At this point just enter the URL for your Subtext server and a username and password click Next and you are set!

Add blog account step 1 Other services dialog

Here is a picture of our test blog running on a Subtext blog server.

Writer test Subtext blog server

November 9, 2010

Windows Live Writer has right to Left (RTL) text direction support

Filed under: Live Writer, RTL text direction, Wave 4 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 10:09 PM

The feedback that y’all submit via http://feedback.live.com for Windows Live Writer will occasionally make its way into my inbox and I just started to read through what was submitted for the month of October.  It is anonymous feedback and I really wish that at times it was not because I would love to reach out at times with replies or follow up. Please remember that for support with any part of the Live suite please look to the forums (for Writer it is here) as the support team is really not looking at feedback.

One of the items I saw on the feedback list was the following:

Unfortunately Window Live Writer 2011 editor does not have rtl (Right To Left) option, it’s a simple but important thing that I need, it have over N very nice feature … but for only 1 feature I have to deprecate Windows Live Writer. i’m a .NET developer please tell me can I develop and add this feature to it’s editor??

The fact of the matter is that Live Writer does support Right to Left text entry. Hebrew and Arabic, and the non-Semitic languages using the Hebrew or the Arabic alphabet, such as Urdu, Yiddish, or Persian, are written right to left.  In Writer, you can set the paragraph direction at the paragraph level.  Where I suspect that the confusion arises in the feedback because the ribbon buttons for text direction do not appear in Writer unless you have a blog that supports right to left or you have installed the localized version of Writer like the Arabic version.  You can always toggle the direction of text without the ribbon buttons however.

LTR & RTL buttons in Writer Paragraph section

When you add a blog account one of the things that Writer attempts to detect is the reading direction of your blog.  If it is in fact right to left, you will see the buttons in the ribbon for paragraph text direction.  For any blog you can set the reading order for your blog by going into the Blog Options from the Blog Account tab.  Select Editing and then you can set the text direction.

Windows Live Writer Blog Options dialog


If your blog does default to Left to Right but you need to enter text that is Right to Left you can use Left Ctrl+Right Shift to set the paragraph to RTL.  To switch back to LTR you can use Left Ctrl+Left Shift.  You would use these same keyboard shortcuts in Office applications like Outlook or Word.

Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion around how RTL works in Writer.  I appreciate the someone had reached out for the team asking how to add support for RTL.  RTL exists in the Writer versions before the 2011 version but there were minor improvements made for 2011 especially with the addition of the ribbon.

September 30, 2010

What has changed since the Beta refresh for Windows Live Writer 2011?

Filed under: Live Mail, Live Writer, Wave 4 — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 5:36 PM

As announced today the final version of Windows Live Writer is now available for download.  You can download it from http://explore.live.com/windows-live-writer.  While I think there is great value in the suite as a whole if you just want Writer please make sure you do a custom install and uncheck the parts of the suite you are not interested in.

If you are a 2009 Live Writer user, you can see my previous posts to get an idea about the changes made to get to the point of what Live Writer 2011 is all about.  This post is all about my favorite changes made since the Beta refresh.  Many of these are issues report by Beta testers and the team really thanks you for your feedback.


Better support for Japanese IME

This really surprised the team but for many customers in Japan the IME was just plain broken epically those typing with a Japanese keyboard and using the IME vs. those using a QWERTY keyboard and the IME which was working just fine.  This was not just a 2011 issue but also an issue with 2009 but we had never received the feedback that it was not working.  I would like to think that many users in Japan will be very delighted with Live Writer now where if I were in their shoes I might have just uninstalled it and walked away in the past.

Improved SEO

An issue with Live Writer 2009 is that on upload to blog servers like WordPress, Writer would change the file name of your image.  It would strip out characters like the hyphen or dash that were part of the file name.  For example, “Cool-Product_1.jpg” would become “CoolProduct1.jpg”.  This was very frustrating to those that wanted to take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) and have a web crawler index the image name as published so that when you did that Bing search it would bring up your image name as part of the results list.

Multi-language User Interface support (MUI)

This change is not specific to Live Writer but it is supported across the whole suite.  In Office and Windows for a few releases, you could apply MUI packs and quickly change the language of your UI with a simple restart of the application or Windows.  Live Writer now has this support for all 40+ languages out there today.  This also means that by installing the MUI you get the spell checker for that language making it really easy to spell check in more than one language after you change the spell in the Writer UI.
In the Windows Control panel if you click on “Clock, Language, and Region” you will see an entry for Windows Live Language Setting.  This will allow you to switch or add languages other than the default language you installed.  Some of the dictionaries have been updated since the Beta and overall all languages should be as current as what Office 2010 has.
Windows Live Languge Setting



Aspect ratio support for Videos

This had been a fairly common request from users and now you can pick to have your video formatted in 16:9 or 4:3 when you publish it was part of your post.  Here is a screen shot of the new buttons on the Video Tools Format ribbon tab.

Live Writer Video Tools Format ribbont tab

Aspect ratio for images works again

This was broken in the Beta and if you resized an image and had aspect ratio turned on Writer was not honoring this setting but in the final version, it is working as expected.

Improved support for Specific blog servers

  • Live Writer has better support for configuring and using Squarespace blogs
  • For TypePad publishing with a future date is now supported
  • For all of our French users we have made configuring a blog with Overblog easier to do
  • Split post (jump break) support has been added for Blogger
  • Server side tags are no longer returned as Keywords on Telligent Community Server – this should make Microsoft employees happy who post to Technet or MSDN
  • More work in blog theme detection focusing on WordPress and Blogger.  Also fixing blog title font size issues with specific themes.
  • Photo albums look better with the new Blogger theme templates introduced in the last year or so.

WordPress.com is now the default for creating new blogs via Live Writer

This was blogged about this here.

“No” tags are now stripped from Web Preview

2011 added stronger security in that script is not run from inside of Writer.  This meant however that when you went into Web Preview in the Beta build you would see a preview where for example the page would act as if something like j-script was not installed and you would see whatever was included in say a <noscript> tag.  Blogging on SharePoint 2010 showed this, which looked confusing as it looked like there was a problem with the page.  The change is that all of the “no” tags like <noscript> or <noframes> are now stripped from Web Preview which should make it look more like what readers of your blog will see.

Improved encoding support

While most of the world is now using UTF-8 for their blog serving needs, there are still users that prefer a specific encoding for their blog.  Work was done across the board to make this better.  Users of ISO-8859-1 encoding should see improvements over the Beta.

Copy/Paste Improvements

In the Beta refresh there was a big focus to make copy/paste better.  More work was done in this area.  For example, in some cases after copying an image from Microsoft Word and pasting in Live Writer you could not apply image formatting in Live Writer.

Improvements to Windows Live Mail

As blogged about in the past the Live Writer team worked on making the text editor better in Live Mail and here are a few key issues fixed from the Beta refresh:

  • Captions applied to photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery are not lost when you create a Photo Mail from selected images in Photo Gallery.
  • Change All from the context menu when Spell Checking a mail message now works
  • Edit Hyperlink from the context menu on a Hyperlink now works
  • Albums in Photo Mail are even more robust on upload to SkyDrive (this also is an improvement in Live Writer)


We are always interested in your thoughts.  Please leave us comments.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.