I got my hand on a recent internal build of Windows Live Writer, and I’m happy to bring you guys screenshots and info. First off, the new features/changes:
- Updated to the Windows Live look and feel, including the Live flair, hidden File menu, and overall more polished look
- Windows Live â€œMeâ€ blog switching control
- Inline Spell Checking
- Post Synchronization / Roundtrip Post Editing
- Paste Special
- Table Editing
- Extended Entry Support (on blogs that have this feature)
- SharePoint Support
- Preferences for Window Behavior
- Insert Image Improvements: UI consolidation, easier linking to web images.
- Insert Hyperlink Improvements: Link to Previous Posts, Link Glossary
- WYSIWYG Template Robustness: No temporary post on many blogs, including WordPress
Now for the screenshots, which will run through most of the new features:
First off, the new interface:
Note the blue flair design seen on everything Windows Live, the lack of the File/Edit/… menu, and the new Insert Table and Insert Tags links in the Sidebar and new toolbar buttons. The View button replaces the old button that listed the current view status, and Tools takes you to preferences or spell checking. The paintbrush icon is to customize the window color, and that folder icon reveals the File Menu (hitting ALT does it, too).
Here are the other interface elements (File menu and publishing options) expanded:
Here you have the insert image dialog, which has a tab for inserting an image from the web, including previewing it, seeing the dimensions, and setting link options:
The tag editing UI:
Inserting a Windows Live Map into posts (you can even set and customize pushpins!):
Here’s what the map looks like in Writer:
And here’s the map I created:
The Split Post button, which uses a blog’s “More” or “extended entry” feature:
The category picker:
It’s been moved to the bottom with the other publishing tools (including a way to set the publish date without opening the entire publish pane). It doesn’t do categories the way WordPress does (where a category can be nested underneath another one), it is improved.
The interface in black, thanks to the color picker:
I wish Windows Live software would speak to each other, and all use the same colors I choose, but at least they let me choose it in the first place, which is nice.
I like the new blog picker button, which includes the logo for your blogging service:
Also, I like switching between post drafts easily:
It’s not quite tabs, but it works well.
Inline spell checking:
And tons of options for tables:
And finally, the image editing options:
Verdict: They’ve gone and taken what might be the best blog editing tool out there and made it better. It looks better, has a few good new features, works better connecting to your blog (no more Temporary Post For Style Detection), has an even easier and better organized interface. Great work!
I don’t know when this will be available, or if the next version you see is a somewhat different later build, but it should be great either way.
This entire post was written in the new version of Windows Live Writer.