Windows Live Writer is a desktop application that makes it easy to publish content to your blog. I've been using Windows Live Writer for a long time to write my blog entries for the various websites I author. The software is intuitive and powerful, but, every now and then, I found something that it couldn't do or that I wished it could do in a better way. However, over time, I've found the solutions to all of my Live Writer wish list items in the Windows Live Gallery thanks to the developers who have taken the time to extend the application via the SDK. The Gallery is filled with Live Writer plugins that enhance what Live Writer is capable of. The ten plugins below are my favorites and, in my opinion, must-haves for any blogger:
- Digg This Plugin for Live Writer: The Digg This plugin inserts a "Digg This" button to your Windows Live Writer posts and provides seamless integration with Digg.
- Social Bookmarking Tags: Using this plugin, you will be able to add automatic social bookmarking tags to your blog posts like del.icio.us and Technorati. (Check out this URL for an example.)
- SkyDrive Attachment Plugin: The SkyDrive plugin lets you upload, manage and use a SkyDrive file within your blog posts.
- Amazon Book Lookup Plugin: This plugin helps you locate books in the Amazon store and now includes a thumbnail image of each book found.
- Insert Website Image: This plugin inserts a thumbnail image of a website into the Live Writer window.
- Insert File Plugin: This plugin lets you insert a file into a Live Writer post.
- Insert Quick Link: Instead of having to click on the Insert Link in Live Writer, you can now bring up those options just by pasting a link into Writer with this plugin.
- Imtech Word Count Plugin: This plugin counts the number of words in the selected text.
- Flickr4Writer Plugin: Flickr4Writer is a plugin that enables interaction with the Flickr service. You can browse by tags, photosets, or a photostream. After browsing, the plugin enables inserting the image reference into a post. (Since I use Flickr, this is my favorite, others of you may enjoy these other photo plug-ins more: Polaroid Picture plugin, Live Spaces Photo Album Plugin, or Live Image Search Plugin)
- Code Snippet Plugin: Great for techie geek bloggers, the Code Snippet plugin lets you interactively review the sample code before inserting it into your post. It also allows for formatting and/or applying syntax highlighting to the sample source code.