I talked about Windows Live Writer a lot on my blog. I thought it was a nice and cool blog editor to work with and that was fine until one of the commentors here mentioned about BlogDesk . I didn’t take it seriously but after a few days, I thought why not check a new blog editor too. Firstly I wanted to make sure if it was a commercial blog editor or a free one(I love freebies). Fortunately it was a free to use blog editor.
I downloaded it and found it pretty light(3.4MB). Installation was easy and quick. I then opened it up and find the interface clean. To my surprise, I found three writing tabs firstly – Post, More and Excerpt. No more inserting tags for this…just switch to the next tab window and write the text. Pretty cool idea! I decided to then check all options under format and extra. Now its Extras are worth mentioning about. It has got 5 extras:
- Notebook – It has got its own notepad for something you have in mind, you can use it to note that down. You can even categorise your notes. Pretty cool.
- Frequently Used Phrases – You can add frequently used phrases like your site’s name or copyright description which you will need to repeat often in your blog posts. Instead of typing them again and again, you can insert them with few clicks. You can even group multiple Frequently used Phrases.
- Tags Generator – Based on the content of the post, it can even suggest tags for you. Though its suggestion engine needs to be improved a lot. It supports both Technorati and WordPress Tags(2.5 and above only).
- WordPress Options – It provides two wordpress specific options which work only for a blog running WordPress 2.5 and above. One is the ability to password protect a post. And second which I loved is the Custom Field. Yes, this editor supports Custom Fields in WordPress. This was one feature which WLW needs seriously.
- Spell Check – It has also a Spelling Checker.
Also this blog editor provides ability to not only edit already published posts but even delete them. You can also create custom post templates(sometimes your blog has a certain style of a post which can be saved as template here) Another cool feature of this editor is its Image Editor. It not only helps you resize but also lets you crop, rotate, flip, add shadows, borders, colors, alignment with text and even changing the format of the image! Pretty awesome! There is a Smartupload plugin available which helps you add mp3 and video files. Though you will still need a wordpress plugin(any one which you use) to work with it. Smartupload only uploads the media file and inserts a link at the place. Those plugins which just require a file location as their requirement can use this info and show the corresponding media on your blog post. Another cool feature too. Now as a basic Blog Editor, BlogDesk definitely rocks.
Now not everything is perfect, so is BlogDesk. It still lacks here and there. I would love to add some suggestions for the BlogDesk Team :
- I found certain text formatting options missing – Blockquote, Tables, Video Insert and Font Size. I hope that these features are added in the future version – though you can still use the html source editor for entering these.
- Insert HTML button – I found it did nothing – seems buggy and pressing enter in it instead of taking the code to new line always pressed the ok and closed it abruptly.
- Smartupload feature needs improvement – Needs to support common sites like Youtube, MetaCafe and Dailymotion so that it can output valid codes for these sites automatically. Also a feature to directly upload to these sites would be awesome! Also Insert Smartupload button should be in toolbar and not via Edit menu.
- Tags Adding should also feature in right window along with categories. Should make job a bit faster than via a menu.
- Tags Generator engine needs a lot of improvement. Still not suggesting many tags. Even for this post, it suggested only BlogDesk as the tag.
- Image Editor should also support Watermark – A lot of bloggers do watermark their images.
And before I signoff from this post recommending you to use BlogDesk – do open its help file and check the sections — Extras>>Application Path & User Path and Extras>>Data Backup & Transfer. I have rarely seen softwares mentioning how to backup all settings and data even if its through a manual directory path backing up! Good Addition in the help file. Do read it.
BTW This blog post has been published by using BlogDesk!
And if you are still not using any blog editor, Try BlogDesk. Even better than WLW unless you are not using Tables and lot of videos – most would find it suitable for all their blogging needs!