blog by

rob kircher


Friday, March 27, 2009

Blogging with Office 2007

A couple of weeks ago I posted a test post from Microsoft Word 2007. Pretty cool integration between Word and blogger. Since then I've also discovered that I can check blogs that I frequent with Outlook much like you would check your email. Soooo cool. Well today I thought I'd blog about how it works and how to set things up so other can enjoy the integration.

Note that you must have the latest version of Word and Outlook for any of this to work.

Posting with MS Word 2007

If you click the round button in the top left corner of Word you'll find the usual list of file options such has Open, Save, Print etc. There is one new option, however, called Publish. This button unlocks the ability to use Word as you blog entry editor.


When clicked you'll see three options one of which is Blog. Click it and you will be asked to setup a connection to your favorite blogging site. Choose you blog service, supply you username and password, choose the source and destination locations of images you will use in your entries and you're all set.

Now it's just a matter of typing in you blog entry and then clicking the Publish button when done. Note that you can choose Publish or Publish to Draft. Publishing will actually post you entry to the public blog space; Publish to Draft will save you entry to you blog but not post it for everyone to see.


You'll also notice in the ribbon bar along with the Publish button there are 4 other options in the Blog tab. Home Page lets you view your blog in its entirety. Open Existing lets you open draft and previously posted blog entries. Manage Accounts brings up a listing of you blogs and allows you to add new blogs.


 
 

Reading with Outlook 2007

If you think publishing with Word is cool lets discus what I personally think is much cooler and that's reading with Outlook.

First some background about how this works.

RSS is a standard method of posting information on a website usually used on site that disseminate information such as new sites or support sites. You may have noticed on these sites a small orange RSS icon or a link titled "Subscribe To" indicating that the site is indeed RSS compliant. Well if you look carefully at the Mail Folders list in the lower left corner of Outlook, you will see a new folder called RSS.


 
 

Within Outlooks RRS folder you can add any RSS competent sites and as Outlook polls the sites every x number of minutes, depending on your send/receive settings, it notifies you when new items are posted. In other words, it pretty much works exactly as with new email.

Guess what… Almost all blogging sites are RSS compliant. That's right you can add your favorite blogs to Outlooks RSS folder and then let outlook do all the work. No more launching a browser and navigating from blog to blog looking for updates. Way cool.

Setting this up is quite simple in Outlook 2007.

Navigate to the RSS folder, right click, choose Add New Feed and then enter the address provided to you from the blog site. How do you get this address? Simply click on the orange icon or the link marked Subscribe To. Copy the URL provided and paste it into the New RSS Feed dialog. Note that the Feed URL is not always the same as the actual website URL. For example the web URL for this blog is http://blog.rrkphotos.com/ whereas the Feed or RSS URL is http://blog.rrkphotos.com/feeds/posts/default.

Once setup you will notice a new folder under the RSS folder with the name of your blog. This folder is where updated entries are placed along with previous entries in the blog. Treat this folder just like you would any email folder. Click on an entry to read it in the reading pain or double click to open it in a new window. Notice that much of the web formatting is stripped but the content and photos are still there. If you need to see the post in its entirety you can click the View Article link at the bottom and launch the actual blog page itself.


One last tip/trick to make keeping track of all your blogs easy. Because the RSS folder is buried deep within the folder structure I suggest you add your blog folders to your Favorite Folders list. To do this, right click on the blog folder and choose Add to Favorite Folder list. This will place the folder in the list at the top right of Outlook just under you Inbox folder. Add all your important blogs and as new items are posted the folder name will turn bold and you can click on it to see the listing of new entries.

 
 

Enjoy.



7 comments:

  1. All very cool. No doubt. And your thorough explanation/instructions are very appreciated.

    However... (you knew that was coming!) I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out what the actual, tangible advantages are over what we are currently doing.

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  2. First and foremost with Word as an editor it offers spellchecking and better formatting. Also makes it easy to save your entry to a local drive while working on it or simply for archival purposes.

    As to Outlook. Just the simple fact that I no longer have to bring up a browser at random times just to check to see if you've updated your blog is a great thing for me. Additionally, since your post are now in my Outlook I can access them from my Windows Smart phone so I can read your new post on my phone if I want. Sure I could do that with the internet browser on the phone but if you've ever tried to use a browser on a phone you know how difficult it is.

    Lastly, it provides for one application where all my information is received and is available to me. Email, Blogs, News, even Facebook notifications. All in one app which notifies me when that new items have arrive instead of me having to go out and search around for the internet for all the new items.

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  3. That last one is a good sell, I guess. Everything in one place.

    Blogger has spellcheck and can also save as draft while working on a posting.

    And there is a feature at Blogger--I think you even use it--that shows you when somebody has updated their blog. Don't know if it is more timely or less than Outlook, but you still have to bring up something to see it.

    Don't have internet on my phone so can't comment there.

    And while I get the whole "everything in one place" deal, I've never felt out of breath going from one web page to the next. ;^}

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  4. Yes blogger has a feature to display up to date blogger blogs but I frequent a few other blogs out side blogger so that widget doesn't really help much. As long as the sight support RSS its accessible from Outlook.

    In regards to spell checking, yes blogger has a spell check but its an extra step where word spell checks as I type and in may cases auto corrects so it boils down to efficiency. (note that some browsers like Firefox have auto spell checking. I use IE which doesn't)

    As to getting out of breath, its true that cruising the internet is pretty effortless but if I have a machine that can keep me from having to preform repetitive actions, I'm all for it. That is, after all, the computers intended purpose.

    It's a matter of using the computer to do all the work or you doing all the work with the computer. I prefer to have the computer do the work

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  5. Well, I suppose if you're defining "work" as clicking a mouse then yeah, there might be an advantage of sorts to all this.

    So I'll change my remark now from what are the "tangible" advantages, to what are the "significant" advantages. Those, I definitely don't see.

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  6. Also, let me be sure I have this right... you no longer actually go to the bloggers site? You don't see the art, the layout, the uniqueness that's inherent in each place? You just read everything in black and white in your Outlook pages?

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  7. Use a computer every day all day and I think you'd see them as significant advantages. Any type of integration and streamlining is a huge advantage and time saver. Remember that most of the time I'm not sitting here relaxing.

    Word is a much better editor and as I said I have the choice to see the entire page/post by clicking the available link when reading in Outlook. To comment, for example, I have to go to the page directly but I don't comment on most blogs (except yours and my sisters) so there no real need. Occasionally you can pop out to the site to see if you’re missing anything on the side bars. But frankly how often does the over all design of a blog change. If I can see the images and read the text is it necessary to see it on a dark gray background? When I click on the images in the blog they show in fill size on a white background anyway. If the post is interesting and I want to read the comments I just click View Article. Pretty simple. In the mean time I’ve removed the need to remember and type a bunch of URLs or click through the Favorites list on blogs that haven’t be updated. Just look at my list of blogs in Outlook for the ones in bold and I know there’s an update. Click the update, read, and move on. Simple as that.

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