Windows Live Writer is a great blog authoring tool but if you want sophisticated table layout and design, you must go to MS Word. But Word is not as good as WLW as a blog writer. Here is how you get best of both worlds…
Every serious blogger knows that Windows Live Writer has been and still is one of the most comprehensive authoring tools. Of course there are many others (free and paid) for Windows and Mac. But WLW is definitely an option you cannot ignore.
Having said that, there is only ONE deficiency in WLW from a pure content creation point of view – Tables.
Default table looks like this
This is a 3×3 table.
And this is all the customization you get…
Compare this with the amazing array of Design and Layout options which Microsoft Word is famous for.
Why not use MS Word as the blog authoring tool?
This is not a comprehensive list… but these deficiencies make it unusable, from my point of view.
- Theme is not shown
- Live Writer Plug-ins don’t work
- No Insert Post option in Hyperlink
On the other hand, Word does give beautiful Tables, Charts and SmartArt.
How to get best of both worlds?
One option is to create useful things like SmartArt and Tables in Word and save as filtered HTML. Consider this simple two by two table…
Word Filtered HTML produces 69 lines of code (only STYLE and DIV). It is not optimized for HTML – unlike Windows Live Writer which creates compact HTML.
So what is the option? Use BOTH.
Yes it sounds like a wrong move. But it works and works beautifully…
- Write a blog in Windows Live Writer as usual
- Don’t create the tables in WLR
- Open MS Word
- Choose Share – Post to Blog
- First time, it will ask you to configure the blog account. Do that.
- Create the Table in Word and format it as required
- Post to a TEMP blog post as a draft
- Go to WordPress (or other supported platforms), copy the HTML and paste it into the Code view of Windows Live Writer at the right position
- That’s it!
Remember that Windows Live Writer may not show all the formatting which Word is capable of. But the blog will show it correctly.
Visual comparison of code generated by Word Filtered HTML and the blog HTML
The right side shows pure HTML produced from Word through the blog and Left side shows the Word Filtered HTML output.
You can download the files from here (Zip 2 KB). This is a OneDrive link. Click the file and choose Download from the top blue bar.
Let me know your feedback. Thanks.