How to Run Windows Live Writer in Linux

Last week, an online buddy of mine told me that he’d use Linux more often if he could run Windows Live Writer in it. I had to agree, there are many different blog editors in Linux, but once you’ve gotten used to using Live Writer, you’ve been spoiled and won’t want to use anything less satisfying.

After a bit of searching around online, I finally figured out that the best solution might be to run a full copy of Windows inside a virtual machine. Then I’d have the best of both worlds within easy reach. After trying it, I discovered that it works quite well. In fact, this article was posted from Xubuntu Linux, using Windows Live Writer.


virtualbox_logoI decided to use VirtualBox as the virtual machine server, because it’s open source, but mainly because it’s already in the Ubuntu Software Center. Installing it was as easy as searching for VirtualBoxand marking it for installation.

An old, unused copy of Windows XP was my choice for a guest operating system. I was familiar with the steps needed to set that up, but if you need help, you can find a great tutorial on installing XP in VirtualBox at Linux Journal.

After I had XP running the first time, I did have a few problems. I kept receiving warnings that I didn’t have the Automatic Updates enabled. Since this was virtual machine, I really didn’t want it to update. If I had any problems, I could always use VirtualBox’s snapshots to return to an older state when needed. I finally opened XP’s Services manager and turned off the Automatic Updatesand the Security Center.

You can launch the Services manager by clicking Start, Runand then typing services.mscinto the run box (without quotes).


I also noticed that I couldn’t copy and paste between Linux and Windows. I found out that I needed to install the Guest Additionsin XP. You can find these in the VirtualBox Devicesmenu while the virtual machine is running.


There are two versions of Windows Live Writer. One version is for XP, while the most current version is for Vista and Windows 7.

Once you have Live Writer installed this way, you are ready to blog with ease, no matter what flavor of Linux you’re using. If you have your own favorite blog editor, let us know in the comments below.

Recover Unsaved Posts In Windows Live Writer After a Crash

Earlier today, I had a system crash which ended up me having to reset the computer through the power button. Unfortunately, I had 4 Windows Live Writer windows open with different posts I was researching about. Now, I had done quite a few hours of work with those posts and losing them would definitely be a pain in the posterior.

With Windows Live Writer 3, I had an option to automatically save posts after 2 minutes, however, To my surprise and annoyance WLW 4 which is included in Windows Live Essentials Beta does not include an option to automatically save posts after a certain time. Now, I had thought that I had lost all the work and had to rewrite all the posts again, but was saved all the double work.


Thankfully Microsoft has added a new feature which allowed for an Auto-recovery if Windows Live Writer 4 did not shut down properly or crashed. The next time I started up WLW, I saw the message from the screenshot above, clicking on the "Recover changes now (recommended)" link magically recovered all the posts again, saving me a lot of time and hassles.

This feature is not available in Windows Live Writer 3, however, you can also recover unsaved posts if WLW crashed unexpectedly by browsing through the temp folder. WLW 3 creates a temp folder at the location, where "User" is your PC username:


When you browse to this folder you will see several folders in that, just view details and sort through date to look through them, the temporary post should be stored inside a file called "index.htm". You can open or view the files in this folder to find the post you could not save due to the crash. There is a 99.5% recovery rate through this folder.

However, if you want to get the benefit of Auto-recovery, go ahead and download Windows Live Essentials which also includes Windows Live Writer 4, and someone please tell Microsoft that they should not have removed a life-saver feature like Auto-save.

Windows Live Writer Wave 4 Keyboard Shortcuts

The one reason I have been delaying the upgrade to the new Windows Live Essentials beta was the removal of the Ctrl + L shortcut key for inserting images in Windows Live Writer. That was one of the most important shortcuts for me, and I really gave a damn to the new ribbon UI for inserting images.

Also Read: Ultimate List of Windows Live Writer Tips and Tricks

However, I recently upgraded to Windows Live Wave 4 including updating Windows Live Writer, because I found out that the shortcut key did exist, however, it was changed to Ctrl + J instead.

In addition to that Windows Live Writer Wave 4 also has several other shortcuts including those which allow you to apply paragraph and headline styles using . This feature was requested by me in my Windows Live Writer wish list.

If you want to know about more Windows Live Writer Wave 4 keyboard shortcuts, Aaron Bregel has put up the full list which can be viewed here. I found the image shortcut there too :-).

Windows Live Writer 2010 Looks Awesome, Wave 4 Leaked Screenshots

Quite sometime back we had posted leaked screenshots of Wave 4 which included screens for Windows Live Writer 2010 and Windows Live Messenger 2010. A new batch of screenshots has now emerged, courtesy of geekSmack, which shows off Windows Live Writer 2010, Windows Live Photo Gallery 2010 and Windows Live Mail 2010, which will be included in Wave 4.





It is definitely good to see that Microsoft has continued to develop Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Mail, which are actually pretty good and available as free downloads for everyone.

Out here, many of us prefer to use Windows Live Writer because of its ease of use and absolutely awesome features. We certainly look forward to Microsoft releasing Wave 4 to the general public. However, we will try out best to get our hands on it before that if we can.

What do you think about the new features in WLW 2010 and Wave 4 in general?

Backup/Restore Windows Live Writer with Import/Export Plugin

Recently, someone posted a comment at my website, telling me about two useful and   free Windows Live Writer Plugins from Kobi Pinhasov. The first plugin that I tried out was called Import and Export Settings Wizard. (also see Windows Live Writer Backup)

kobi-pinhasov Kobi mentioned how that he’d always hated trying to sync up his WLW between different PCs. He decided to write a plugin to solve that problem. According to his blog post, this plugin will import and export the Configuration Settings, Auto links glossary, Preferences, Blog Accounts and the Installed Plug-ins. While exporting, you can save the backups in a local folder, network folder or FTP. He also plans to add the ability to export to SkyDrive and other cloud backup sites soon.

Here are some screen-shots as I tried out the Import Export Wizard plugin.


1. As you can see, you will access the wizard via your Insertmenu in WLW.


2. You are first offered a choice as to what you’d like to do. I chose to Export my settings.


3. Next you can pick and choose which settings to back up.


4. As you can see below, I chose to export settings to My Dropbox account so that I could access them from anywhere on the web.


5. After a few seconds, the wizard reported that it was done.


Once I finished exporting, I checked the output folder that I’d selected and found the files that the wizard had created.


I have not checked out the Import setting on this plugin yet, but I do know at least one person who’s been using it, besides the author, that is.

Download this plugin at: Import and Export Wizard for Windows Live Writer

Techie Buzz Verdict

Using this plugin, you may save yourself a good number of headaches and save time. I like the way it works and I may give it a better rating once the author adds access to other web file hosting services.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5

Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Moderate Comments and Add Custom Fields in Windows Live Writer

Quite sometime back I had a email conversation with few of the core developers from the Windows Live Writer team. I had sent them a Windows Live Writer wish list which listed some features that I felt were required in WLW. Thanks to Brandon who caught my tweet and offered to listen to my needs, and Joe Cheng from the WLW team for listening to the requests, some of the features are now available as WLW plugins.

Also Read: Ultimate List of Windows Live Writer Tips & Tricks

The WLW team has announced a new plugin which adds new features to WLW, namely:

  • A plugin to moderate new comments on your blog (Approve/Spam/Delete, no replies yet)
  • A plugin to add custom fields to your blog post (#awesomeness).
  • A plugin to update your blogs tagline.

Moderating Comments in Windows Live Writer

To moderate comments using Windows Live Writer, click on the Comment Management link in the sidebar, or go to Insert menu and select Comment Managementfrom the list. You will be promoted to enter the password for your blog, enter the password and choose if you want to save it for future use.


The plugin will fetch all the recent comments and display it to you, you can approve, spam or delete the comments. However, you will not be able to reply to them. You can also try out another based app to reply to moderate WordPress comments from your desktop.

Adding Custom Fields to WLW

One of the most wanted features for WLW has finally arrived, this was one of the reasons why I wrote the All in one SEO pack WLW bridge. With the help of this plugin, you can now add custom fields to the posts you write in WLW, saving you time and efforts to re-edit the posts in the admin interface, just to add custom fields.


To add custom fields to your post, you will have to first publish an article, before the article is actually published, you will be shown a dialog box to activate the custom fields plug-in for the blog.


Once you have activated the plugin, you will be shown a input box to enter the custom fields for the plugin. Once you have input the values, click on the Ok button to add the custom fields to your post.

The next time you publish an article, the custom fields input box will be automatically shown to you. This feature will definitely save several bloggers a lot of time.

Installing Plugin in WLW

To install the plugin download the WordPressPlugin.dll and add it to the your WLW plugins folder. The plugins folder could be located in either of the folders listed below, based on your installation.

  • C:\Program Files\Windows Live Writer\Plugins
  • C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer\Plugins

Once again thanks to the WLW team for adding these features. We certainly look forward to seeing the rest of the things in our WLW wish list knocked off soon :-).

Repair Windows Live Writer Continuous Crashes, Direct Download Standalone Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer is one of my favorite blogging tools, and I use it quite a lot to post to several blogs I write for, however out of the blue today WLW started to crash and did not even allow me to open it.

Every time I fired up Windows Live Writer it crashed after showing the splash screen as you can see below.


I tried to repair the software to no avail, restarted the PC and did almost everything I could, but the damn thing just would not work, but not for long, like we solve your trouble’s we find solution for ours too. BTW this post is written using WLW :-).

We were finally able to solve the problem and also directly download the standalone installer for Windows Live Writer and install it again, however we did much more than that, so here is a tutorial that will help you repair Windows Live Writer by performing , uninstall it, reinstall it and restoring Windows Live Writer settings, plugins and draft posts and get it working again.

Step 1: Use the Windows Live Writer Backup tool to backup your settings, drafts, plugins and save it to a safe location. It is very important you do this incase something goes wrong and you lose everything.


Step 2: Go to Add/Remove Programs or Programs & Features in and search for Windows Live Essentials and click on the Uninstall/Change button and uninstall Windows Live Writer. Read more on how to uninstall individual windows live programs.

Step 3: Go to your My Documents folder and rename the folder My Weblog Poststo something else, also go to the local settings folder and copy the Windows Live Writer folder and save it somewhere else, after you have created a backup, delete the folder from the Local folder.

In Windows Vista you will find this under C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming in Windows XP you should find it under the Local settings folder for your user.

Please make sure you have backed up everything as suggested in step 1 before deleting anything.

Step 4: Once you have uninstalled WLW and followed step 3, directly download the Windows Live Writer application from here and install it.

Step 5: Once again use the Windows Live Writer Backup tool to restore the drafts, blog settings and plugins.

That’s it, hopefully this should fix a annoyance some of you have where Windows Live Writer does not start at all.

Windows Live Writer Wish List

I recently had a conversation with the Windows Live Writer team at Microsoft, where I shared a wish list for some features I wanted to see in the next version of WLW, this is a post based on that conversation.

Whether you may see it or not is left to them and I am pretty hopeful that they will include the features I suggested, however here is a rundown of features I would love Windows Live Writer to include in their next version.

Ability to add custom fields

One thing I would definitely want to have is the ability to add custom fields to posts that I publish from WLW, this will allow me to skip visiting the admin dashboard to update certain parameters.

Quite recently I wrote a option to add custom fields for the All in One SEO Pack plugin through another plugin called All in One SEO Pack WLW bridge, however I would definitely like to ability to add more custom fields.

That is not all, another awesome thing would be if they could allow users to store custom fields in Name Pair value and reuse them, which will allow users to easily insert custom fields without having to remember the exact custom field name.

For example, users can save All in one SEO title and add a custom field value name as titleor whatever field name the plugin requires, the next time they want to enter the value for the same field, they can do that by using a drop down list with the name they have stored, in this case All in one SEO title.

Auto-Linking Segregation for Different Blogs

I have around 8 different blogs setup with WLW and use the auto-linking feature to link to some terms.

There is a problem with it, I link to internal posts and tags using those terms for blog A, now I am writing a post for blog B, however the terms would still be linked no matter what, this creates a lot of problems since there may be several times I may repeat the same term on blog B, and each time it will link to it.

Now it causes a lot of productivity loss to go back and remove those links manually each time one term from blog A is linked on blog B.

In addition to that, you do not have a choice to link the same terms on multiple blogs.

Another problem with the auto-linking feature is that, auto-linking should not kick in while the previous word in the series is linked, for example I have a auto-link for Gmail and also for Gmail Labs, so when I type in Gmail it gets linked and writing Gmail Labs then creates another link which overlaps the earlier link.

Sometimes we may overlook this and create a weird link.

Auto Spell Check

This is another awesome feature that is on my wish list, I type at the speed of 100 words per minute and sometimes mistype certain words, an auto spell check like Word has would be awesome.

Shortcuts for H tags and P tags and list tags

I highlight quite a lot of sections with H tags, shortcuts for them would be awesome as it would definitely increase productivity, also shortcuts for ordered and unordered list would be awesome.

Ability to add images as watermarks

Windows Live Writer allows users to add watermark to their images, however an option to add images (logos) as watermarks would be great.

I also put up a request for backups and restorations on settings and posts, however there is a plugin/tool that already does that, you might want to check the Windows Live Writer backup tool for that.

This is my wish list for the features I am looking to have in Windows Live Writer. Do you have a wish list? It would be interesting to know about them.

All In One SEO Pack Bridge for WLW Plugin Release

I love using Windows Live Writer and don’t use the WordPress admin dashboard to write posts, however I also make use of the All In One SEO Pack plugin, which allows users to tweak the title of a post, and add keywords and description to it.

However WLW does not have options to add additional fields to the post, so I have to manually go in and edit the posts when I want to customize the title or keywords for SEO optimization once I have published the post.

Continue reading All In One SEO Pack Bridge for WLW Plugin Release

Windows Live Writer Backup

Windows Live Writer is definitely a great tool for blogging, and I seldom visit the website to write and edit post, doing everything from the comfort of my desktop (except for a few things for which I am writing a WLW plugin, which many bloggers may love).

However like we always insist on important information, Windows Live Writer is no exception and you must regularly make backups of the drafts, dictionary and other important settings.

Also Read: Ultimate List of Tips and Tricks for Windows Live Writer

Continue reading Windows Live Writer Backup