Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
July 14, 201112:03 PM

My Blog Writing Dilemma

Everything was fine and dandy until the other day.

To write my Blog posts, I use a Windows-based piece of software called, Windows Live Writer (by Microsoft). I love it. I love it so much, that when I switched from PC to Mac, I installed VMware for the sole purpose of being able to write my Blog posts with Windows Live Writer. I'm not overly techy, so I don't even use the software to publish to my Blog directly (I actually copy and paste the source code into the Blog platform), but I'm simply in love with a few key features...

  1. Writing view. It allows you to type up Blog posts as if you're working in a standard word processing file (you can format, and this includes adding links, etc...). Then (and as needed), you can switch to "source" view, which is the HTML stuff. This way, I don't have to think about HTML (which is important because I don't know HTML), but in the source view, I can simply copy and paste little pieces of code (like YouTube embed codes) and I can copy and paste my entire text from the source view to place in my Blog platform for publishing. I like the flexibility of being able to toggle between a regular writing view and the source HTML code version simply and easily.
  2. Links. This is the main reason why I can't quit Windows Live Writer. I love linking to everything. I believe that linking is what makes online publishing interesting and that linking is what makes flat text become three-dimensional. Windows Live Writer has an "auto linking" feature that allows me to save my links. Any time I type in a word that has been saved to the "auto linking" feature it will automatically create the link for me, but only for the first instance that I type the specific word (or phrase) in a Blog post. This feature is not only a time-saver but a life-saver.
  3. Formatting. From bold and italic to bulletpoints and more, Windows Live Writer does the trick. What you see is what you get... and there are no surprises. If I indent something, that's the way it will look on Blog. If I hit "enter" to start a new paragraph, it works as well. I've mucked around with other Blog writing software only to find out that it misses the mark in understanding the formatting I was intending, which is frustrating for someone like me who struggles with HTML... and time.

The auto linking isn't working any more.

When I try to create a link now, the software crashes. One of our IT leads here at Twist Image has been helping me to get it fixed, but so far, nothing has worked (yes, we've been Googling and trying all of the fixes we can find). While I hope we can get it to work, I was wondering if anyone knows of any good Mac-based Blog writing software that has similar functionality? More specifcally, the auto-linking feature and the ability to write in a wysiwyg format but be able to toggle to the source/HTML version too.

Any thoughts?

By Mitch Joel