By Dan Wilcock
I’m posting this entry on my WordPress.com blog using MS Word 2010 as an experiment, just to see whether it’s any good. Word is set up to interface with most of the major free blog hosting companies, as seen below:
So if you’ve got a WordPress blog, like me, or one of the other standard options, the interface should be pretty smooth.
Once you enter your URL into the path they provide and enter your blog password, the wizard will let you know whether your blog has been successfully registered. At first this didn’t work for me, but I got through once I realized that the /xmlrpc.php extension after the blog URL is necessary.
So I’m in and composing this post—So far, so good. Here are five things I appreciate right off the bat:
Better control of special characters. I can use my preprogrammed keystrokes to type in special characters while blogging. For me that em dash (—) I just typed would take two clicks of the mouse to execute in WordPress but I just hit F10 (the keystroke I chose for em dashes, which I use frequently in my writing, perhaps too much). Word is probably better at special characters and symbols than WordPress. For an example,
look at what WordPress did to Pema Chödrön’s name on my ‘about me’ page (look under contemporary thinkers). With Word, this comes out a lot smoother.(Update: this corrected bit was simply my error. I used the upper-case letter, not bothering to see there is an appropriate lower-case letter available.)
More upfront control over font size. I’m sure I can code font size by going under the hood and coding it in WordPress’s text viewer, but this is much more civilized.
That screen clipping above is nice/was easy. I copied it by hitting window key + PrtScn, and then cropped and resized it right within the Word document. I have no idea how I’d do that with WordPress.
This list I’m creating does something I’ve been unable to do with WordPress. Namely, I’m able to add an extra space between items, something I think just looks better. Word does this automatically after you hit return between two items on a list and then delete the middle item. It’s a nifty bit of intuitive functionality that I really miss when I’m composing in WordPress.
All those snazzy Smart Art templates, Word’s spell check, etc. This seems to have most of the basic bells and whistles built into Word, such as automatic tables, etc. I’m sure a halfway decent WordPress wizard could repudiate this post showing point by point that composing in Word is unnecessary, but so far this seems to me like a decent way to go.
I don’t have any negative list yet, but will append one once I’ve pressed the green publish arrow the Word puts at the upper left-hand corner of the screen. If the blog spits out a bunch of ampersands afterward, I’ll write my complaints below.
Nope. Now I’m editing the post in WordPress.com, and everything came through perfectly. I think I’ve found a better way for me to blog.
UPDATE (6/23/2014): Word does have a blind spot when it comes to blogging in WordPress: video. There is no button to insert video content, unlike WordPress, which has the handy “Add media” button with easy ‘insert YouTube’ options.