Do I need a Live.com account to share a SkyDrive photo album with friends?

The short answer is “No”. You do need to have a Windows Live ID. If you use Hotmail, Live Messenger, XBox LIVE, you have a Windows Live ID. If you have an MSN or a Office Live Small Business email address, you have a Windows Live ID.

If you do not have a Windows Live ID, you can open a new account or register an existing email address from another service as your Windows Live ID. You can sign up at live.com.

With a Windows Live ID you get SkyDrive where you can store and share photos and documents.

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© 2011 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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How do I replace the DSC prefix on my photo file names?

Most “Digital Still Cameras” assign the file names of the photos in this format: “DSC_nnnn.xxx”. The “nnnn” is a four-digit number and the “xxx” the file type, often “JPG”, but it can also be another extension. For example for Nikon “raw” files the extension is “NEF”. The first four characters can be changed in some cameras, but most just set the “DSC_” prefix.

Of course, you can change this by renaming the file. Doing that one at a time is not practical, so here is the procedure I use for doing “batch” renaming. I use a “Windows Batch File” to do this chore.

Creating a Windows Batch File

imageOpen Notepad and type in the Windows “command line” commands. See the illustration here. My first command starts with “REM”. That stands for “remark” and does nothing. It is just used to tell me what the batch file does.

The next command is “cd %1”. The “cd” part stands for “change directory”. This is old language dating back to the time before “folders” were called “folders”, they were “directories”. The command is equivalent to you clicking on a folder in the navigation pane of Windows Explorer. The “%1” part tells the command to use the “command line parameter” that was passed to the program. That sentence probably means nothing to you, don’t fret. You will see shortly how we pass the folder name to the batch file program – by just dragging it to the bat file icon.

The last line is “rename DSC_????.* LK6A????.*” Now here the first term is easy enough, “rename” means just that (you can also use just “ren”). This is followed by the name of the file (or files) to be renamed. The first part is clear enough. The question marks each stand for “whatever character is there”. There are four question marks to specify the four numeric characters in the photo file name. The period follows the numbers. The asterisk after the period says “whatever follows the period”.

Now the new name is entered. This is the same except for the first four characters. I use my initials followed by a “camera identifier character” (“6”) and that is followed by the letter “A” in my case. You can specify any four characters, no fewer and no more, or else the command will do “unexpected things”.

Save the file to your desktop, using Save as and giving it a name. I use “renameDSC”. imageSince you created it with Notepad is is just a plain text file, not a “batch program” yet. If the icon on the desktop shows just the name without an extension, reset the viewing options to make the next step easier: Open Windows Explorer (StartComputer). Click on Desktop (at the top in navigation pane). Click Organize then Folder and search options. In the Folder Options dialog click the View tab. imageFind the option reading “Hide extensions for known file types”. Click it to uncheck the box. Click OK then close Windows Explorer.

Now the extension of the file you created will be visible, it will say “renameDSC.txt”.

Click on the icon to select it, a moment later click on the name. This opens the rename box. image

 

 

 

 

 

Replace the “txt” extension with “bat”. The “bat” stands for “batch file” and imageindicates to Windows that it is a batch program. Press Enter. There will be a warning message. Click Yes to perform the rename operation.

You now have created a “batch program” and the icon will now show the “gears” image:

image

If you wish you can reset the option to hide the extensions of “know file types”. 

You can edit and revise the batch file by right-clicking the icon and selecting Edit – this opens Notepad. When you are finished save the file. It will remain a batch file, so there are no further hoops to jump through.

 

You are now ready to perform the renaming operation. You will find this fast and easy – now that you have a desktop program for doing so.

 

Renaming the DSC files

After importing your photos, open Windows Live Photo Gallery. Find the folder or folders of the new photos in the navigation pane.

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Now just drag the folder name to your batch program.

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You will see the “Command prompt” window open momentarily and carry out your instructions. If you folder contains a small number of photos you might not even notice the operation. But take a look at the thumbnails. If you have the display showing the file names, you will see that they all have been renamed.

Do this for any other folder containing photo files that need renaming. It takes just a couple of seconds, but you do have to do it one folder at a time. You will find this quick and easy and fun to do.

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How do I import photos from my camera to my Windows 7 computer?

Windows 7 and Windows Live Photo Gallery make importing photos from your camera very quick and easy. Here is how to set up your system and how import photos quickly.

Setup camera on Windows 7

Connect your camera to your computer using a USB cable. Turn on the camera. If this is the first time that the camera is connected to the computer you will see something like this near the right end of the Taskbar.

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Windows 7 will install the needed driver software as soon as it sees the camera. This will take but a few moments.

imageThe camera device window will open, it is show below. (If it doesn’t open automatically, click the camera icon on the Taskbar.

image

The window will show a variety of information. The illustration is for a Nikon D60 camera, for another camera the information will be similar. Of concern here is the import-06option labeled “Import pictures and videos”. Click on “Change program”.

A dialog windows opens like the illustration on the left. The default option is “Import pictures … using Windows. For much better control and more options use Windows Live Photo Gallery to import the photos. So click on “Import pictures and videos using Windows Live Photo Gallery”. Then click OK.

Next click “Change general settings”. In the next dialog, click on the option bar that says “Take no action”.

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Click on “Import pictures and videos”, then click OK.

Windows is now set up. Turn off your camera. The camera icon will disappear from the Taskbar. Next set up options in Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Set import options in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Open Live Photo Gallery and click the blue “File” tab (upper left). Click Options. In the next dialog click the Import tab.

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Here a number of options can be set. Since you are setting up importing from your camera, leave the setting for “Cameras” and keep the import destination of “Pictures”. Your Pictures folder is the proper place to keep photos.

As photos are imported new folders can be created for the photos. There are a number of naming conventions you can select from. I like “Date Taken + Name”, this is illustrated here.

You can also choose the file name format. My preference is to keep the file names that the camera has assigned to them.

The dialog window contains an example to show how the folder names and file names will appear according to the settings you select.

There are three other options. Check what should happen. Then click OK.

This completes the setup of your computer for importing photos. So let’s try it out. Close Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Importing photos from the Camera

Connect the camera with a USB cable to the computer. Turn on the camera.

Windows will recognize the camera and start carrying out the option that you have set import-01up. Momentarily you will see a window telling you that Windows is “looking for photos and videos…”.

As soon as it has finished analyzing the photo files on the camera, an new dialog window with more options opens up.import-11

This may look like the one illustrated here. It will show the number of photos on the camera and display two options. I like, and recommend, the “review” option. There are additional choices that can be made using that approach.

Make your selection and click Next.

If you chose the review option you get something like this:

import-12

Photos will be grouped by date. You can change the grouping with the slider control on the bottom. You can enter a names for the folders that will be created for each group. You can also specify tags that will be common to all the photos in a group. This can really help you get your organizing of the photos underway. Click on “Enter a name” to enter the folder name (or the name part of the folder name). Click on Add tags to get this started.

Separate different tags with semicolons. Here is an example with information filled in:

import-15

Note that you can inspect the photos in each group – click “View all … items”, and can even check or uncheck the individual photos to be imported.

To proceed, click Import.

Windows Live Photo Gallery now imports your selected photos, creates folders named in accordance with your settings, and places the grouped photos into the folders. If you have set the “Open … Photo Gallery after importing…” option, Windows Live Photo Gallery will open once the photos have been imported showing the photos.

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Is there a way to send SkyDrive albums as slide shows?

Yes, you can send links to existing SkyDrive albums or slide shows at any time. Here is the procedure:image

Sign in to your Windows Live account (live.com).

Go to Your albums.

Select the album you wish to share.

Click Share on the menu bar.image

Click Send a link on the drop-down menu.

This will bring up a window with an address entry box and a message box. Enter the recipients email address and also enter any message that you wish to accompany the link.

The dialog looks like this:

image

You can enter multiple addresses to send the link to any number of recipients.

NOTE: If your album sharing is set to Everyone (public) the recipients will not need to sign in with a Windows Live ID.

If the album is set to one of the other sharing options, the recipient will need to sign in using the email address, the one you use in sending the link, as the Live ID. If the recipient does not have that address set as a Live ID it can be done from the sign in page. 

The recipient receives an email with this type of message:

image

When the recipient clicks View album a browser window is launched and the slide show comes up.

If the slide show was prepared with Windows Live Photo Gallery > Slide show > Share slide show > SkyDrive a movie of the slide show will be uploaded to SkyDrive. This will be a “My movie.wmv” file created by Live Movie Maker. The email link will start the slide show and play it through.

If the link is to an album of individual picture files, the link will start with the first picture. The recipient needs to click the “play” button to play the slide show. See illustration here:

image

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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!