This is the 5th in a series of Windows Live Writer tutorials for bloggers. By special request, this week’s topic is adding and formatting videos to your blog posts.
If you’re just joining me for these tutorials, you can find previous topics here:
And if you are following along and are wondering when, oh when?! am I going to get to a particular topic, please leave me a request in the comments.
Perhaps you are considering trying out vlogging…or maybe you’d just like to include a cute vid of the kids for the grands---this tutorial is for you.
Live Writer meshes with YouTube, so to add videos, you will need to have a YouTube account. Once you have that account, there are several different ways to add videos to your posts in LW, and each has different advantages and disadvantages. It’s worthwhile to understand them all so that you can use a different method when it’s appropriate to a particular application.
Method 1: Embed Your Video into the Code
This may seem a bit scary because it deals with code, but it’s actually quite easy and will enable you to specify an exact size for your video box.
Pros: This method can be used in LW or in directly in your blogging platform and the results will be consistent regardless of where you posted from if you always use a particular size.
This method can also be used if you are embedding a video created by someone else, say for a sponsored post or an educational video you found on YouTube that you want to share. Advantages to embedding rather than just posting a link: you don’t send your readers away to YouTube and they don’t have to worry about what inappropriate other videos might pop up in the YouTube sidebar.
Cons: You can’t use the “wide-screen” format, add a caption to the video box (you could always type a line directly under the video box, it just won’t be attached), you can’t change the size very easily once you’ve got it in your post, or preview the video itself from LW (it will appear to be a black box until you “publish"), and you need to have already uploaded your video to YouTube.
- Upload your video to YouTube (or locate the video you wish to use in your YouTube “channel”).
- Go to the video’s page. You will see tabs under the video.
- Click the “share” tab. You will see a box with the video’s direct url (ignore that for now, I’m going to talk about that in method 2).
- Click “embed.” You will see a box with some code in it. You can copy this and use as is, but I usually customize the size so it fits my blog better and you can see there are a few other formatting options (notice that “show suggested videos” is checked by default):
- Click “custom size” and you will get some preset options.
- Or you can click the first dimension box and type in your preferred width, the height will automatically change to keep it proportional.
- Highlight and copy the code in the box.
- Now, go to your post in LW. Click the “source” tab.
- Locate the place where you want the video to appear. Paste the code.
- Go back to your “edit” tab. The “video” will appear as a black box in the correct dimensions. If you select it, you will be able to format it for alignment using the “paragraph” buttons in the LW toolbar.
- You’re done. When you “publish” the post, Blogger will magically link up with the url for video and the empty black box will become a loaded video.
Method 2: Insert a Video in Live Writer Using a Direct Url
Pros: You can still share a video by someone else on your page, but you will also be able to use the wide-screen setting, click and drag to whatever size you like. You don’t have to mess with code, you can add captions, and you can preview the video in LW.
Cons: You need to have already uploaded your video to YouTube and you need to have the direct url to that video.
- Locate your uploaded video’s page on YouTube.
- Remember how I said you’ll find a “share” url for your video? I want you to ignore this, because it probably won’t work. You can try it, but I’ve never been able to get the url that YouTube puts here to work…LW always gives me an “unknown provider or incomplete web address” message. So, if it works for you, great! But if it doesn’t, that’s ok, I’ll show you what to do.
- Copy the url in your browser’s address bar when you are on the video’s page.
- Now, go to your post you are composing in LW. Click your cursor where you would like to insert the video.
- Click the “video” button in the LW toolbar and select “from the web.” This window will appear:
- Paste the video’s url into the box. A preview of your video will appear.
- Click “insert” and your video will appear in the body of your post.
- You’ll notice you have a new “format” tab at the top of your LW toolbar when you click on your video box. Here you can format how your video appears on the page.
- In addition to being able to change the margins around it and the alignment, you can choose “wide-screen” or “standard” views. Here’s what they look like, respectively:
- You can also click on the corners of your video box and change the size of it.
- Finally, click on the little box at the bottom of the video to add a caption.
- And you are done! Want to preview your video? Click the “preview” tab at the bottom of LW and you’ll be able to play it.
Method 3: Upload a Video to YouTube Using Live Writer
Pros: You can upload the video directly to YouTube through LW and insert it without having to hunt it down. You can also format how it appears (see method 2 pros).
Cons: Uploading through YouTube itself is more user friendly than doing it through LW (you have more control there over permissions and I’ve found uploading is less likely to hang-up or take forever). To use this method, you need to remember your YouTube username and password (LW won’t remember it for you). You cannot embed someone else’s video this way and the video needs to be saved on the computer you’re using (important if you often switch between a laptop and a desktop).
- Click where you want your video to appear in your post.
- Click the “video” button in the LW toolbar.
- Choose “from your computer.”
- This window will appear:
- You see that little button with the … on the right? Click that to find your video on your hard-drive.
- Select your video. Fill out the form and agree to the terms. Notice that the “permission” is set to “public?” You can change that later in YouTube if you want (if it’s a kid clip, I set it to “unlisted” so no one can see it without a direct link).
- Click “insert.” Now this window will pop-up for you to sign into your YouTube account.
- Fill in your YouTube username and password. Click “insert” and your video should be inserted (if you remembered the right password ;).
- Go to Step 8 of method 2 to format your video’s appearance.
Method 4: Insert a Video from YouTube
Pros: You can insert a video you’ve already uploaded to YouTube, but you don’t need to already know the url and you can hunt through your “channel” to find it.
Cons: You need to remember your username and password (LW won’t save it for you) and you can only insert videos from your own channel and “favorites” using this method. Your videos already need to be uploaded to YouTube.
- Click on the spot where you want to insert the video.
- Click the “video” button in the Live Writer toolbar.
- Choose “from video service.”
- This window will pop up. Insert your username and password.
- A list of your available videos will appear.
- Choose and insert your video.
- Go to step 8 of method 2 to format how your video appears.
I hope you find this tutorial on how to add and format videos in Windows Live Writer helpful!
What would you like to learn to do in Live Writer?
You might also enjoy my other LW tutorials: