What’s In Your Toolbox?

Posted: November 23, 2013 by Nerdy Woman in The Big Toolbox
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lately, I’ve been reading and participating in a debate about web apps – Microsoft Office Apps vs. Google Docs, which is an extension of the old debate between Microsoft Office and Open Office. True enough, the powerful features in Microsoft Office are wasted on the 90% of users who don’t use them. In fact, sometimes it’s the little things that can make you incredibly productive.

So starting today, I’m going to blog about some stuff that, if you make an effort to learn how to use just one new feature each day, you’ll find you’ve got some really powerful tools in your toolbox. Tomorrow, I’ll get into some of the other apps, but today, I’m going to offer a gift to my fellow bloggers… Windows Live Writer.

Download it (it’s free). Link it up to your blog account. Download your blog theme, and write like a pro.


The ribbon shows you the styles associated with your theme, allows you to insert pictures from your computer or the web (they’ll be automatically uploaded to your blog image space) and create tables, enables you to set categories, tags, and even the post date and time. You can save drafts locally (really nice if your internet connection isn’t constant) or in your blog space. It even does spell checking and word counting for you.

Crazy enough, my favorite feature? When I get an idea I want to write about later, I just open Live Writer, type in a title and a sentence or two to jog my memory, then hit the Save icon. The draft is stored locally and displays a list for me to choose my next topic.

Word 2013 also has a blogging feature…


The only problem is that you have to be careful with formatting and features because they may not translate well. But after you’ve written your opus, go to the File tab (backstage view), select Share, and go for it. You’ll notice that Word supports WordPress, Blogger, and more.

Now, aren’t you just done with the in-website editor?

Tomorrow, I’ll show you why you may not need PhotoShop… I invite you to follow my blog so you don’t miss a thing!

Daily Post prompt… I have a nerdy way of using play time… I teach! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/daily-prompt-play/

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  7. jpluimers says:

    Does LiveWriter support things like preview of embededded https://gist.github.com snippets, youtube videos, flickr photos by URL (i.e. without generating lots of wrapper stuff)?

    Examples on how simple this from the web interface:


    • Nerdy Woman says:

      I’m not sure about embedding other stuff from the web. Using WP guidelines, I embed from Vimeo (no banner ads on my videos and displays even when I have Google Tracking blocked on IE browser) just by inserting [ vimeo VID# w=XXX&h=XXX ]. WP Help stipulates it can’t be a live link and I find the bracket thing easier than removing links (which is just a right-click thing in LW). There is a plug-in for Flickr.

      In a nutshell, it’s an HTML editor made to look a lot like Office (ribbon command bar) and if you insert photos from your computer, they are uploaded and stashed in the Media folder… It also allows paste special for plain text (HTML tags escaped).

  8. jpluimers says:

    OK thanks. My current workflow is heavily web-based (especially since the combination of the “Press” button and pasting in the web-editor is really convenient on all browsers I tested on both Mac and Windows). So having to limit myself to one platform for large parts of the workflow makes me hesitate a bit (though I earn most of my money developing Windows software).

    • Nerdy Woman says:

      Just looked over your site. You might be interested in the VisBasic Code display plug-in… I just find the WP editor a bit hinky. BTW, LW doesn’t add any MSO code. 😀

  9. jpluimers says:

    I’ve not found out how to hook custom plugins to the wordpress.com based sites yet. Can it be done at all?

    It is one of the reasons I like the gist stuff so much: it gets the storage and formatting of code right because it doesn’t try to store everything in one big text blob.

    The WP code formatter and editor screw up too much code snippets (they try to outsmart angle brackets in embedded html and xml, most likely with regular expressions, as it is PHP based. Never outsmart stuff with regular expressions: http://stackoverflow.com/a/1732454/29290)

    • Nerdy Woman says:

      To my knowledge, tools on the WP website are limited to what they offer. The Visual Studio plug-in is for LiveWriter. Of course, if you’re working in Visual Studio, you’re on a Windows machine and using LiveWriter doesn’t impact your ability to use the website editor (I occasionally use the website editor and even the Windows Phone app), but LW will query your site and provide you with a complete list of recent posts if you click link to recent posts in Hyperlink dBox.

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