Insert File(s) Plugin

Ever had a file that you really wanted to upload with your blog and link to it from that blog? What process have you normally had to go through? Publish the blog, then add the attached file and the link it? Upload the file, then publish the blog with the file url? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just do it all in one go? Now you can, thanks to the Insert File(s) plugin .

Right, now the TV ad is out the way, what is this plugin? It basically allows you to add up to three files to be published with your blog and have the links put in place already, so all you do is tell the plugin what files, then publish your entry. So let me show you it, first off, click on the Insert File(s) link:

This will give you the main window:

Here you can see there are three parts to this plugin, two of them are mandatory though, but I’ll talk through each one. First is the Text to appear before the download link; you might want to have some information text before the link, for example "Download location: ". The second box is for what text you want for the hyperlink part, so what the reader will click on. And finally the file’s location can be got by using the Browse button (the one with the … on it). You also have the option for whether the file should be opened in a new windows (good for if the file is a pdf or Word Document). I should point out now, the text for the hyperlink and the file location are mandatory, they have to be entered, the text to appear before the link is optional.

Now, I mentioned that you can add up to three files, but there’s only the details for one at the moment, so what we do is we click on the plus button, and the window now looks like this:

And as you can see, we can now add the same details for the second file. And for the third file, just click on the plus button next to the second file’s details and the window will expand again.

Now, what blogs does this plugin support? Well the main ones that it doesn’t support are listed in the main window, and they are Windows Live Spaces, Live Journal and Blogger. Other blogs have varying levels of support for file uploads, but I have done my best to ensure testing against all the major ones. Blogs I have tested against are as follows: (the three that aren’t supported), a hosted WordPress blog, a custom WordPress blog, dasBlog, Community Server, MovableType and TypePad (unfortunately, I don’t have a Sharepoint site available to me to try it out on, so if anyone does and tries the plugin, let me know if it works). From that list, some of those blogs will allow you to upload whatever file you choose, some will only allow a few file types (like pdf, doc, zip, but not rar), so if you have a file to upload, it’s really up to the blog provider whether the file type will be allowed and whether you can publish or not.

So what happens if you try and use the plugin for a provider (or a file type) that is not supported? Well, if it’s one of the three mentioned unsupported blogs, you will get the following text:

Sorry, Windows Live Spaces doesn’t support file uploads
Please:
1) Change to a different blog provider, then;
2) Save the draft
3) Change to HTML view, then back to the view you were on.
Your files will be ready to upload then.

The name of the offending blog provider being shown to the user. If you try uploading a file that is unsupported by one of the other providers, you will get this error:

Which brings me nicely onto my next feature; there is a little option that might have been spotted:

If you check this option (it is always off by default), then it tells the plugin that for this blog you have configured an FTP upload option, which means you’re basically free from restriction, including with the three unsupported blogs. Ticking this box means that you can, if it’s configured, use this plugin with say Windows Live Spaces.

Now, once the file has been inserted, the plugin displays a sidebar, which, if I’m honest, I didn’t do too much with it, and as such, it is very basic:
(told ya’ )

Here you can set whether the blog uses FTP (should you forget to check it in the main window), this will automatically change what’s viewed in the text area of Writer, if it’s one of the unsupported blogs. You can also change the files, remove some, add some, change what’s there, clicking on this will simply bring up the same window as before but with all the fields filled in as they were originally.

As with my previous plugins, this one is also on CodePlex. Feedback as always can be left as a comment on here, or emailed to wlm@scottisafool.co.uk.

View Source: http://www.codeplex.com/InsertFiles
Download Plugin: http://gallery.live.com/LiveItemDetail.aspx?li=b839fc2f-afa0-4728-8f54-cf4c0d3be8f5

SL

(Oh, and yes, I’m aware of making this on a blog provider where I can’t fully demonstrate the plugin’s capability )

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  1. #1 by Greg on August 23, 2007 - 3:49 pm

    Nice! 

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