Windows Live Writer Tricks
As many others, I use Windows Live Writer (WLW) as my main tool for blogging. It has aged a bit over the years and sometimes crashes, but I think it is still the best tool around for this purpose. It will only get better if Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) succeeds in releasing it as open source!
I would like to share with you some of my favorite tips for getting the best out of it.
Use the source:
- Change default style and template:
Navigate to %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Live\Writer\template and change the files defaultstyle.css and default.htm. New posts will inherit these.
Change IE version used for rendering posts:
Set the desired Internet Explorer version through the Registry: go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION and add key WindowsLiveWriter.exe with a value of (DWORD) 10000 decimal (for IE10) or 11000 (IE11). Now you can preview HTML5 features right on WLW.
- Change posts location:
This is useful if you use several machines and you want to keep all your posts (drafts, published) in the cloud (OneDrive
, Google Drive
, etc). In Registry, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer a
nd add a string value of PostsDirectory
. The value must be a full path, like C:\users\MyUsername\OneDrive\My Weblog Posts
- Export settings:
Export all WLW settings by exporting this Registry key (and everything below): HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\Weblogs.
- Clearing cached themes:
If you run into problems with a site’s theme, clear its local cache. Cached CSS and image files are stored at %AppData%\Windows Live Writer\BlogTemplates.
- Disabling blog theme:
If your theme misbehaves, and clearing the local cache doesn’t help, you can disable it in the ribbon:
- Use the Windows Live Writer SDK:
Create plugins for WLW in .NET. Download the SDK here
and reference it from %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Live\Writer
. There are several examples out there, just check out this
- Log file:
The log file and a couple of others are located here: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Windows Live Writer.
- Open old posts:
Use Blog This for blogging over a web page:
In Internet Explorer, WLW adds an option for adding a link to the current page in a new blog post. It is called Blog This in Windows Live Writer
and is available in the Tools
- Use plugins:
WLW has lots of plugins available on the Internet. My favorites are:
When you can’t easily format your text the way you want it using the designer (Edit) tab, you can switch to the Source tab and make your changes there. WLW will synchronize the designer.
Post drafts to your blog:
Get to know other WLW options:
After you save the draft, it won’t be visible to the World, you need to use your blog’s management console to actually publish it.
, explore what WLW offers (save auto recovery information, show word count in real time, disable emoticons, remember to add tags, check spelling, etc):