Wednesday, August 24

Cool Blogger Tool

Greetings. Thanks to Ron Graham for sending me this article, which first appeared last Thursday. It talks about a new add-in tool for Blogger, allowing you to publish your posts from within Microsoft Word. Read more below. And, as always, please excuse any formatting errors. Enjoy.

Google Releases Blogger for Microsoft Word
Deborah Rothberg

Users of the free web log service, Blogger, now can publish directly from inside Microsoft Word.

Google announced earlier this week the release of Blogger for Word, a free add-in,
downloadable from the Web,
that allows users of the Web log service Blogger to post directly to their sites from Microsoft Word.

Once the add-in is installed, three additional buttons appear on a user's Word toolbar: Publish, Open Post, and Save As Draft. These allow users to publish
new posts directly from the text document, open and edit their last 15 posts in Word, and save posts without publishing them.

In order to use the Blogger for Word add-in, users must have a free Blogger account, and be running Microsoft Windows 2000 or higher, and Microsoft Word
2000 and higher.

"There are millions of people who live in Microsoft Word — especially people who write stuff for a living…. What doesn't make sense is that if you want
your words to wind up on the Web, you have to trade this writing environment, and the tools you're comfortable with, for a flaky text area," said
Evan Williams, a founder of Pyra Labs, on his Web log.

Blogger was developed by Pyra Labs in 1999, and
came to Google with their purchase of Pyra in 2003.

Google has warned that users who don't have the
Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Rollup,
the latest Windows Installer, the latest Office Service Packs
may have difficulty installing and using the plug-in.
Users also may encounter problems with the plug in if they are running Outlook and Word at the same time (if Word is their e-mail editor), Google warned.

"We designed this for maximum compatibility with older version of Word going back to Word 2000 on Windows 2000," says
Jason Shellen, Pyra Founder and Google product manager, on his Web log. "
That means that this is a very simple toolbar, but once you try round-tripping a document (publish, view on the Web, make some changes, view again) you
will see that it is powerful as well… The trade-off was that we couldn't support images, tables, or some of the wackier formatting in Word."

Shellen added that he had tried to find a good developer to make a Mac-supported version and came up short.

Early reviews of the add-in have been positive.

"What makes this tool so attractive to those who like to ensure their copy is properly spelled and punctuated is the ability to push the 'Publish' button
on the toolbar and see their work actually posted on their blog," opined Chris Richardson, a contributing writer for
WebPro News.
Gina Trapani, author of computer productivity Web log,
said that she was pleased with what she found.

"After typing out a post, I clicked Save as Draft. Blogger for Word promoted me for my account and password and then loaded the post quickly and correctly,"
she blogged.

Google's Blogger competes with MSN's Spaces, Six Apt Ltd's Movable Type, hosted Typepad and LiveJournal services, and blogging services from ISPs and portals
such as Lycos and AOL.

Google has made several changes over the past year to Blogger. It has
encouraged users to create revenue from their site with Google Ads
; phased out a paid version of the service; and
released a major revamp of Blogger in 2004.

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