Monday, August 15, 2011

Stop Word and Live Writer from Replacing "Straight Quotes" with “Smart Quotes”

Whenever I write any coding documentation, Word and Live Writer like to “help out” by auto correcting some stuff that I’d rather it left alone, since it tends to break code samples. Quotes are on top of that list – so here goes:

From the ICan’tBelieveIHaventDoneThisBefore department, here is how to stop Word from replacing "straight quotes" with “smart quotes”.

In Word, hit the Office Button, then Word Options, then the Proofing tab, then the AutoCorrect Options, then the AutoFormat As You Type tab, then uncheck "Straight quotes" with “smart quotes”.


(thanks to Herb Tyson who posted this here:

In Live Writer, it's a bit more straight-forward, simply select the (tiny) Live Writer button, then Options, then Editing, then uncheck Replace "straight quotes" with “smart quotes”


There – "that's better".

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Zemanta – more trouble than it’s worth.

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

Image by Zemanta via CrunchBase

I’ve been using Zemanta for some time now to add some image and related content-flair to my posts.  It works… –ok.  But I have also had image placement issues, javascript errors, (I believe) related Windows Live Writer crashes, and annoyingly, on our internal blog, the Zemanta icon is http sourced, while the rest of the blog is under SSL, bringing up the annoying Mixed Content warning.

So, all in all I just don’t get enough value from this tool to deal with the minor headaches.  This is my last Zemanta-augmented post, but I will try to use more images to spruce up what’s otherwise quite dull reading.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Re-Testing Zemanta Plugin for Windows Live Writer

HOMESTEAD, FL - JUNE 23:  Jason Atkins, creato...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Yesterday I tested the Zemanta plug-in, but the page it hit on start-up caused a JS error.  As they said in the comments, they fixed it - JS error is gone.  Quick work, bodes well for the evolution of the component feature set.

-- or maybe not.  A new quirk has appeared: after I inserted the image, a square followed by a closing tag has appeared in my editing window, looking at the HTML view I see it stems from the following code:

<div class="zemanta-pixie"><img class="zemanta-pixie-img" src="" />&gt;</div>

When I put text after the glyph, and then tried adding an Article, my text disappeared.  And the Articles are REALLY hit and miss. (Maybe they're using the machine-gun pictured above...)

No bueno...


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Testing Zemanta Plugin for Windows Live Writer

20px|Windows Live Logo Windows Live Writer

Image via Wikipedia

I just installed the Zemanta plugin for Windows Live Writer, and so far, so good (with the exception of a js error at startup each time - see below).  It's supposed to search the context of your blog post and suggest related images, links and articles.  This is a test post - the image top-left is one of its suggestions (I picked that over the geisha typing on a laptop), and the links to Zemanta and WLW above were auto-applied by the plug-in.

The "related articles" below are also a handful of the ones it decided matched the content of this post:

JS error:


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

LiveWriter: Testing CodeSnippet Plugin

Leo Vildosola has written a Code Snippet Plugin for Windows Live Writer.  It looks like it works quite nicely - here is the code from my Extension Methods Post:

/// <summary>
/// Creates a list based on the specified title, description, URL, Feature ID, template type, document template type, and options for displaying a link to the list in Quick Launch.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="listCollection">The list collection.</param>
/// <param name="title">The title.</param>
/// <param name="description">The description.</param>
/// <param name="featureId">The feature id.</param>
/// <param name="templateType">The template type.</param>
/// <param name="docTemplateType">The doc template type.</param>
/// <param name="quickLaunchOptions">The quick launch options.</param>
/// <returns>A GUID that identifies the new list.</returns>
public static Guid Add(this SPListCollection listCollection, string title, string description, string url, Guid featureId, 
    SPListTemplateType templateType, int docTemplateType, SPListTemplate.QuickLaunchOptions quickLaunchOptions)
    return listCollection.Add(title, description, url, featureId.ToString("B").ToUpper(), 
        (int)templateType, docTemplateType.ToString(), quickLaunchOptions);

(via Frank's World)

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Testing Google Docs as a Blogging Tool

Grade: C-:  Ok editor, but fails to post to a blog hosted by Google.

So I was going to write this post in WritelyGoogle Docs, to test out its new blog publishing feature, but got the following error:

Instead I had to resort to type this in Live Writer.  Hmmm, let's see: Google can't post to its own blog, but I can save the page as a webpage, then use Microsoft's extension to the Firefox browser to open Live Writer and post a link to the intended post's webpage:

Link to Testing Google Docs as a Blogging Tool tags: , , , ,

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Testing Word 12 as a Blog Editor

So I'm typing this in Word 12 B2TR after having added as a blog account.


  • You can publish to multiple types of blogs, including SharePoint (2007 – I don't know what other blog clients can publish to SharePoint).
  • It's sort-of WYSIWYG (see concern below).
  • UPDATE: It does a good job of keeping the HTML clean.
  • UPDATE: It's easy to edit prior posts
  • UPDATE: You can do all sorts of fancy formatting quite easily – (duh – it's Word).


  • Windows Live Writer does a much better job of WYSIWYG – Word doesn't pull in any of the blog's styles.
  • You can't tab from the Title to the body

In general, other than that Word is a familiar interface, and there's some benefit to having a blog editor "right there", I don't see this as an attractive option to LiveWriter, or your blog's default editor. Good for quick notes, though, or for publishing something you already have in Word format.

I see where this has its place. I think I'll still use LiveWriter for most of my posts, but if I'm already in Word and want to jot a quick note, or I have something complex I want to put up, then this is a good tool to use. And I WILL use it with SharePoint.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Testing Frank's Technorati Tag Live Writer Plugin

UPDATE (09/19/06): Frank updated his plugin, and addressed two of my three issues.  As for the third, let me quote Frank:

The first time I went to enter "Richmond, VA" into the text box; I realized that using comma's as a field delimiter has certain drawbacks.

Hence, I made semi-colon the delimiter.

I guess that's fair - I'll deal with it.


Frank La Vigne, one of my new coworkers at AIS wrote a Live Writer plugin that allows you to tag your posts with Technorati tags.  So naturally I decided to try it out.   Below are some comments:

The Good:

  • It works (as is evident by this post.)
  • It's convenient, with a simple pop-up available form both the Insert menu and the Insert action pane group
  • Easy to install, just download, and extract into the plugin folder

The Bad:

  • You have to enter the tags separated with a semicolon.  Why semicolon?  I can understand not using space (though I'm used to that from, but why not comma?
  • There's no icon for the menu item

The Ugly:

  • The dialogs title says Insert Hello World.  Uhm - how about Insert Tags?

All in all a good job, just in need of some simple polishing.

Via Russ Stalters' BetterECM.


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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Future of Blogging

Hugh at gapingvoid said this:

While I seldom quote Scoble or TechCrunch, I too am guilty of mostly just repackaging others' content.  Though after I started using, I've done less of that.  (And as a result, I've blogged less.)

PS! Writing this in Windows Live Writer.  In WYSIWYG mode (which I mostly love) you can't add a hyperlink to an image.  And you can't easily add an image from another site. AND font sizes are specified using the font tag rather than styles. What silly bugs...

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Testing Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer is an interesting tool - MS is trying to keep the desktop relevant, I guess.  It certainly is a more "natural" feeling interface for writing than, say, Performancing's Firefox extension.

Though the default is to use Live Spaces, it appears to have downloaded my blogger css file and is using that to create a true WYSIWYG environment.  Very Clever.

Updating a previously published post is also as simple as can be.  Just open the post and type.

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