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Windows Live Writer, A Must-Have Desktop Blogging Tool for Umbraco!

If you are someone who is comfortable working on Windows Live Writer (WLW), then this Microsoft application has made it easier for you to create and manage Umbraco blogposts. You can compose your blog posts offline and publish them later at a time convenient to you.

If you are using Umbraco as your CMS, then Windows Live Writer is a great desktop blogging tool. It makes it possible to create blog posts on it without logging to Umbraco back end. This is also applicable to other blog services such as Wordpress, SharePoint, TypePad, Blogger etc.

 All the images and formatting from Word are copied as is to Umbraco’s back end with just a click. If you are someone who is more comfortable working on Live Writer than working online, you can definitely take advantage of this new feature.

 Below are the steps required to create blogs from Word document using Writer -

  1. Either create your own data type for creating Blog or install any of the available Blog providers like Blog 4 Umbraco, smart Blog etc.

  2. Login to Umbraco’s backend and create from User section, create a user of type 'Editor' and give permissions to the desired sections.

  3. Select the 'Content Channel' tab of the newly created user as shown in the screen shot  

For 'Start Node in Content' choose the folder from content section under which all new blogs are to be created.

For 'Start Node in Media' select the folder in media where all blog images are stored.

For Document Type select the document type of your blog or blog provider

For 'Description field' Select the filed from the document type selected above which contains complete details of the Blog.

Category field and Excerpt field are not supported by many blog providers so leave the default options.

  1. Copy below lines of code to before </head> tag of the top layout / Master page

<link rel="edituri" type="application/rsd+xml" href="~/umbraco/Channels/rsd.aspx" />

      <link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml" href="~/Umbraco/Channels/wlwmanifest.aspx" />

  1. Install the Windows Live Writer, open the WLW and you will be prompted to accept terms and conditions the first time

  2. After accepting terms and conditions the configuration window will be displayed. Select 'Other Services' as seen in the screen shot below

  3. Enter the website address and Umbraco user name and password as shown in the screen shot below

      

  1. In the next step select 'MetaWebLog API' from Blog Type dropdown as shown in diagram below

  2. Give the blog a nickname to identify which blog you are editing as shown in the screen shot below

  3. After completing configurations Window Live Writer editor will open as shown in diagram below

  4. From Live Writer editor you can create the complete blog post and publish to Umbraco website using 'post draft to blog' and publish options

  5. We will be able to add new and modify the existing Blog accounts using 'Add blog account' and 'Manage Blog Account' options as shown in diagram below

Creating Blogs from Windows Live Writer will not work if you have used Umbraco Grid data type for the Details field. If any of you know how to work around this, we’d love to hear from you. Also let us know how WLW has changed your blogging experience. 

Elizabeth Raj | Blogger

Manjunath Govindappa | ASP.NET Technical Lead

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