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Friday, March 22, 2013

6 Easy Tips for Formatting Text in Windows Live Writer

livewriter tutorials pinner-001

This is the 2nd in a series of Windows Live Writer tutorials for bloggers.  You can find last week’s tute on perfectly formatting your pics here.  This week:  how to make your text look its best.

If you’ve installed Live Writer and have synced it to your blog, you probably already know how to type in words. 

Today we’re going to learn how to format your typed text to give it more punch.  I could go on and on about text in a block format like this with no changes in font or size or whatever, but you’d eventually zone out and move on to another page, because, well, there’d be nothing to catch your eye.  This is where a little attention to format can make a big difference.

Just as pictures can add visual interest, so can the actual text itself.


Let’s take a look at the tools available in the Live Writer toolbar, shall we?

livewriter home toolbar

We want the center section.

livewriter home toolbar


1.  Change your font style and size in Live Writer.

You see where it says “Georgia?”  This is the name of the font I’m using.  If you click the little arrow there, you’ll get a drop-down menu of various fonts to try.  Go ahead try a few!

Adriana Baskerville Batang Celeste Killian Scrap Casual Lucinda Calligraphy

Keep in mind, that most browsers will not display all the crazy fonts in the world (there are so many).  Typically they will revert to a default (like Arial or Times New Roman) when they can’t display a font…so don’t go crazy.

Right next to that you’ll find font sizes.  Try a few different ones---you can add interest or create subheads by using a larger font size. 

Georgia 12 pt

Georgia 14 pt

Georgia 18 pt

Georgia 24 pt

Georgia 36 pt


2.  Add emphasis in Live Writer.  

Now, you don’t want to emphasize every single word, because that will just make you  and  your readers  crazy!

A little goes a long way.  You’ll find ways to add emphasis to individual words and phrases right under your font drop-down.  From left to right:

livewriter home toolbar

Bold Italic Underline Strikeout Below the line Above the line Highlight Colors

Simply select the text you want to format and then click the button you want to use. 

For highlight, click on the highlighter button and you’ll be able to choose the color. 

For colors, you’ll be able to choose your color from a chart.  Simply click the arrow next to the A with a thick line under it.

color chart

If you don’t see the color you want, choose “more colors.”

color chart more

Keep in mind that just as not all browsers will display all fonts, they won’t typically display every single color, either.  It is probably best to stick to the more basic colors.


3.  Add bullet points and block indents in Live Writer.

livewriter home toolbarThere are 2 types of bullet points:  unordered and ordered (numbered) .   For either style:

  • Click the button for the type you want and start typing. 
  • Every time you hit “enter,” a new bullet point will start in your chosen style.


Alternatively, you can:

  1. Type your text.
  2. Click enter after each separate bullet point.
  3. Select the text you want to bullet point.
  4. Click your bullet point style.

Want to stop the bullet points?  Just click the button again. 

The 3rd button you see is for doing a block indent,

which will look like this.  The reason it is denoted by “” is because this format is typically used in order to set off quoted text (but you can use it for other purposes, too).  To further set it off, you could also add italics, change the font color, or even change the alignment (see the next tip).


4.  Align your text in Live Writer.

livewriter home toolbarThose little buttons under the bullet point buttons are for lining up your text. 

Typically, the default will be “left-alignment” (the button on the far left), which will line up your text nicely on the left and allow lines to end where they may on the right. 

Your other choices are “centered,” “right-aligned” and “right and left aligned” (here, your words will be spaced out on each line so they line up on the edges, similar to the way many newspapers are printed).


5.  Add some HTML style in Live Writer.

Back in the olden days of html, back before blogging platforms that do all the coding for you, when you wanted to draw attention to a particular section of text, you would code it as a heading. 

Different heading numbers had different weight in searches (because the Google bots crawl the code and “see” the heading tags) and were styled to appear a certain way in all browsers across all platforms. 

They were standard.  So <h1> denoted a particular look (BIG type, bolded, etc.), <h2> denoted a different look and so on.

Do the heading tags still matter to the Google bots?  I don’t actually know, but I’ve read a number of articles that say that adding emphasis to some of your key words with heading tags can help your SEO.  It can’t hurt, and the heading tags are an easy way to create different subheads. 

livewriter home toolbar

There are a total of 6 different heading styles, plus your default paragraph style.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

I used Heading 4 for the subheads in this post.


6.  But how do you remove formatting in Live Writer? 

Simply select the text and click the little eraser button next to the font size (this will return it to the default).  

livewriter home toolbar

This will remove any of the HTML styles, the bolding, different text size, etc.  The only thing it will not change back is the alignment, which you can easily change manually.

That’s pretty much it for the basics of formatting text in Window Live Writer.  In future posts we’ll talk about things like adding tables, breaks and other goodies.

You might also like:

Windows Live Writer Tutorials for Bloggers #1:  Snazzy Pictures

What would you like to learn to do in Live Writer next?

1 comment:

  1. Holla, I enjoy your tutorial maam. But I have a problem, I use WLW 2011. It is about random text alignment changing. I mean it seems not fixed. For instance, I write a 'alas' then I click space button in keyboard. After that the text 'alas' then suddenly jumps to the right, far right. Then I write another text 'snub nose' they back to previous justified alignment forming unified 'alas snub nose'. The next word will also do the same jumping after first spacing and back again after the second spacing. Is it my error only, or you are experience it also? thanks for your help maam.


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