The WYSIWYG editor in worpdress is one of feature that is used most by any user using wordpress to host the website. However this builtin editor is pretty slow and to write/publish every post, you need to login to the administration console.
Desktop based weblog clients are a good alternative and these clients help you in quickly posting content and also modifying the content.
I transitioned through these applications:
1. Initially I used the builtin editor of WordPress. I found it very slow and it was painful especially when I had to make some corrections (Spelling mistakes etc). If you use the rich editor in wordpress, it does take a lot of time to display the content (One reason is also because it generates a preview while opening the post)
2. When I attended the BarCamp Bangalore, I found out from Chris that there is a browser being developed called Flock. This was a nice little browser built on Firefox and it had inbuilt support for Blogging. It also had integration with Digg and Flickr. The browser was still in beta and there were few problems in the WYSIWYG editor. Also I was not ready to use multiple browsers and I wanted to stick with Firefox 🙂
3. Later while loafing around in Technorati, I found Qumana. It was a easy to use desktop based blog editor and its features included easy text formatting, image insertion, technorati tagging, and advertising insertion with Q-Ads. I used this tool for quite some time, but image insertion and aligning of images was a pain in Qumana.
4. Few months later, Microsoft released the beta version of Office 2007. Word 2007 had an inbuilt feature for blogging. I stuck to using this as my primary tool to create posts. It had all the nice features of Word like As you type Spell checking, easier text formatting etc. On the downside, inserting images from web was not supported. However you could insert images and ask word to upload it to a specific path.
Other than Windows Live Spaces, the Writer integrates with other weblogs: Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress (and many others). Unlike in Word 2007, you don’t need to enter the XML RPC settings manually, the application automatically detects all the setting when you enter the blog URL.
There are other standard features related to Text Editing. (Format Text/Align Text/Insert Links/Spell Check etc)
You can preview the post in 4 modes
- Web Layout
- Web Preview
- HTML Code
I liked the Web Layout/Web Preview feature very much, it shows how the post will look with your current blog design/template. If you change the template, you can ask Writer to update the Weblog Style via View -> Update WebLog Style
Inserting Images into the post is a treat with Writer. You can insert images from a file on your local drive or insert the image from Web (i.e. Flickr/Photo Bucket etc). Once the image is inserted, you can control the Image properties from the Sidebar.
You can control the following aspects of the image
- Layout – Text Wrapping, Border and Margins of the Image (For e.g. I could control the left margin of the image below easily through the custom margins option)
- Image – Image Size, Linking the image to a bigger image (Will work like a charm with Lightbox-JS 🙂 )
- Image Effects – Watermark,Black and White etc.
There are host of other features such as Multiple Blog Management, Post Management (Drafts etc), Font Management, Publishing options (Publish as Draft) etc.You can also insert maps using Windows Live Local. The Writer also has an SDK using which developers can develop plugins which add more functionality to the application.
All in all, a pretty powerful desktop based weblog client and even though its in Beta, it has all the necessary features to ease the life of a frequent blogger 🙂
Download Windows Live Writer (Size: 4.74MB)
P.S. Don’t forget to check the Preference page, you can configure few options such as Ping Servers and Proxies.