Archive for January, 2007

Windows Live Spaces and Videos

The Windows Live Spaces team blog has posted that you can now embed videos in your blog entries . However, they always say, The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh. What do I mean by that? Well, basically, although you can now embed videos, and you can even do them using Live Writer, my plugin doesn’t put the embed code in. For some reason it still thinks you can’t. All I can say folks, is, hold on tight. I’m currently working with the Live Writer and Spaces team to get a quick resolution to this one and a possibly updated plugin out as soon as I can.



I Command You! Use My Backup Utility.

One of my intentions for my Live Writer Backup Utility was to make it accessible from the Command Line. The reason for this is to make it so that you can schedule a backup to take place without any user intervention (using Windows Scheduler or similar). So this weekend (well, last night), I sat down and started putting in the command line options that would need to be included for all this to work. Which is what I’ve done . It’s not the only thing that I’ve changed for this release (v1.1), but I’ll come back to that in a bit.

So, what options are we looking at with the command line? Well for a start, typing LiveWriterBackup.exe /? will bring up what options are available, plus a couple of examples:

If you know how to use command line parameters then this should all seem quite clear and obvious to you. What I’ll do now is just quickly show you how this can be handy, and I’ll use the Task Scheduler in Windows Vista to demonstrate.

Fig1: Name your task and give it a description Fig2: Select the frequency of the back up

Fig3: Set which day(s) to run your task and the time Fig4: Tell the scheduler what you want to do (run a program)

Fig5: Select the backup program and put in the Fig6: Confirm the scheduled task
command line options you require.

So now we can see that this is going to create a backup file every week. These can all be changed as needed of course.

Now, I mentioned more things to expect with this release, and there are. I have made (as shoddy as they are) some new icons for the program (using the excellent Microangelo icon studio), one for the program itself and one for the wlwbackup files:

This just makes things nicer in your Windows Explorer window. Now, here’s the cool thing: before, if you wanted to do a restore from a backup file, you had to run the program, select the file and off you go. Well, I’ve made things even simpler now . Now all you need to do is simply double click the file and it will do the restore straight away (once you’ve acknowledged that you want it to happen). You can still do a restore the old way, but you don’t just have that option anymore .

Windows Live Writer Backup and Windows Vista

Now, through testing with Vista, we have two different scenarios for this program, one with UAC turned on, and one with it off. I already mentioned that when running the backup program to do a backup of the settings you might need to run it as Administrator if you have UAC turned on. This shouldn’t apply if you’re doing it from the command line through scheduler, but if you do have problems, let me know.

Anyway, I now want to talk to you about the installer program and Vista UAC. It has been noted with a couple of people that they have had issues when trying to install it because they couldn’t get the necessary privileges, this is because with an msi file, you can’t right click and run as administrator. So because of this I’m changing my deployment method. Instead of downloading just the msi file, you now download a zip file that contains the msi file and an accompanying exe file. The exe file can be right clicked and have the run as administrator option, and will then run the msi with the correct privileges.

Wow, long entry . Any way, enjoy the new version. Oh, by the way, I’m thinking of making a minisite for this program, the html side of things I can do, but if anyone would like to help with the images, please email me at wlm[at]

Download: here.


Whilst writing this, I was listening to Red Hot Chili PeppersC’mon Girl


Some Cool Stats

So I decided to check my stats today and see just how many times my plugins and other projects have been downloaded. I’m really pleased with the numbers, and still somewhat staggered by them . So, here we go (in no particular order):

Insert Spaces Emoticon  3892
Insert Video (All versions)  3006
I’m Feeling Lucky  281
Feed Reader  303
Insert Link   240 
Insert Acronym Tags   9 
WLM Vista Countdown Add-In   589
WLW Guide part 1   86
WLW Guide part 2  48 
WLW Guide part 3    60 
WLW Backup Utility  20
WLW Plugin Template  67
Total  8601

I would like to thank every single one of you who has downloaded my work. It truly does bemuse though .


Whilst writing this, I was listening to Foo Fighters - Wind Up


Windows Live Writer Backup Utility [Updated]

Update: Version 1.0.1 released. Backing up your Blog settings now includes the blog templates so you don’t need to download your blog styles now either. Download link is same as before.

Someone in the Live Writer MSN Groups asked the question about moving his blog settings from one PC to another new PC, and what needed to be brought across. Joe Cheng (MSFT) replied that he only needed to make a backup of a registry key in the Windows registry, which is all very well and good, but what about the average user, should they really be faffing about in the Windows registry? I didn’t think so either. So I set out to create a backup tool that will do that for the user, and while it’s at it, backup other Live Writer things too, like posts, and plugins.

And so the Windows Live Writer Backup Utility was born:

As you can see, you have the option to back up the blog settings (so if you have multiple blogs or FTP settings configured, for example, you can take all those blog settings to another PC), Draft blogs, Recent blogs, and the Plugins that you have installed. Usage of this program is simple enough, select what you want to backup, and hit the backup button. This will then ask you where you want to save your backup file to, this will create a *.wlwbackup file: this holds all the data for the parts you selected:

To restore, just run the Utility up, click Restore and point to the previously made wlwbackup file and off you go. It’s as easy as that. One warning though when restoring, this will get rid of all settings, blog entries and plugins that are currently on the PC you’re restoring to (It will only replace what is in the backup file, so for example if you didn’t backup plugins, they wouldn’t get replaced). There is a warning before you restore though, just to remind you:

Some important notes: If you are using Windows Vista and you have UAC turned on then it has been noted that you might need to run the application with elevated privileges if you are planning to backup the Blog settings. To do this, right click on the shortcut/executable and click Run as administrator:

Hope this helps everyone out. Any problems, leave a comment here or email me at wlm[at]

Download link:



Acronym and Abbr Plugin

Due to a request here, I created a small plugin that allows the user to insert <acronym> and <abbr> tags in their blog posts.

How To Use:

1. Click on the "Insert Acronym Tag" link in Live Writer
2. Put in the text to display
3. Put in *either* an acronym or an abbr title, not both.
4. Insert.


Download: here


(Oh, keep your eyes peeled here for a post soon about a Live Writer Backup Utility )


Windows Live Writer Plug-in Template

As you all may remember, I wrote a guide on creating your own basic plug-in for Windows Live Writer, well I have now created a template that you can use within Visual Studio and Visual Studio Express so when you create a new project it will put the base code and add in all the references for you, so all you need to do is get cracking and program .

The template can be downloaded from here. It is a zip file, and it needs to remain as a zip file, it doesn’t need extracting at all. Now, you need to find the folder that Visual Studio is checking for your templates. To do this, open up Visual Studio and click on Tools > Options . Now, in Visual Studio, you will automatically have all the options available to you, in Visual Studio Express, you will need to tick "Show all settings" at the bottom. Once done, click on Projects and Solutions and the directory we are after is the second one down. This is where you need to save the zip file to.

When you start Visual Studio, click on new project and you will see in the "My templates" section that you will have the LiveWriterPlugin template available. If you’re in the full Visual studio, you will need to click on the Visual C# to see it.

Using this plugin also means you don’t need to worry about putting in the GUID into the writer properties, it all gets put in for you. There are some things that you will need to change, like the class name, and the link that appears on the right, but other than that it is your basic plugin . Note: The template does assume that Live Writer is installed on the C: drive on your computer.


Any problems with it, please let me know.


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