Posts tagged tools

9 Notes

The Best Software Microsoft Created

Is it Windows? Is it Office? Is it Internet Explorer? 

No, No (expect for Excel) and HELL NO!!!

The best tool Microsoft created is called Windows Live Writer 2011. Hands down.

Most chances are that you never heard of it and you have no idea what it does, right?

That is good because today you will learn all about it and how and most important, why, I consider it to be so good.

What Is It?

Windows Live Writer by Microsoft is an application for composing and managing blog posts. It will help you blog like a pro and make your blogging life so much easier (you simply can’t understand how easier until you start using it).

Live Writer 2011

Why Do You Need It?

If you are a blogger and you use WordPress than I’m sure you will agree that their post editing interface is simply not the best. It has many drawbacks and I always hated writing posts inside WordPress, especially if they were long and filled with images.

Using Windows Live Writer allows you the freedom to create your posts outside of WordPress and you can actually see exactly what your post would like as you write it thanks to a great feature that imports the current theme you are using on your blog.

Inserting images couldn’t be easier. You just choose the images you want from your PC and when you publish the post, Live Writer will upload of the images for you. You can edit the images, add some cool effects and do things that you simply couldn’t do with such ease inside WordPress.

BRILLIANT! I kid you not. Just ask Ronen how is blogging life changed for him after he started using Windows Live Writer.

And don’t forget to ask him who recommended it for him?

And the most important questions – how long did it took him to LISTEN?

How to Get it Working?

Download and Install

Windows Live Writer 2011 is free and you can download it HERE.

Live Writer 2011

Download and install it. Pretty simple process so I’m sure you don’t need me explaining anymore about it.

Add Your Blog/Blogs

Next thing you will need to do is to add your blog or blogs. This another great feature as you can manage as many blogs as you want from within Windows Live Writer 2011.

Before you add your WordPress blog you need to make sure your XML-RPC is enabled. This can be found inside your WordPress admin panel under settings/writing.

Now you can go ahead and add your blog to Live Writer.

  1. Just click on My Blog and select Add blog account.

  1. Select WordPress
  2. Enter the web address of your blog
  3. Enter the username and password
  4. You will be asked if you want to download the blog theme. This will let you see what your posts will look like as you are creating them. I always do this.

Start Blogging Away

That is it. You are all done. Your blog is added and you start blogging away. Trust me, if you never used it before, your blogging is never going to be the same again.

Not All Is Perfect

As almost anything in life, not everything is perfect and so is the case with Live Writer 2011.

It doesn’t support tumblr.

And let me tell you something, the post editing interface in tumblr is far worse than the one inside WordPress. FAR WORSE! It will definitely be on the list of things to improve once Ronen finishes his little case study on tubmlr.

So, how did I got over this little hurdle? Easy.

I still write the posts inside Windows Live Writer, upload the images into tubmlr and use the URLs to add them to the Live Writer and once I finish I simply copy the html code and paste it into tumblr. It is the best solution I found so far.

If you are a blogger and you never used Windows Live Writer, give it a try. I’m more the confident that you are going to love it.

How else would you explain the fact that is the only thing to come from Microsoft that no one (meaning me) has anything bad to say about it?

5 Notes

Notepad++ Is Notepad On Steroids

Today I want to recommend a great little free tool that I think all of you
PC users should take a look at.

It is called Notepad++ and it is really a great name for it as it does provide some major pluses over the regular notepad app you get with every Windows copy.

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPLLicense.

Based on the powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.

I know, those are pretty bold claims and I don’t know if using Notepad++ will really help reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions but I can assure you it will help you save some time and be more productive. I personally love that it allows me to have multiple notepad windows open among other great features.

As I mentioned in my taking notes post I always have a little notebook next to my keyboard to take notes. I also always have Notepad++ active on my desktop and I use it for various things such as:

  • Copy & Paste - If I have some content that I keep needing to copy and paste over and over again, I simply add it once to Notepad++ and keep copying it whenever I need. 
  • Taking notes - I don’t always use the little notebook I have on my desk as it is little and I try to write down the most important notes I have and keep them short. For everything else I use Notepad++.
  • Formatting Issues - When I copy something for an internet page or a Word document it usually get copied with the formatting and in order to strip all of that formatting I simply copy it into Notepad++ and than copy it again and it is now clean to paste anywhere I want without needing to edit the fonts or any other formatting aspect.
  • Code Editing - Editing code is very easy with Notepad++ as opposed to the regular notepad and after you will copy a piece of code into it you will understand why (or just take a look at the image on the homepage)

I strongly recommend you give Notepad++ a try and see how great it is and how much it can help you. Download it here.

Are you using Notepad++ already? If so, what are you using it for? Anything I left out? Please let us know. And for all of you Mac users, if you can share with us a similar tool that works on the Mac it would be great.