With the first look at the new Live Essentials beta, I was skeptical about the new Live Writer 2010 being that Microsoft threw away the old sidebar Task pane menu and replaced it with the new Office 2010 styled Ribbon. Don’t get me wrong; I normally have nothing but good things to say about the Office 2010 ribbon style but, I really liked the old Live Writer Task pane as it had all the functions/features I needed for blogging with a limited number of clicks. The new ribbon on the other hand, Yeah. The same tasks take a lot more clicking around. Fortunately, all the skepticism vanished when I found everything I needed could be optimized using the Live Writer 2010 Quick Access Toolbar.
Huh? The Quick Access Toolbar? YES! You know, that tiny little menu bar that almost everyone ignores up near the very top of most Microsoft Office Windows? It could perhaps be the most useful part of the new Liver Writer. Yeah, really! To prove it, I’ll show you an example of what you can do with the quick access toolbar and how I use it to make the new Live Writer beta even more efficient that the old one.
Note: This how-to is for the new version of Live Writer 2010 that is currently in beta testing. The Quick Access Toolbar was not available in the old Live Writer.
How To Add Anything In Live Writer To the Quick Access Toolbar
Step 1 – Find the Quick Access Toolbar
By default, it should be at the top left corner of Live Writer.
Step 2 – Move Quick Access Toolbar to a More Convenient Location
Click the down arrow on the toolbar and then Select Show below the Ribbon. This action should put the Quick Access Toolbar below the ribbon and just above the “Set Categories” and “Tags” boxes.
Step 3 – Add your Favorite Tools to the Quick-Bar
Right-Click nearly anything (any tool) from the ribbon or file menu. Once you’ve Right-Clicked an item, Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
Even in the menu, you can Right-Click anything and add it to the quick-bar. For example, under the Menu > Save location you can Right-Click Post draft to blog and then Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
Step 4 – Hide the Ribbon!
Now that you’ve added the primary tools to the Quick Access Toolbar let’s nuke the Ribbon. You cannot completely expunge the ribbon – but we can minimize it and stop it from taking up our ever-useful and precious screen space. Simply Right-Click the down arrow from the toolbar and Select Minimize the Ribbon.
The ribbon should now be out of your hair, and you’ll have instant access to all your favorite functions/tools you use in Live Writer. Keep in mind that it might take some time getting used to the small icons since they aren’t labeled. It is possible however to just hover the mouse over any toolbar item for a few seconds and then Live Writer will let you know what it is before you click it. Overall it makes the new Live Writer really groovy and worth the upgrade!