Aaron\'s Live Writer Blog

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.

September 27, 2010

Windows Live Writer 2011 creates WordPress.com blogs

Filed under: Live Writer, Wave 4, WordPress — Tags: , , — Aaron Bregel @ 2:46 PM

Talked around in the announcement that Windows Live Spaces will be migrated to WordPress.com is that Windows Live will now create WordPress blogs.  This is of course being done via Windows Live Writer.  This has been a super exciting announcement for the Live Writer team.  WordPress is a quality blogging server that has been nothing but helpful to the Live Writer team over the years and we really are looking forward to a great partnership moving forward.  There is a lot of functionality that WordPress.com has that the Spaces team could have never gotten to and to be able to bring this to y’all is really exciting.


Here is a preview of what this looks like in Windows Live Writer 2011.  I should note that you cannot find this functionality in the Beta releases of 2011.  This was turned on post Beta builds.

In Live Writer 2009 the option to create a new blog created a blog on Spaces for you.  Here are the first two steps of that sign-up/configure process.

  2009 second step

From here you could create a Windows Live ID if you did not have one and then you would have a Space created for you.


Here is the Live Writer 2011 sign-up/configure process.

2011 first step 2011 second step


As you can see creating a new blog via the first option will take you through a process that will create and configure a blog on WordPress.Com.  If you already have a WordPress account then of course you would pick the second option where as in Writer 2009 you would have picked the last option, “Other services”.  The second image is if you click Next with “Create a new blog” selected.  If in the second step you click on the WordPress link you will see something like this.

WordPress sign-up


Clicking on the Connect button takes you to this page.  Here you can associate your Live ID with the new WordPress account you are going to create.


After this step it is the standard sign-up process for a WordPress.com blog.  You then receive a confirmation email and if you are still in your sign-up flow in the browser you will see a link to bring you back into Live Writer to help you configure Live Writer to use that newly created blog.

August 17, 2010

What is new in Wave 4 windows Live writer since the beta?

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

June 17, 2010

Thelonious is sweet music to my ears

Filed under: Live Writer, WordPress — Tags: , — Aaron Bregel @ 12:43 PM

I have to admit that as someone born and raised in the Seattle area that 90’s grunge is my music of choice. The guys and gals in those band are roughly the same age as I am and I would see them in the Seattle bars/clubs but at the time but I am also a fan of jazz music.  WordPress has used code names that tied to jazz artists and for WordPress 3.0 it was Thelonious. In Matt’s keynote at WordCampSF this year he used jazz album covers throughout the presentation which was fun to see.

WordPress 3.0 was released today. Congratulations to all of my friends at Automattic and the whole WordPress team!

You can find their whole change list for 3.0 here.  I wonder how quickly we can add funnyordie.com support to Live Writer? Rolling on the floor laughing

Blog at WordPress.com.