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Category Archives: Spaces tips

Did you know – Insert picture options in Live Writer (and what they look like)

Windows Live Writer (the 2009 Release Canddiate released in December 2008) has many and varied options to give you lots of opportunities to layout photos in a blog entry. Although the latest Wave 3 version (December 2008) of Live Spaces enhanced the Add photos option, Live Writer is still the best way to give your photos all the glory they deserve when you’re publishing onto your Live Space.

Getting started

So start up Windows Live Writer, type a few lines of text and press Enter to start a new paragraph, just as webDotWiz has with this post. Now either click Insert from the top menu and choose Picture… or click Picture… from the Insert option in the right-hand task pane of Live Writer.

writer_insert_picture_01 You’ll be taken to your My Pictures (Windows XP) or Pictures (Windows Vista) folder from which you can select the photo you want – click the Insert button at the bottom of.the Insert Picture window. Your picture will appear in Live Writer as shown in the screenshot to the right.

Notice the placeholders around the picture – this tells you it’s selected. As well, the right-hand task pane changes to show you what changes you can make but more about that in a minute.

You might be tempted to resize your photo at this stage by grabbing a placeholder and moving it to get a larger (or smaller) picture. Don’t do it!

If you look in the right-hand pane, under Layout, there’s a sub-heading called Text wrapping. You’ve just inserted your picture and that setting is automatically set to Inline which means the cursor is down alongside the bottom right-hand corner of your picture and any text you start typing will be placed there – your post will look a bit strange. Inline text wrapping is quite appropriate for small pictures such as icons but avoid using it for large photos.

writer_insert_picture_02

Text wrapping

Other options for text wrapping are Left, Right and Center. At this point it’s worth bearing in mind that we’re trying to place images in a web page not a Word document, for example – a Word document is a completely different type of document than a web page and what’s possible in Word can only be approximated in a web page. With that said, Live Writer does a great job in making a difficult page layout problem seem easy. Web masters know from first hand how difficult it is to use web page markup language to get pictures placed just so.

Well, the easiest option for text wrapping is Center.

webDotWiz has found to use the Right setting, it’s best to type a few lines of text then place the cursor at the beginning of the paragraph, Insert the picture and finally choose the Right text wrapping option. That should work for Left as well.

You’ll see from the screenshot at right you’ve also got the option to choose different Borders – we’ll come back to those later.

The next important step you’ll want to do just about every time you insert a picture is to re-size it – that option is under the Advanced tab.

 

 

 

 

Size of the picture

writer_insert_picture_03 Under the Advanced tab (highlighted in the screenshot to the right) is where we can re-size our picture. Depending on the size of your picture, this setting will probably appear as Small but there are other options once you press the down arrow.

This is the list of all options: Small, Medium, Large and Original.

Each of these will also tell you the size in pixels. A pixel (picture element) is a small dot on your screen and together with millions of others makes up your screen display. As a guide, the screenshot on the right is 204 pixels wide and the centre column of webDotWiz’s front page on his Live Space is about 600 pixels wide. If you’re reading this post as a full page then the width is greater.

So webDotWiz always inserts his screenshots with a width less than 600 pixels. Live Writer also helps out with this because after downloading the theme and settings from his Live Space, Live Writer shows a pane about 600 pixels into which this text and accompanying pictures/screenshots are being inserted. Depending on the layout for your own Live Space, you might only have a width of about 400 pixels into which you can type your text and insert pictures. webDotWiz uses a maximum width for a photo of 590 pixels for his Live Space and 390 pixels might be the best for your site.

This means there won’t be many occasions on which you will insert one of your pictures at Original size since digital cameras these days can take your photos with widths up to about 5000 pixels.

Under the drop down list of possible sizes are two boxes, one for width, the other for height. Use the Width (or Height in certain circumstances) to manually set the width (or height) of your picture. Before entering a value, make sure the Lock ratio box is ticked so you picture isn’t distorted when you set the new width or height. Type in a value for the width (or height) you want and click the other box to set a size to your own preference.

Actions – Tilt, Watermark, Black and white Effect

DSCF0002 Look back at the screenshot above and there’s another section – Actions – which contains some interesting extras. Now you don’t want to go and use these willy-nilly. For example, webDotWiz wouldn’t be treating you kindly if he had used the Tilt… action on the screenshot above – he’s supposed to be helping you out in this Did you know not using all the whizbang features that are available. However if you have some holiday snaps you’re inserting into a blog post, then the Tilt… action can add some interest.

 

Another Action is the Watermark – you might like to add this to inform visitors to your site that the photo they’re viewing belong to you so you put a personal signature on the photo or you simply give the viewer some information such as the location or time and date the shot was made.

DSCF0002 Hidden away somewhat and often forgotten is the third tab namely Effects. When you click this option you might wonder where they are (the effects, that is). Click the big green plus sign + to add one of the available effects (Black and white, Sepia, and more).

A final hint: if you’re inserting a picture and want to place to the left or right of some text, begin a new paragraph by pressing Enter on your keyboard and then type in a couple of lines first. Now place the cursor at the start of this new paragraph and insert the picture. Choose Left or Right text wrapping to position the picture.

To leave space alongside the picture (e.g. you want to begin a new paragraph that doesn’t relate to the picture or insert another picture positioned with left or right text wrapping), press Enter on your keyboard until the line of the new paragraph will pass beneath the picture.

To finish up: you can create some attractive blog entries using the picture enhancement tools (we didn’t get around to using Borders under the Picture tab – webDotWiz will leave that feature as an exercise for your homework). A little experimentation will help you discover what’s possible and you’ll soon become familiar with placing your photos with an appropriate size on your page.

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Posted using the 2009 Release Candidate of Windows Live Writer.

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Did you know – choose photo size when adding a photo to a Live Space entry

In the old version of Live Spaces (pre-Decemeber 2008), adding a photo to a blog entry only put in a thumbnail of a photo so that was a bit disappointing when you wanted to show off one of your best photos.

Of course, the work-around for this situation was to always use Windows Live Writer to write up an entry and insert photos where you had more choice about their size. The 2009 Release Candidate of Windows Live Writer has even more options for inserting photos but here webDotWiz wants to show how the Live Spaces blog entry Add photos is much improved in the December Wave 3 release.

getting_to_live_spaces_11 Go to your Live Space. The easiest way to do this is to load your Profile page (profile.live.com) which  you can do from any of your Live pages using the menu across the top. Or, use the More drop down list at the top of each Live page.

Now click Add to start a new blog entry, fill in the title and choose a category. Type your text and now we’ll Add photos (link is at the bottom of your blog entry).

 

 

live_space_entry_add_photos_02 After a few moments the photo upload tool will load (there’s a circling indicator in the centre to keep you amused). webDotWiz normally has Live Photo Gallery also open when working with photos and screenshots so you need to position Live Photo Gallery on your screen so you can drag ‘n’ drop the photos (select the photos, hold the left mouse button down over one of the photos you’ve chosen and drag to the Drop photos here box in the photo upload tool).

 

 

live_space_entry_add_photos_03 As soon as you drop one or more photos onto the upload tool you’ll see over at the top right that a photo upload size input box appears. As well, under your photo will be an approximate size of your photo.

 

 

 

 

 

Click the arrow to get other options Original, Large (1600 px), and Medium (600 px).

In the old version of Live Spaces, Add photos only inserted a thumbnail into a blog entry. The Large option used to be called Print quality that we could choose when uploading photos into an album from Live Photo Gallery (if you remembered to tick the box) and Medium (600 px) was the default setting for uploading photos into an album from Live Photo Gallery. In each case our photos were reduced such that the maximum width or height was 1600 pixels for Print quality and 600 pixels for the old default. You can check your photo sizes by using the Info tab in Live Photo Gallery.

live_space_entry_add_photos_04

You can see how large your photo will be by clicking each option:

live_space_entry_add_photos_05

Here’s the size if the photo’s Original size is chosen:

live_space_entry_add_photos_06

Adding another photo to upload and choosing the Large (1600 px) option gives:

live_space_entry_add_photos_07

live_space_entry_add_photos_08 Click the Upload button at the bottom of the photo upload tool and things start happening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When your photo(s) has/have uploaded, remember to click Publish entry and have a look:

live_space_entry_add_photos_09

Because of webDotWiz’s layout (he’s got a narrow, wide, wide layout of his columns – check http://warangabasin.spaces.live.com), the photos he’s just uploaded can’t be seen in all their fullness. So click the photo and one of new Live Spaces’ features comes to the fore:

live_space_entry_add_photos_10

To finish off, if you Add photos using the Original size setting, visitors to your site on slow broadband may be left staring at their browser window waiting for the photo to appear. It’s probably best to Add two blog entries to your Live Space, one using the Medium setting, and another using the Original setting with a note in your title to indicate a high-resolution photo is in the entry (just add Hi-Res photo to your title and that should be enough for visitors to your site).

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Posted using the 2009 Release Candidate of Windows Live Writer.

Do you know how to get to your friends’ Live Spaces?

If you’ve read through webDotWiz’s previous post – Do you know how to get to your Live Space? – and you’ve got the Friends module on your Live Space, you’re just about there.

Click the display pic of the friend whose Live Space you want to visit and choose View space from the drop down list:

getting_to_live_spaces_06

What if you haven’t got the Friends module on your Live Space yet?

Well, we can always go back to Live Messenger and use the What’s new pane at the bottom of the window:

getting_to_live_spaces_02

You’ll have to scroll through the new items (use the arrow keys) until you find a recent entry that your friend has add to their Live Space. So that’s another way.

Or you’ve just opened your Home page (home.live.com) so now you’ve got a list of new items from people in your network. If you’re lucky, your friend may have recently posted an entry so a link to their Live Space is at the top of the list:

getting_to_live_spaces_07

If you can’t see a recent entry on your Home page, then click on What’s new with your network to bring up a page of all the latest things your contacts have been doing. By the way, this is the same as clicking on What’s new at the bottom of Live Messenger.

Still nothing new from your friend and you want to get to her/his Live Space?

You might think of looking at your People page (people.live.com) but that page is for mainly getting in contact with your friends either using email or a private message one-to-one.

So it’s your Profile page (profile.live.com) – it’s the one that deals with whom you have included in your network of friends and contacts.

getting_to_live_spaces_08

Use View more if need be. Clicking on the display picture of your friend’s Live Space gives you the following:

getting_to_live_spaces_09

Once you’re on your friend’s profile page – and assuming that person has set their permissions to allow you to see it – you’ll find a link to their Live Space on the left side of their profile page:

getting_to_live_spaces_10

Click Space and you’re at your friend’s Live Space!

Logically, if you can get to one of your friend’s Live Space from their profile page, then you can easily get to your own Live Space from your profile page.

Hopefully you’re starting to see different ways to get to the same place, so to speak. The more you explore the content on each of your own Home Profile, People, Mail Photos pages and those on the More button, you’ll see how Windows Live makes it easy to find what you want – it just depends where you are at the moment. Your friends are your Home and Profile pages and the other links at the top of each of your Windows Live pages.

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Posted using the 2009 Release Candidate version of Windows Live Writer.

Do you know how to get to your Live Space?

Update: to see the easiest way, go to the bottom of this post :).

Before the latest changes in December to Windows Live with the new Wave 3 look and feel, webDotWiz advised his webDotWizards and others to sign in to Live Messenger (the “old” one) and click the third icon along the top of the contacts list because that linked to the person’s Live Space.

However if you’ve installed the latest version of Live Messenger, you won’t see those icons any longer:

getting_to_live_spaces_01

So how do you get to Live Space?

Well, if you’re in the habit of firstly signing into Live Messenger, simply go down to the What’s new section at the bottom of Live Messenger and click What’s new to get to your Live What’s new page – from there it will take just another two clicks to get to your Live Space:

getting_to_live_spaces_02

That’ll being up What’s new with your network:

getting_to_live_spaces_03

Now click More to choose Spaces:

getting_to_live_spaces_04

And you’ll be here, at your LIve Spaces home page (which is much simplified and updated from the “old” version which we used to get to by clicking that third icon on Messenger):

getting_to_live_spaces_05

Click View your space and you’re there!

The reason for this major change is that Live Spaces is no longer the central point for all our Windows Live activities (years ago Messenger was the central, starting point). Windows Live is now much bigger! So now our Live Space is purely for writing up entries for our website (i.e., our Live Space) with the added bonus that visitors can easily get to our photo albums.

An alternative method of getting to your Live Space is to load up Internet Explorer and straightway go to your Windows Live Home page (home.live.com) and then use the More link as above. However, webDotWiz urges everybody to sign into Live Messenger first so he prefers that method.

The Simplest Way to get to your own Live Space: go to your profile page (profile.live.com) – click Profile on the top of page menu of any of your Live pages – and there’s a link on the left:

getting_to_live_spaces_11

It’s getting late… Bern’s dynamic theme says so!

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Posted using the 2009 Release Candidate version of Windows Live Writer.

Windows Live Tags: Windows Live,Live Spaces

Did you know – Click a Live Spaces blog entry photo to see it in full view

The Wave 3 update (Dec 3 2008) brought several enhancements to Live Spaces.

Now when you click a photo in a blog entry (it may not be showing fully but you want to see it) it will come up in its own window.

For example, you may be looking at this blog entry:

spaces_photo_fullview_01

Click the photo and you’ll see it in full over the top of the blog entry page in its own window:

spaces_photo_fullview_02

Click the Close button at the bottom right to return to the blog entry.

As is usual with these sorts of things, it was George (founding member of Rushworth Community House’s webDotWizards) that accidentally clicked the photo in his blog otherwise webDotWiz would never have found this little piece of niceness in Live Spaces.

Note: webDotWiz is not sure if this effect requires Silverlight to be installed. On old blog posts, clicking a photo opens a new browser window to see the full photo (which is pretty yukky compared to above).

Windows Live Tags: Live Spaces,Windows Live

Update Live Writer to new Segoe UI font

After the update to the Windows Live Internet Services last week (Dec 3), the default font used for entries to Live Spaces was changed to the Segoe UI font for readability and tidiness.

You have to do a little bit of work to have Live Writer use the new font by default by getting Live Writer to update its theme from your online Live Space – here are the steps (which only take a couple of minutes to complete):

  • Start Live Writer
  • On the Weblog menu choose Edit Weblog settings…
  • Choose Editing from the left-hand pane of the dialogue box
  • Choose the Refresh button
  • Wait until your Live Spaces theme is downloaded to Live Writer
  • You now have the Segoe UI font as your default font in Live Writer, just as it is on your Live Space.

Note: if you have changed your default font before the Live Spaces update of last week, your choice is preserved so you probably won’t need to do anything.

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Posted using the Wave 3 trial version of Windows Live Writer.

Talking about: 7 Types of Blog Posts Which Always Seem to Get Links and Traffic

The link to the full article is below.

Here’s a really good question: what kinds of posts should I write to get more links and traffic?

It’s a question every blogger asks themselves. I want to answer it here by outlining 7 content methods that seem to work wonders on social media while also generating a lot of grassroots in-bound links.

Can you bring these powerful post types to your own blog?

7 Types of Blog Posts Which Always Seem to Get Links and Traffic

This post was created by:

  • highlighting part of the full text of the article
  • clicking on the Blog It button on the toolbar in Internet Explorer, and then
  • waiting for Windows Live Writer to start up with Title filled in and the selected text laid out; as well, a link to the original article was inserted. In other words, webDotWiz only needed to add a couple of lines (e.g., these lines setting how he did it).

Talking about: Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : A new Windows Live Writer feature for me

Just came across this post from Steve Clayton on an easy way to get some text off a web page into a post which is all set up in Live Writer without doing a thing except follow the steps below (which webDotWiz highlighted in Steve’s original post).

webDotWiz needs to have a look thru Live Writer’s help to catch up on other (little) tricks are up the sleeve of Live Writer .

Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : A new Windows Live Writer feature for me 

  • Highlight a string of text on the web page you are about to blog from
  • Click the Blog It button in IE
  • Your new blog post has a link and title pre-written for you but also the highlighted text is inserted
  • Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : A new Windows Live Writer feature for me

    Live Spaces updates and Live Events

    Did you hear that long collective sigh from all the webDotWizards? Yes, they’re all pleased because webDotWiz can’t get grumpy when they’ve made a new photo album on their Live Spaces website and haven’t the time to add a blog entry.

    In fact, as a result of the latest updates to Live Spaces, there’s no need to make a special blog entry to announce a new album on your Live Space. Now when your friends sign in to their Space, their What’s New page will not only show any blog entries you’ve made but they’ll see the latest photos you’ve uploaded (as recently as five minutes ago).

    lvsp_18oct2007_02

    Apart from seeing the latest photos uploaded by your friends, we can now lots more with our own photos. When you open one of your albums, there are several new options (shaded in the screenshot below):

    lvsp_18oct2007_03

    We’ll return to a bit later to show you how some of these options work but for now webDotWiz will show you how you can set permissions on who can view your photos. So click on Edit album and you’ll see where to set the level of permission:

    lvsp_18oct2007_04

    If you choose to Change permissions for an album, the window below opens from which you can decide who is to view the album:

    lvsp_18oct2007_05

    Returning to one of your albums, let’s look more closely at the new options: Send a link, Order prints, Download, Embed, Blog It, Share on Facebook, Full view.

    Choosing Order prints prints will send off your photos to the Snapfish service for printing (19c per print). Download enables your friends to either download individual photos or a complete album. Embed gives you some code to copy and paste into your own web site (webDotWizard WebMasters, please note) either to display an individual photo or a slide show of an album. This is a real boon for the webDotWizard webMasters because now photos only need be uploaded to photo albums on Live Spaces instead of requiring two uploads as has been the case in the past.

    Blog It adds a photo to a new blog entry on your own Live Space (you could use the Embed code and Windows Live Writer to accomplish the same end):

    lvsp_18oct2007_06

    As an aside, webDotWiz was able to click on the photo and resize it by carefully dragging a handle on one of the corners so he kept the photo in proportion.

    If you want to obtain the codes to copy and paste either a single photo or a slideshow on your own site (or into Live Writer), click on Embed and they’ll be displayed below the photo:

    lvsp_18oct2007_07

    Aside from being able to get much more from your photos and photo albums, you’ll notice some cosmetic changes to the navigation buttons at the top of each page on your Space – those big buttons to What’s New and Your Space have disappeared and been replaced by more sensible options. As well, you’ll see a new button named Events:

    lvsp_18oct2007_08

    What happens if you click on that Events button? Well, that’ll take another post.

    Posted using Windows Live Writer.

    Tip – use Live Spaces album photos in hi-res for web site

    We know that when we upload photos to our Live Spaces photo albums that the photos are reduced in quality and size except when we tick the Optimize photos for printing option.

    Clarification: webDotWiz was using screenshots which he resizes down to no more than 600 pixels wide so he can use them in his posts to his Space (e.g., like the ones below). When he uploaded these screenshots to a Spaces photo album, they were downsized (i.e., widths were reduced further below 600 pixels) and didn’t look as clear as he would like at his webDotWiz Online site (www.webdotwiz.com).

    However if you’re going to use photos from your Spaces photo albums on your own website (or blog other than Live Spaces) you’ll probably be ok to use them. If you load camera photos in hi-res (i.e., tick the Optimize for printing), you’ll have photos sized to a maximum of 1600 x 1200 pixels – naturally, these photos will be too wide for a web page (most web pages are designed these days for a maximum width of 1024 pixels and some are still at 800 pixels).

    So you may have to do some testing to see how your photos are going to show on your website. If you’re using screenshots like webDotWiz often does, then try his method below. Clarification end.

    Well, webDotWiz discovered that if you want better quality photos on your own site then it’s best to upload an album of photos in hi-res, i.e. tick the Optimize photos for printing box:

    hires_album_for_website

    As well, name the album the same as that for ordinary photos but add a bit at the end such as for website so you know which album to use later on.

    A reminder that it’s a simple job of copying and pasting the Embed code from your Live Spaces album page (stop the player, by the way – it helps to get the right photo ):

    lvsp_18oct2007_07

    This post is as much a reminder for webDotWiz as it is a tip for the webDotWiz webMasters.

    This post added using Windows Live Writer.