Ecto on the Mac vs. Windows Live Writer

Posted on June 16, 2009 by

ecto_128px vs. Windows

For those about to blog, we salute you!

Some days blogging is fun, some days not as much. When I am at home and on the Mac, I really enjoy using ecto as my blogging software. It allows me to drag and drop almost anything into my post, edit is as if it were in a word processor, and then one-click upload it to a site.

But the problem is that they do not make a Windows version, so I end up needing to use the WordPress or Blogger sites, and they are just not anywhere near as friendly.

I have used Windows Live Writer in the past and found it was OK, but every once in a while it would spontaneously lose my blog site settings and I would have to enter all the info in again to post. That was annoying.

So, tonight I downloaded and installed the latest version (build 14.0.8064.206 en according to the help screen). I really want something simple because I have way too many other things to keep me occupied and don’t really want to battle with weak designs.

So, this post was created with the new Windows Live Writer. It has lots of the same type of features ecto has – WYSIWYG editor, drag and drop/resize images and videos, spell-checking, add maps, etc. Both allow me to size the images to fit into the column width of my blogs. Neither has a way for me to set column size for the entire post, which I guess makes sense given the dynamic nature of HTML.

Overall, it isn’t bad!

ecto-shot-tm ecto

overview Writer

But it acted weird for a bit… For instance, I like to type out an entire post, then go back and add the hyperlinks later. ecto is great, you just highlight the text and then click the link button and add the url. Sometimes in Windows Live Writer, it won’t let me highlight and I need to actually insert the link, it won’t allow me to highlight existing text and add a link to it, then other times it works fine… like I said -> weird! Maybe it is something I haven’t figured out yet, but I will give it some time.

In a nutshell, Windows Live Writer is better than using WordPress or Blogger web-based  post-creation pages if you like adding images, video, etc., and you are more comfortable using a WYSIWYG editor. Plus, if you don’t own a Mac, you can’t get ecto anyway… 🙁

And I know I’m a bit biased by my love affair with most things Mac, but I think Windows Live Writer, if they have fixed the bugs I was having in the previous version with losing settings, and if I can figure out how to make it let me highlight existing text and add links all the time, will be almost as good as ecto. If this post uploads, it will be the final test…

Best part is, it’s free (ecto isn’t free, it is $19.95, but it really is slick and they don’t charge for upgrades!)


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