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Microsoft Launches WYSIWYG Blog-Writing Tool

Microsoft Corp. has launched in beta a WYSIWYG blog-writing tool that the software maker says works with its own Live Spaces service and other Weblogs.

Windows Live Writer is available for download through Microsoft's Writer Zone blog. The desktop application features a what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface that lets bloggers see what their post will look like before publishing it.

The tool recognizes the headings, fonts, colors, background images, paragraph spacing, margins and block quotes of supported Weblogs, so bloggers can edit their post using the same styles. Writer also offers HTML source-code editing and a Web-preview mode.

Other features include photo publishing, with tools to modify size, text wrapping and borders, and to apply graphic effects. Bloggers can specify a thumbnail picture that links to a larger image.

To help drive use of its mapping service, Microsoft has linked Writer with Live Local. As a result, bloggers can insert maps that are customized in Writer. Road maps, for example, can be displayed, or a location can be presented in aerial or close-up views.

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