Blogging from Word 2007

Joe Friend has finally made it public that there will be built in blog functionality in Word 2007! I used it for authoring my last post, and I loved it. I wanted to mention it at the time, but didn’t want to take away any of Joe’s thunder. 🙂 I had to go through and clean up a couple things, but as Joe said, this feature is coming in a bit hot. Unfortunately, I’m still on Office 2003 here at home so I’m just writing this post in the web form (maybe I should have just waited until I got into work).

Beta 2 should be coming pretty soon, so here’s yet another thing that I really think you all are going to love. The tool is really sweet; it takes advantage of content controls and the extensibility of the new user interface. It’s also going to have hooks into some of the other applications which Chris alludes to


Comments (6)

  1. Lauren Smith says:

    I’m torn on this.  I understand that Word is supposed to be about publishing, and blogging is a form of publishing.  OTOH, blogging is web publishing, and the tools to access the web are much different than an offline application like Word (up to this point).

    I’m sure that the feature is going to be really cool and things will work better than expected, but I just get a strong feeling of cognitive dissonance when trying to reconcile the workflow of opening up Word to work on a post which will be ultimately destined for the web.

    Now if they componentized it and made it accessible as a control through IE, that would be very cool.

  2. BrianJones says:

    Hi Lauren, I think a number of people have that view.

    There is a bit of a switch that you need to make in order to think positively of the value that a client side application can bring to web publishing. We went through similar issues when we moved over to using Word as the default editor for Outlook e-mail.

    Now in Outlook 2007, the Word engine is actually used both for composing and viewing all e-mail messages.

    Word is the best document authoring tool out there, and it only makes sense to give people all that power when they are editing these new types of documents. The meaning of a document is definitely changing, and Word is adjusting to account for that.

    Give it a try when the Beta comes out and let me know what you think. 🙂


  3. Lauren Smith says:

    I’m looking forward to trying it out.  Done right, it could be awesome.  Done wrong, and it could end up being another feature that falls into the 80 side of the 80/20 Pareto rule.

    I think what really helped users accept Word as an email editor was the fact that it was essentially seamless with Outlook.  You hit Ctrl-N to create a new email and without any extra action, you got this row of toolbars at the top.  Add to that that dragging something like an Excel spreadsheet selection is something that users want to be able to do and Word’s excellent OLE support to handle exactly that, and suddenly you’ve got this really high-powered email editor all for the price of nothing (maybe hitting a checkbox if it wasn’t set automatically).

    What is the price to use Word as your blog authoring tool?  Now, it’s launching Word and copying the final text to the blog’s input box (and maybe whatever additional formatting is necessary, Joe Friend touched on this a bit in his post).

    Anyway, all this is just speculation and I’m not really that pessimistic about the feature.  As was pointed out in the other blog entry, the workflow for many bloggers is already incorporating Word as a proofreader and formatter.  Blogging directly from the application itself allows them to be just that little bit more productive.

    Next up, make me more productive in my comment making!  🙂

  4. BrianJones says:

    I hear you on the comments 🙂

    The blog tool will still be pretty rough in Beta 2, but the goal is that it’s as seamless as Wordmail. You have a thought, so you write it down in Word, and then just press a publish button and it’s automatically posted for you.

  5. tom says:

    word 2007

    The new features are quite extensive! Microsoft really are pushing the boat out!

  6. rasx says:

    I’m almost sure that Joe Friend is not using an XML-centric solution to the "Blogging problem" in Word. So I built this little guy called CleanXHTML for Word 2003:

    When I say "clean" I mean that CleanXHTML output conforms to W3C standards. My tool only supports cutting and pasting (no XML-RPC support yet) but CleanXHTML works at the Range level not at the document level. Brian Jones is an inspiration behind this tool so this is a great opportunity to express my appreciation for his appreciation of XML.