Publishing to your Blog from Word

One of the Surface reviews I saw recently expressed concern that the Live Essentials suite wouldn’t be available under Windows RT. I generally don’t use much from that suite but the idea that the functionality wouldn’t be available got me interested. Was the lack of Live Essentials actually worth fretting over or would the gap be filled by other by other solutions?

It turns out that although there’s still a bit of a gap with no movie maker but most of the functionality is indeed provided by other dedicated applications like mail, calendar, photos, and SkyDrive. What really surprised me though is that Word is a great substitute for Live Writer. Until a few days ago I had no idea that Word could be used to compose and publish blog posts to most of the major blogging platforms.

Out of the box, Word supports publishing to:

  • Blogger
  • SharePoint blog
  • Telligent Community
  • TypePad
  • WordPress

The documentation states that providers may be available in the Office marketplace.

Getting started is just a matter of creating a new document with the Blog post Template. The template was already installed for me in both Word 2010 and 2013 but if you don’t have it you should be able to find it in the online gallery.

The first time you use the Blog post template Word will tell you that you need to register your blog account and give you the option to register now or later. I opted to just get the registration over and get on with blogging. To register your account you just need to select your provider and enter your blog’s URL and your account credentials. Word will take care of the rest including creating or updating the post and uploading any media such as images to your media gallery.

After your blog is registered and you’re ready to publish you can push the content to the provided by clicking the Publish button in the BLOG POST ribbon.

Word offers two options for publishing to WordPress: Publish or Publish as Draft. I didn’t look at the other providers so I don’t know what additional options they provide. I generally like to configure other options like scheduling and tags before publishing so I’ve been opting to publish as draft then open the my WordPress dashboard to complete the process.

Word also make it convenient to insert categories, open existing posts including drafts, and manage your blog accounts. Of course, if you don’t like the experience of blogging with Word, the browser is still a viable option.


DaveFancher.com Reloaded

I’ve owned DaveFancher.com for as long as I can remember but I’ve been neglecting it for the past few years.  I’ve neglected it so much that I’ve actually been paying a Web host for e-mail.  That came to an abrupt end tonight.

When I started the site I rolled my own blog and for the most part, it met my needs.  I had a rudimentary rich text editor, I had attachments, I had commenting, I think I even had an RSS feed.  I ultimately got to a point where I wanted to allow drafts, versioning, trackbacks (not that they’d ever be used!), and even ping sites like Technorati but I didn’t have the desire to build any of it.  I just wanted to write.  By the time I reached this point blogging software was coming of age so I started seeking other solutions.

For a while I used Blogger (Blogspot at the time) but I never really liked it although I couldn’t really explain why.  After a long but unproductive run with Blogger/Blogspot I went hunting again.  I checked a few of my friends’ blogs and many of them were using WordPress so I decided to check it out and was hooked almost immediately.

One of the first things I looked into with WordPress was how to self-host.  After all, I was paying for it, right?  Unfortunately it required MySQL which my host didn’t support.  I was kind of disappointed but looked at the hosted option anyway.  WordPress made migrating from Blogger really easy and was so feature-rich I knew it was what I was looking for.  DaveFancher.com would continue to appear abandoned but I wasn’t about to give up my e-mail address.

Fast forward to this evening.  I took the plunge.  I purchased the domain add-on for my WordPress blog, updated the name servers with my registrar, and waited… Amazingly it only took about an hour for the changes to take effect.  But what about e-mail?

As I mentioned, the only reason I’ve really been hanging on to the host was e-mail but the increase in spam over the past few months was becoming an annoyance and was a huge influence on my decision.  Luckily Google offers a free version of Google Apps that makes GMail available to custom domains.  WordPress’s recent addition of DNS editing made it simple to allow Google Apps to manage e-mail.  All I had to do was enter the verification code from Google Apps to let WordPress generate some entries and manually add a few extra CNAME entries to simplify some access.

In the few months since I switched to WordPress I’ve been posting with more frequency than ever before.  Tonight’s changes should give me even more motivation to keep it up.  Now, just a few hours after starting the process DaveFancher.com has a new lease on life thanks to WordPress and Google.