Get Your Hands on the New Live Writer

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Windows Live Writer has got to be, hands down, one of the most popular tools out of the whole Windows Live lineup. I know many a blogger (myself included) who can't live without it. That's why the recent release of the Windows Live Writer Tech Preview has everyone talking. The Windows Live Writer Tech Preview is really intended for developers, but that didn't stop a slew of bloggers from downloading this latest version.

So what's new?

For one, the UI - there are now tabs at the bottom that switch you from Edit mode to Preview mode to Source mode. This definitely makes switching quicker and easier than have to choose it from a menu option. The toolbar also got a refresh and the "Weblog" menu got moved to the top on the right hand side. For bloggers with tons of categories, a new category search feature will be greatly appreciated - making finding the right one much faster.

Also nice are the improvements in working with images - cropping tools are built-in, alignment commands now work on images, additional borders are available, Lightbox is supported, contrast adjustments and tilt adjustments can be made.

You can also upload videos from your computer to Soapbox from the new WLW interface, which is great for video bloggers.

And now, there's an official word count feature - something I only had via a plugin before.

For developers, there's an SDK available that comes with a Twitter sample plugin. (Learn more here).

If you're not afraid to get your feet wet with a beta, the Tech Preview of WLW is definitely worth a look!

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