Windows Live Writer beta Wave 3 thoughts

So I’ve been using the latest Live Writer for a while, and though I haven’t compiled too much what’s new, I have found some new things that others have discovered as well as myself. So here’s what’s I like and don’t like.

My likes:

  • Ability to center images – Finally! I’ve been waiting for this feature ever since I started blogging with Live Writer. I used to try my best with pressing the spacebar and pushing the image towards the center, and hoping it was as centered as possible. I like most of my images to be in the center of the post, so it’s clearly noticeable. Now all you have to do is just select the graphic, and click on the toolbar. Nifty.
  • Word count – There’s now a Word count on the status bar at the bottom
  • Ability to upload and insert videos from YouTube – Previously, it was only MSN Soapbox, but now you can upload videos to both Soapbox and YouTube, as well as login to either accounts and select either videos you have posted or your favorites from the Insert Video prompt.
  • Additional border styles for images – There’s now 8 choices, including Reflection, Solid 1 pixel, Solid 3 pixels, rounded corners and photopaper. Still not as much as Word 2007, but it’s a nice selection.
  • Image cropping and tiltingMore image enhancing features. Just select the image, go the sidebar pane > Advanced tab > Actions and select either one.
  • UI Simplification – Again, they removed a lot of the icons (which could be bad or good for some people), and the layout as a result is more to the point.
  • Spell checking in more languages – Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Portugal), Serbian-Cyrillic, Serbian-Latin, Spanish, and Swedish
  • Tabs for switching blog post views – Now there’s tabs right under the blog editing area to view Edit, Preview, and Source mode.

My dislikes:

  • The sidebar pane dropped hide/show button – The sidebar pane to the right of Writer, doesn’t have the button to show the sidebar, or hide the sidebar like the previous version. Instead, you have go to view Sidebar and click to open/close it. Takes two clicks and a bit longer to open it. Very inconvenient. I don’t understand why they dropped that. Albeit, you could just click F9, but I was never the type of person to memorize keyboard shortcuts.
  • Wish for Ribbon user interface – I love the Ribbon/Fluent interface in Word 2007, and I was hoping Live Writer could adopt it’s own ribbon. As well as the neat things like the dynamic zoom bar, Live Preview effects, ScreenTips, and all the other beauty that distinguishes Word 2007 as the best word processor yet. Seems funny how something new and amateur such as Windows Live Movie Maker gets the Ribbon update, yet lacks so many features in it’s current state to make the ribbon useful.
  • Ability to tag posts – The ability to tag posts would make posts much more searchable.
  • Dynamic inline search box – You can press Ctrl + F, to launch the inline search box, but I just wish they could put a dynamic inline search box somewhere on the unused space of the toolbar, and start typing and words are instantly highlighted.

Well that’s generally all I can think of so far. Overall, it’s a nice update. Nothing exactly breathtaking in my opinion, but it’s all right.

Download the beta here, and visit the post on the team’s blog for more info. on the new features. Anything else I should consider adding on my list?

Windows Live Tags: Windows Live Writer, Wave 3, Beta, Thoughts

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