How do I go about blogging?

Blogging is a fine way of sharing your ideas, experience, and passions. Millions do it. It is easy and fun. One tool stands out that makes blogging easy for everyone: Windows Live Writer.

Technogran at Technogran’s Tittle Tattle has published a fine tutorial series. A post listing the tutorial posts is at Live Writer BasicsLive Writer Tutorial Series. The blog Live Writer Basics offers additional information and links to other resources.

Visit these blogs to help you get started.

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© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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Can WordPress categories be managed with Windows Live Writer?

WordPress categories can be managed best from the WordPress Dashboard. In Live Writer, categories can be added or removed from existing or new posts and new categories can be added. Here is how:

Open the post in Windows Live Writer – it can be a draft, a recent post, or even an older post. Live Writer always downloads a published post from your site even when you open it from your “My Weblog Posts” folder.

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The assigned category or categories show in the bar right above the post text pane.

Click anywhere in that text box to open the category window.

Just set the the check marks for the categories – click the box in front of the listing to set or unset.

If you wish to add a new category, enter the category name in the box below “Add Category”. Then click the Add button. The category will be added to your post and when the post is published become part of your blogs categories.

Note that categories can be arranged in hierarchical form. That is, a category can be a sub-category of another. Just specify the “parent” category in the drop-down menu next to the Add button.

Click Publish to send the post and the changes to your site.

So, categories can be managed in Live Writer with the exception that a category cannot be removed. That you do have to do in your WordPress Dashboard.

 

 

 

The gateway to my blogs and galleries is Café Ludwig

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© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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What does this Windows Live Writer error message mean: “"The blog theme couldn’t be downloaded"?

If Windows Live Writer gave this message when trying to update the theme from your WordPress blog, and if you are using a static page, then maybe I can help.

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When you click Update theme on the Blog Account tab in imageWriter, it downloads a number of support files from WordPress. It may write a temporary post to your blog in this process (it will ask for permission). When the blog uses a static landing page it may have trouble doing all this and can’t complete the setup.

Here is the work-around procedure

Click Dashboard in the Blog Account tab to open your WordPress blog dashboard.image This launches your browser and logs in to your WordPress dashboard (you may have to log in).

Expand the Settings tab in the pane at the left and click Reading.image

 

 

 

 

 

Carefully note (and jot down) the selections for your Front page and Post page settings.

Next click Your latest posts for the setting of what the Front page displays to (temporarily) disable the static page mode. The static page settings should now be grayed out.

Click Save changes – you may have to scroll down.

Back in Writer click Update theme in the Blog Account tab. The update process should now run.

If it asks for permission to do a temporary post click on Yes otherwise it will not install your theme for display in Writer.

The process should finish in a minute or two. The color, background, and fonts of your new theme will show up in the Writer main window.

Back in the browser in your WordPress dashboard in the Reading Settings page, click on A static page to re-enable your static page.

If the settings have reverted to the defaults (in case you closed and reopened your browser) reset the selections for front page and post page (that is why I asked you to jot down the settings).

Click Save changes.

You should now be back in business, your blog will again present your static page as the landing for visitors and you will have full wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) editing capability in Windows Live Writer.

Please leave me a note if you tried this and tell me of any difficulties.

 

How do I connect Windows Live Writer to my WordPress blog?

Windows Live Writer is an amazingly powerful, yet simple to use tool for preparing blog posts. If you are not using it, you should! Get it here: explore.live.com/windows-live-writer.

To connect Writer to your WordPress blog (other blogs connect just as simple) proceed as follows:

Open Live Writer.image

At first time use, Writer walks the user through the setup procedure.

Click Next.

The next dialog ask about what service you are using.

In this case click WordPress. If you are using another service, this is where to make the selection.

Click Next.

imageThe next dialog asks for the blog address, your user name and password.

For the web address enter the name of your blog followed by the blog service address, like this:

galleryludwig.wordpress.com

The dialog will add the http:// prefix, you need not worry about it.

Click Remember my password so the checkbox is checked. This will make later use simple.image

Click Next.

Writer will set up the blog and download the template, “theme”, information from your blog.

This is how Writer will then use the layout, color scheme, fonts, etc. to be able to make writing posts a simple wysiwyg (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) process.

The next dialog will show the blog title that you have set up in your blog. You can leave this as is, or enter some imageother descriptive term.

There is an option to “Share my blog on Windows Live”. Click this to make this connection.

Your browser will open. You will need to sign in to your Windows Live service.

Another windows ask for confirmation to connect WordPress to Windows Live.

Click the Connect button or Cancel should you wish to skip this feature.

You can then close the browser and continue in Writer.

Click Finish.

Writer opens with the theme loaded. Here is an illustration of such an initial window:

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Note the window color, font, headers, etc. all there just as you have defined them by the theme you set up.

All you need to do now is enter a post title, the actual post text and click Publish (on the Home tab) to get the post on your blog. It really is that simple.

Note: If you want to configure an additional blog or skipped the initial configuring, click File (the button in upper left), then Options, then Accounts. There is an Add button, click that and it takes you to the “What blog service…” dialog as illustrated above.

Notice the Blog Account tab on the imageWindows Live Writer Ribbon. Click that and you have access to your blog and your blog account. Click Dashboard and your browser opens and takes you right to your WordPress dashboard (you may have to sign in, set the “remember me” options to get right in on future visits).

Note: If you are using another blog service, these option may be different or some may be missing.

Happy blogging!

 

 

Where are the thumbnails stored for a post with a SkyDrive album?

Windows Live Writer has an insert option for adding a SkyDrive album to a post. When Add online album is selected, an “Insert Photo Album” dialog opens. It may ask for a sign in before showing all the albums on your SkyDrive. Click an album icon and thenimage click Insert to get the process started. Live Writer downloads the pictures from the album in order to create the graphics. An example of a SkyDrive album is shown at the end of this post.

Live Writer creates a folder for the downloaded images and newly created thumbnails on your boot drive under Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Temp\WindowsLiveWriter-xxxx. imageThe album will be shown by a collection of thumbnails, the album title, and a couple of hyperlinks. A new “Photo Album Tools” Ribbon tab is available whenever the album art is selected. The most useful and interesting tools are in the Album styles section of the tab: A half dozen layout styles are shown. The first, default, layout, shows the thumbnails the same way as pictures are shown in a photo email. Two other layouts show the pictures in a flat imagearrangement, the remaining three show randomly oriented little pictures. The thumbnails can be rearranged with the “Shuffle photos” tool. Just click on this command and observe the new arrangement. Continue until you are happy with the presentation. When the post is published to your blog, the created display pictures are uploaded to the blog image store. imageIn this case, this being a WordPress.com blog, the images wind up online in the blog’s Media Library. If one of the random display options is selected this will be one image of the entire arrangement. For the other three layouts, Squares, Grid right, and Grid left, the individual thumbnails are uploaded to the blog media library.

As you would expect, Windows Live Writer does a fine job of cleaning up after itself. In the case of this post, the temporary store contained over 3 GB of material. Once the post has been published this folder is emptied and removed.

Now, aren’t you glad you asked? This allowed me to tell you a little about how Windows Live Writer offers another really nice feature and does a great job of managing it.

Here at last is the demo album. Enjoy!