After writing a blog with Adobe’s Contribute, part of the new Creative Suite, I thought I should try the same task in Microsoft Word 2007. It’s quite a contrast. Word does not attempt to display the surrounding furniture of the blog, so it feels less cluttered than Contribute, and you get the benefit of Word’s proofing tools. The famous Office ribbon is reduced to three tabs: Blog Post, Insert and Add-Ins; ironically, the only add-in available is Adobe’s Contribute toolbar. It’s a comfortable editing environment, but it does not feel safe. For example, I can insert a WordArt text object, or shapes of various kinds, but it’s not clear what sort of code it will generate, and as with Contribute there is no easy way to view the HTML.
Another problem with Word is the lack of any Insert Tag option. A Technorati tag is just a hyperlink, so I could do this manually, but that is extra work in comparison to Contribute or Live Writer, which have Insert Tag built in. Word does offer an Insert Category button, but you can only select one category each time you drop down the list, whereas in Live Writer you can add multiple categories in one operation, by checking boxes.
I can see the appeal of blog authoring in Word for someone who is familiar with Office and does not want to learn a new tool, but this is my least favourite of the three tools I’ve been trying. So far I prefer Contribute for its features, and Live Writer for its focused design. I suspect Writer will remain the tool I actually use.