Windows Live Writer Tip #11 – Insert Image from Web on Windows 7

During the very late stages of development for the last version of Windows Live Writer we found a bug on our 'Insert from Web Image' dialog.  Specifically there was a bug that prevented users from inserting images that that were part of libraries.   This forced us to make the decision to go back to the standard OpenFileDialog instead of using the hacked up open file dialog we with the tabs which was in all the previous versions of Windows Live Writer.

This of course resulted in no more user interface to allow people to insert images that are already on the internet somewhere.  At the time, Joe Cheng and I rationalized that this was fine, we thought that very few people knew where this dialog was anyways, and the power users that did know where it was could use the HTML source view to add in the image tag.  This turned out not to be true at all!  Shortly after we released Windows Live Writer 2009 we started seeing blogs, tweets, and forum posts asking where the tab on the open dialog had gone for insert an image from the web.

Well, I am here today to tell you there is a simple solution to your problem which should ease the pain until we are able to add the dialog back.

Simply copy the image from any browser:


Then paste it directly into the editor, Windows Live Writer will automatically convert it to the correct HTML for you, as seen below:


Windows Live Clubhouse Tags: Writer, how-to, clubhouse
Comments (6)
  1. Lister says:

    That is a simple solution.  I should have tried that myself.  Thanks for the info.

  2. Tim Anderson says:

    Thanks for the info – though I’m intrigued that the behaviour only occurs on Windows 7. You must have a check for W7 in there – which can’t be fooled by the compatibility settings, unfortunately.

    Your solution won’t work for me since I upload images manually. I don’t use FTP because it sends the password in plain text. So I am back to editing the HTML source, which is really a nuisance.

    A fix could not come soon enough for me.

    Thanks for an excellent utility.


  3. Hugo Quintela says:

    Let me tell you that this sucks big time.

    I upload my images to dropbox so I can put them on my blog. Now I don’t see how I can use your trick…

  4. Craig Watson says:


    Thanks for saving my sanity. You have saved me editing the HTML and inserting <img /> tags. Which is what I was about to do. But, I thought it has to be a know Windows 7 bug (I just upgrade from Vista).

    This workaround will be heavily used.

    Any projection as to when a "fix" may appear?

    If it is a while off, I may contemplate writing a plug-in which knows how to do image URL’s. I’ll have a bit of a think, but would it be possible to aggregate the current image functionality into a new plug-in?

    Thanks again.

    Craig Watson

  5. curtj says:

    I’m glad I’ve read this as I was about to switch to different software, although I like Writer.

    Would be great if you could add a new menu item that offers the choice to add from URL.

  6. Sylvia says:

    I'm glad I found this. This has been driving me nuts. I'd really like to see WLW integrate with the major image hosts, especially Photobucket, which I believe is the most popular blog image host. Adding images is an integral part of blogging and should be as easy as adding text.

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