Word as a Blog Writer? Finally?

I have fallen in love with Windows Live Writer as a blogging tool. I love how it reads & writes to my blog seamlessly, how it renders my posts within the editor as they’ll be posted, and how it handles images and other uploads easily.

So I’ve been pretty disappointed that there is no version of Windows Live Writer that works on Surface.

@AlexBream just made me aware that Word 2013 has a “Blog Template” that appears to work well. I’m composing this with Word 2013 on my Surface to see how well it works.

Pros:

  • Full Word editor.
  • Posts can be round tripped to my WordPress based blog. I was able to publish a first draft of this as a “draft” and then open it from my blog to continue editing. This is a great thing about Writer that I use frequently because I’m often using different computers andmlike to treat the copy stored on my blog as ‘truth’.
  • I was expecting to see the typical horrific HTML Word normally generates (with all that mso: crud), but was pleased to see the tool emits only the bare minimum. It does however, put style information that it shouldn’t (see below).
  • Images pasted in get uploaded automatically.

Cons:

  • Not WYSIWYG. No local theme. This sucks as it is one of the best things about Writer: It brings down your blog’s theme and presents an editor that is WYSIWYG. With Word the font I am looking at as I type this is Times New Roman and the margins are as though I have an 8.5″ piece of paper to work with.
  • Not only does it not pull down my theme and use that, but it embeds font styling in the uploaded HTML. Note this post is in the wrong font? Lame. Super lame.
  • Copy & paste is a critical task in writing blog posts. Surface/Win8’s text selection and copy/paste system is sub-optimal, especially using touch. Keyboard shortcuts help as does the mouse pad on the Surface Touch Cover. This is not a Word vs. Writer issue, really, but an overall Surface problem. A native (Metro!) Writer app could help.
  • Categories do not appear to sync (and I can’t actually see what categories I’ve selected…rendering bug?). Actually, the whole Category feature appears completely broken to me.
  • Slow – Word on ARM is a dog. For example, dragging the screen shot to the right around was a painful experience. 2-3 seconds between each drag operation before I could re-engage.

I’m not impressed and until I find a better tool, won’t be using Surface to do any blog posts…

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

3 comments


  1. I agree and have started a petition to try to politely ask Microsoft for a Windows RT version of Live Writer. http://www.change.org/petitions/microsoft-release-a-windows-rt-version-of-windows-live-writer

  2. So Writer is still the the software to use! Kinda disappointing seeing that there is no Writer in RT.

  3. By comparison with Windows Live Writer, Word 2013 is utter bilge as a blogging tool. The Office team should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
    You might be better off using the WordPress App for your blog than struggling with Word…

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