I generally use Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer to write my blog entries. It has a few annoyances, but I like it better than trying to type directly into WordPress. After installing Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 I noticed a new Contribute toolbar appearing in my web browser, including a Post to Blog button, reminding me that blog authoring is a feature of the new suite and that I ought to try it out. I opened Contribute and set up a connection to this blog; in fact, I’m writing this post in Contribute now.
As you would expect, Adobe has provided a sophisticated tool. Contribute sets up a template that lets you edit a blog entry within an editable area on a page that replicates the blog itself. It is more WYSIWYG than Live Writer. The editing tools are impressive too: along with basic HTML formatting, there is an Insert menu offering Flash, Video and PDF, a spell checker, a table editor, and an image editor with options to rotate, crop, sharpen, set brightness and adjust contrast. Inserting Technorati tags is easy, as is selecting categories from those I’ve defined.
Any complaints? Well, I miss the clean, uncluttered appearance of Live Writer. It feels a touch over-engineered. And if you want to inspect or edit the HTML code, you have to open the blog entry in Dreamweaver, which isn’t a great experience because you get the template as well as the blog entry.
It may sound strange, but Contribute does more than I need. I might use it for authoring WordPress pages, as opposed to blog entries, but otherwise I’m likely to stick with Live Writer. Unless Word 2007 can tempt me away; mini-review coming shortly.