After trying to embed video into a blog entry earlier I soon discovered that this blog engine (BlogEngine – current version at the bottom of this page) won’t handle the <embed> code in the online editor. As quick as a Flash I was bending Dave’s (very patient) ear to this fact via MSN. He calmly suggested I download Windows Live Writer Beta. After a quick moan about Microsoft (which Dave cheerfully absorbed) I bit the bullet and installed WLW Beta from: http://download.live.com/
I am using it now and I have to be honest – it seems fairly good. (My computer is running a little slow but I can’t be sure that's because of WLW or some of the other programs I have running – I am doing some very heavy vector work on multiple files this morning). After installing a simple wizard asked me for my blog URL, username and password and that was it – I was up and running.
I am able to edit in rich text mode or the HTML source and can even switch to a full preview of the blog entry, using my CSS styles, during editing. It also features a spell-check and loads of other useful tools. Most importantly I can now embed the YouTube video code that the standard online editor wouldn't allow.
The only annoying thing I’ve come across so far is that adding an image seems to be unnecessarily complicated. It allows you to add all sorts of styles (drop shadows, margins etc) to your image but I would imagine any serious blogger has all that set up in their CSS. It also imported it at an odd size and I had to wade through some settings to get it to place it at the size I originally wanted.
Overall though – not bad. I’m sure I’ll work out the little annoyances in time. Seven out of ten.