Word as a photo blogging tool
A prior post here provided a quick demonstration of a blog post using Office 2013 Word Preview. Here is a link to that post: Photo blogging with Word 2013.
The post asked “Does Word 2013 offer any interesting features to blogging?” The answer is “yes”, however, “interesting” is not necessarily good. Here is what that post looks like in Word:
There are three items that in the post are images. Let me take them up one at a time, but first some observations about Word as a blogging tool.
Word does not download or otherwise utilize the blog theme settings. Thus there is no WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) as there is in Windows Live Writer. In composing the post you are flying blind as far as appearance is concerned. Neither the blog width and background, nor the blog’s fonts and sizes are used in the Word manuscript.
Word does download the WordPress categories, however only when first registered. The categories are not updated when you start a new post as they are in Live Writer. There is no provision for tagging, either the WordPress tags or external post tags such as Technorati.
Word permits publishing as a draft in addition to publishing immediately, however there is no provision for setting the post date or time. Word is no Live Writer.
Inserting and managing photos
Pictures can be inserted from the local machine and there is an “Online Pictures” command.
The next two options are particularly interesting: Bringing in photos from Flickr or from your SkyDrive.
Inserting material form your SkyDrive is similarly well done. Not just the root photo albums, but all folders and sub-folders are accessed.
Any image brought in can be manipulated with the familiar Word “Picture Tools”. This includes sizing, rotation, 3-D rotation, exposure correction, shadow effects, artistic effects … the whole gamut of the very powerful Word tool set. This also includes setting the picture behind the text. You can see in the first illustration that I used a variety of these options on the photo. Unfortunately, not everything shows up in the blog as it does in Word.
Word creates a new image using the various settings and effects. For the rigging image it uploaded just one image to the WordPress Media Library. Here is a small view of the uploaded image with a frame added to show you the full area that was uploaded as a picture.
The uploaded image, with all its white space, was 811 pixels wide and 1328 pixels tall. Much wider than my blog.
If Word made an attempt to set the photo behind the text, it was not apparent from the HTML code as shown in my WordPress dashboard. WordPress does strip out “illegal” code, so I can’t say anything about this for sure, but the blog post shows the image as an inline feature.
Some nice features there, but Word is no competition to Live Writer – not by a longshot.
Shapes and “SmartArt”
Word permits shapes, “SmartArt” and charts in a blog post manuscript just as it does in normal documents. A PNG image file is created and uploaded. I positioned the smiley face to the right margin. You can see how pathetic this looks in Word. At least this looks better in the post than in the manuscript.
Another feature from Word is “WordArt”. Selected, highlighted, text can be dressed up in a variety of outlines, fills and more. This too results in a PNG image being generated and uploaded. The resulting reproduction in the post is definitely sub-standard in quality.
The blogging feature in Word 2013 (Preview) is pretty much as it was in earlier editions of Word – just a tacked on feature with no serious attempt at providing a professional level blogging tool.
Word has been the pre-eminent word processing tool because of its powerful features, meticulous attention to detail, and ease of use. This cannot be said for the blogging feature. It can be said of Windows Live Writer – a superb application, unmatched by anything from any source. If the Word blog feature would just launch Windows Live Writer it would be a thoroughly professional implementation.
As it is, Word is no Live Writer, not even close.
© 2012 Ludwig Keck