<Updates at bottom of post>
OK this will probably start a fire storm from Die- Hard Live Writer (LW) geeks but oh well :). I don’t blog as much as I would like and one reason is that I have had so much trouble getting posts properly formatted that it takes way too much time or frustration than it is worth for me anyway. I asked around a while back for the proper tool to use and everyone said “Live Writer” so that is what I started using. Well in the beginning I had an awful time getting images to be published which really kept me from posting for a long time. But in all fairness I think it was due mostly to settings on the Blog site and not as much with LW. Now I also want to state that some of my problems can be to lack of understanding how the tool works (operator error) but I can also assure you I have spent a LOT of time trying to figure out how to do certain things and asking many people if they knew as well. So if it is operator error, that too is partly my fault but let’s face it a tool like this shouldn't be that difficult to figure out how to use even with reading the manual. But I am still amazed at how primitive a tool like this is in such a modern world. For instance my biggest issue at the moment is not being able to copy and paste rich text into LW. The options out of the box from what I can see are either Plain text (which looses all formatting) and HTML (which doesn’t come close to RT) as shown below:
OK how lame is that? Word Pad has been able to do this for a decade, couldn’t they copy and paste the source code from there:). This to me just seems to be such a fundamental requirement for a tool such as this, why is this functionality not included? Yes you can add a plug-in to do this for you. Although I wasted even more time today trying to get the only one that I could find that seemed to do what I wanted to install. There is instructions in the remarks for the plug-in from someone who supposedly figured out how to make it work and the steps are insane.
That brings me to another bullet which is Categories. Categories are great (although all the other tools and such call them Tags) and I have no beef with them or their purpose. But there is no way to remove a category from the pop-up list in LW after you add one. I misspelled a category once and now have two nearly identically spelled categories of which I now have to be very careful which one I choose since one is right and one is wrong. I can find no way to remove the category once it is added. Again how difficult could this be to allow editing or removal of items added to a list like that? And why didn’t they think something so fundamental as this wasn’t needed?
And along those lines I have one more thing to get off my chest before I quit my ranting. That is these plug-ins I mentioned. Yes it is great to allow the tool to be extensible and that is not a problem. But yet again once you add a plug-in you cannot remove it completely. Your only option is to disable it.
I added a plug-in thinking it may give me the RT paste capability I wanted but it turned out to be completely different than what I expected so I wanted to remove it. I found that I could only disable it and to boot the change didn’t take effect until I closed and reopened the tool, no warning or anything. I noticed that because after I disabled it that particular plug-in link was still available on the toolbar and it still fully worked to boot. Again was this tool written 2 decades ago? Was LW the result of a bunch of interns at never coded a modern application before?
Anyway my 2 cents. Love to hear yours…
Here are some updates since I originally posted. Scott who is a Live Write MVP has graciously resplied with some helpful information and I want to comment on. First off it appears that LW will show different options under the Paste Special tab depending on where the copy was last taken. By this I mean that if I copy directly from SSMS and attempt to paste I don't get an option to keep the formatting. But if I paste that into Word (which keeps all formatting) and then copy and paste from Word I get a new choice to keep the formatting. That is great news in that I know I can get the RT format without a plug-in but it doesn't explain why I can't paste directly from SSMS like I can with other tools. And shouldn't RT pasting be the norm anyway on a tool like this?
Scott also suggested that it was likely I would need to unistall the plug-in from windows to remove it from LW. While this does make some sense I am not able to find any sign of the plug-in in my control panel - Remove dialog so I am not sure what to make of that as of yet. Maybe just a poorly written plug-in that doesn't follow all the rules in terms of the install / unistall process?