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Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Blogging with Windows Live Writer. 9

Adding some plug-ins.

What on earth are plug-ins? And why should you use them in Writer?  Plug-ins are usually small additional programs that you can download to your computer to enhance the use of Writer. They add such useful  additions as sending an announcement automatically to twitter or facebook as your new post is published,  so that  all of your friends/contacts on Twitter/Facebook etc are made aware of it.  They add other features to Writer such as being able to show a picture as a Polaroid for example. There are quite a few Writer plug-ins to choose from, and there is certain to be at least one that you will find useful to add to Writer.

Let’s now take a look at some of my favourite plug-ins and how to use them in your posts.

In the choice of items to insert on the right hand side of the compose window  at the bottom of the list you will see Add a plug-in next to a green plus sign. Click on it to be taken to the Windows Live Gallery where all the different Writer plug-ins can be found.  At the top of the list you will see the Polaroid Picture plug-in.  Of course Writer already has the ability to make your photo or picture look like a Polaroid picture by default, but this plug-in will also let you write a caption underneath your picture as well , so download it and then we can take a look at it. Don’t worry if you receive a warning before installing any of the plug-ins that we are trying out, I use them all the time and I can assure you that they are quite safe to use.

The next plug-in to download is the Twitter Notify one which should also be available from the first page, so download that one as well.  Many of my readers know that I often insert an Emoticon into my blog posts and one of my favourite plug-ins to enable this is the Cool Emotion one so let’s download that as well.  Yet another very useful plug-in for writer is the TweetMeme plug-in coded by my friend Scott, and this will place a button inside your post once its published that allows your visitors to click onto it in order to send a Tweet about that particular post.  To find more Writer plug-ins, just type in the name of the plug-on if you know it into the search bar at the top, or alternatively select Writer from the Gallery list on the left hand side of this webpage. The plug-ins such as the TweetMeme and the Twitter Notify plug-in will not be visible in the Insert list in Writer, you enable them in the Edit Blog Settings under the Blogs tab. NOTE. The TweetMeme plug in will only work in Blogger at this time.

The Cool Emotion and the Polaroid Picture plug in will now have been added to the Insert  list. Let’s try the Polaroid Picture one.  Click on Polaroid Picture and all of your picture files will open in another window in Writer. Now simply choose one of your pictures from your files. When you click on it once it is placed into your post, you will see a familiar Menu appear on the right hand side. This is the Polaroid Picture Menu. At the top you can choose your pictures size, followed by a Caption box where you can add a caption to your Polaroid picture including choosing the font and the size of font to use, you can then choose to tilt your picture to the left or right by varying degrees, have the text wrap around your picture either to the left or right hand side, and lastly add some corners to your Polaroid picture so that it looks as if it is placed in an album.  Try them all out in your blog post.  The Cool Emotion plug-in contains loads of Emoticons for you to add to your posts. Just simply click on it and check them all out.

Cool Emotion plug-inIn order to invoke  the Twitter/TweetMeme/Digg/or Facebook plug-ins in your blog post you will need to enable them by clicking on the Blogs tab at the top of Writer, choosing Edit Blog Settings from the list and then clicking on Plug-ins. You then just need to tick those that you wish to invoke as you publish your post. NOTE. At this time the TweetMeme plug-in will not work at the same time as the Digg This plug-in, you will need to choose just one of them.

settng up your plug-ins for your blogSo there’s a lot of choice in available plug-ins for you to add to Live Writer in order to enhance its already great features. Have a browse in the Gallery and try some more of them out.


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