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Three Blog offline (desktop) authoring tools reviewed

Posted by Charles | July 9, 2007 .

I’m using Microsoft Live Write for writing all the blog entries. So far so good until I want to start a Chinese version of this site. Even though Live Writer supports UT-8 character encoding, however, when it transfers string to WordPress, the blog software I’m using, it convert the characters to bunch of question marks. That triggered me to find and test out other blog desktop authoring tools. Found and tried two before I solved the Live Writer’s character problem. Thought might as well share with you. Once in my mind to evaluate these tools is the image process capability, especially the usage of third party storage.

BlogJet

Found lots of good words about BlogJet so I download the trial version (for 30 days) and installed it. The installation was quick and easy. Once it starts, I realized it’s almost as same as the Live Writer Alpha version, in terms of UI and feature. Posting Chinese characters had no problem. All the major feature such WYSWYG, multiple blogs, using your site’s layout, etc. are all there. When gets to image, I can’t find anywhere to allow upload image automatically to third party site (FTP). It does have a place to allow specify the image URL etc. but seems it just assume you have a image on other site already. Keep looking… I’m not going to pay $35 for a not-so-complete earlier version of Live Writer.

BlogJet Screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

WB Editor

Then found this one. When it started installation, it shocked me that It installed SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition. Man, another server installed was just too much! Anyway, I let it completed to see how well the UI and posting works. Well, the UI is very closely integrate with IE, I guess, because the authoring environment almost feel like writing directly on the very own final published page. This is the one the mostly closely integrated with your weblog, in term of UI. Of cause all the other features are there, similar to Live Write’s current version, a good plus. When it gets to image it fail short again. You have to upload image as separate step. In my case, I did and the image didn’t show up on the page, in the tool and published. The image upload didn’t give any word about the the status of upload. It’s kind  hassle to deal with image this way. It’s no go and no $29 for it.

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Microsoft Live Writer

 Then I was back to Live Writer again. Its image process is definitely superior than anything I encountered. You can drag-drop a image from anywhere, yes, anywhere into your post. The publish process will automatically upload the image and gives the right URL inside your post. Totally hand-free when goes to images. So, I went to Google, of cause, to look for a solution for the Chinese character problem and found it. Terence Chang’s blog has a post has exact solution for this, which involves edit register entry. It’s a very Microsoft way of dealing its software issue (sign..) but it works.

So, after all, I’m back to Live Writer.

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2 Comments so far
  1. Dwayne Charrington  February 12, 2008 10:17 pm

    Just found your site when searching Google. I’m looking for a good offline blog writer solution and following your advice I’ll give Microsoft LiveWriter a go and see how it handles.

    Thanks.

    – Dwayne Charrington.
    http://www.dwaynecharrington.com

  2. Soasuamilmilk  February 24, 2008 12:01 pm

    To me it is necessary to find

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