I have just installed the Windows Live Writer (WLW) and thought I would take it for a spin by writing a little review about it.
First Impression: It actually seems pretty nice. WordPress 2.3.1, the backbone of this site, fully supports WLW. I rather like the idea of being able to save a draft locally and work on it later. Not particularly sure why I like the idea better than saving on online draft, but I suppose if didn’t have an always-on internet connection this option would be more useful to you.
Setting it up was a breeze, I just entered my url and login information. The overall layout is pretty intuitive and a little more user friendly when compared to the standard TinyMCE wordpress interface.
It handles all the things I would want a writing interface to handle; categories, publish date, inserts (hyperlink, picture, table, map, tags, video are on my default install insert list).
The insert image dialog is decently feature packed. Text wrapping, custom margins, border (drop shadow default), link to. The advanced tab give you the ability to define the insert size, change the contrast & rotate. The effects tab lets you apply image transformation effects like change to black & white, color pop, and emboss.
I was able to use the insert map feature to add the map below of downtown Dallas. The dialog takes you immediately to live map search where you can select or enter a location. You can add push pins, but not labels for the push pins. There also isn’t any support, as far as I could tell, to provide directions. For me this really isn’t a useful feature.
Below is a test of the insert video feature, of what else, a video from masternewmedia.org reviewing WLW in more detail. For some reason the video isn’t showing below when I edit in WLW, but it does show up when I checked the draft. Edit: I take that back, it didn’t work after I posted. I am using WPVideo plugin, so that’s probably it.