Windows Live Writer Beta 2 Released

writer_screenshot Microsoft have released a new version of Windows Live Writer, the desktop application that makes it easy to publish rich content to your blog. Having created this post immediately after a smooth upgrade installation, first impressions are good. 

Some of the new authoring features include:

  • Comprehensive table creation and editing tools
  • Auto spell checking as you write
  • Improved hyperlinking and image insertion
  • Full synchronization between online and offline applications 
  • Paste Special – Plain Text or HTML (Embed Tags, YouTube etc)
  • Support for categories, Blogger labels and back-dated posting
  • Excerpts and extended entries

Writer can now publish to Windows Live Spaces, Sharepoint, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Moveable Type, Community Server, and other weblog services.

Customization

With just a mouse click the feel and look of the application can be changed instantly to any color you like using the new colorize button on the menu bar.

New image editing options allow rotation and contrast adjustment and it’s now possible to automatically link to a previous post via the insert hyperlink menu.

Other useful Writer capabilities include back-dated posting – you select any date for the post to appear, easy insertion of maps from Virtual Earth, and rich media plug-ins like audio and video tools available from Windows Live Gallery and reviewed at Windows Live Writer Plugins. Just Select Add a Plugin from the app sidebar to launch the Live Gallery site. 

 

Good Things Coming…

Having been nine months in the making, this is a worthwhile update for existing users with a range of very usable improvements. The open plug-in platform and API-driven building tools make further customization ongoing and easy to implement. Judging by developments at Popfly the future looks very promising indeed, watch the video below.

The above video was inserted using Paste Special.

If you’re upgrading from a previous installation remember to update your account settings to ensure you’re getting all the latest features (Tools/Accounts). As usual with beta software releases, reporting and solving application problems is part of the process so don’t expect perfection.

Further details of this release and developer information can be found at the Windows Live Writer team blog – Writer Zone. For more Live news, free applications and Vista resources see Windows Live Tools.

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