Blogging to WordPress from Microsoft Word

So based on Johan’s comment on yesterday’s post about this being easy, I decided to give it a shot. So far, with the exception of a boneheaded move where I tossed a virtually complete post without saving it, I’m pretty impressed at how easy this seems. I’ll know for sure if this appears live though.

For lack of better content to test with, I figured I’d give a step by step guide to setting this up. J Okay, seriously, it also shows how easy it really is, and gives me a good excuse to try all kinds of formatting, such as Styles, images, URL’s, numbering, and smileys. ;)

So here we go…

Creating a Blog Post – Part I

To start with, I simply went to the Office Menu, chose to start a New file, and chose Blog Post, then Create:

Registering Blog Credentials

At this point, I was greeted with a (hopefully) one time setup wizard to “Register My Blog”. (Basically tell Word where my blog is, and what the login credentials are to publish content.) Here are the steps to making it happen.

  1. First, you need to choose your blog provider from the list shown below. Fortunately, WordPress was in the list, so I didn’t need to create my own:

     

  2. Next, you tell Word where your blog is located, and provide your login credentials in the box below:

     

    NOTE: I think the Word team did a good job with this by putting the <Enter your blog URL here> part, as it makes it really obvious where it goes. For me, this was pretty simple to complete, (http://www.excelguru.ca/blog). Hopefully you’ll know your login credentials for your own site. ;)

     

  3. Just to be thorough, I also decided to check the Picture Options. I actually ended up going with the default of My Blog Provider, so we’ll see if it works.

     

  4. Click OK a couple of times, and the blog registration is done.

Creating a Blog Post – Part II

Okay, so now that we’re done with the setup intermission, I’m dumped into a blank Word document with the following:

Again, it was pretty obvious what to do!

  • As you can imagine, I selected the text above, changed it to Blogging to WordPress from Microsoft Word.
  • Finally I dropped below the line and started composing my post.

Adding a Category

Of course, we also have Categories in our blogs. In the UI, there is a place to select those, so I figured I might as well try that too. I clicked the Insert Category button.


I had to clear a login box to the blog, and after that nothing seemed to happen. I clicked it again… still nothing. Again… (like anything was going to change, but I like to do stupid things like that sometimes…)

Finally, I scrolled back up to the top of the document… aha! It had inserted some fields for me to play with under the title!

So I picked General, Software Reviews, and Office 2007. J

The End Result

All right, I’m not going to tell you what I typed, as you can already see that. (Remember that I’m still writing, so I don’t even know if this will make it to the blog, although I have some faith it will!)

What I am going to do is quickly summarize the stuff that I believe is important in this post, to see how it comes through. This is partly notes to me, so I know what the original Word document looked like before I posted it, as well as notes to anyone else who is interested…

Paragraph / Line beginning…

Items of importance

Why it’s important

For lack of better…

Contains a happy face, and a winking icon that translate into smileys in WordPress.

First, I want to see if it interprets smiley faces. Second, the happy face (colon + closing parenthesis) already converted to a happy face in Word, while the winking still shows here as a semi-colon and a closing parenthesis before publishing. (Actually, you can see the smiley in the category image just above.)

Creating a Blog Post – Part I

Done in the Heading 1 style

How are heading styles implemented?

To start with…

Contains words formatted in bold, and is followed by an image

How does bold formatting implement, and how are images in Word dealt with?

First, you need to…

Contains numbering

How is numbering implemented?

At this point…

Contains “smart quotes”, not plain old regular ones

These were apparently an issue in Word Beta2, so I want to see if they were truly fixed.

NOTE: I think…

NOTE is in red, the entire line is in italics, it contains a URL, and a smiley set (in italics this time though.) It also contains the “greater than” and “less than” signs around the “Enter your blog URL here” phrase.

The greater than and less than characters can be problematic, as they are typically characters that indicate code, particularly in XML. I’m also curious to see how more complex (overlapping) formatting works.

“Enter Post Title Here” picture

Has a border around it in Word.

The rest of the pictures were snapped (by the world’s best screen capture program; SnagIt), and pasted into Word. This is the only picture that was changed by adding a border to it.

As you can imagine…

This line, as well as the following one, are bullet points. In addition, the Blogging to… title was underlined.

The underline was just to check formatting. I was more interested in seeing how the bullets would be implemented.

This whole table

Is a table

How are tables implemented?

 

And there you go! I’m going to hit Publish now, and see what happens!

This is a post about speech recognition

I tried to set up my laptop today to use the speech recognition native in Microsoft Windows.  I found it pretty hard to actually get it to recognize my voice the first time around.  It doesn’t actually feel quite as efficient as typing right now, but I’m sure that it will get better with time.

It’s very apparent that it’s quite powerful, but it feels quite clunky to try and talk to your computer to begin with.  I also found myself correcting an awful lot of mistakes where the computer misunderstood me, and that in itself was quite painful.

Probably the most frustrating part, however, was I had to do this speech recognition in Microsoft word as it could not be done in Firefox.  (I was trying to post to the WordPress blog.)

Despite the pain, I persevered and this blog post was completely dictated.  I will also be attempting, using voice commands alone, to actually copy and paste this in the blog.  If it shows up you’ll know I was successful.

Something tells me that I need to get Word to post directly to my blog which I understand can be done.

Why doesn’t Outlook…?

Or maybe it does and I just don’t know yet…

I get emails on a regular basis that I need to turn into appointments.  Why isn’t there a feature to create a new appointment or task based on an email?  What I find myself doing is copying the text of the email, creating a new appointment (or task), then pasting the text there.  Why should I need to do that?  (Gmail can automatically realize that there is an appointment in the email and offers to add it to the Google calendar…)
And yes, I realize that I can set an email for follow-up, but that’s not really what I want.  I want to turn it into a full task or appointment so that I can use the bigger feature set of those items.
Any way to do this?

Conditional Format to compare two worksheets

I received an email today, asking how to compare two worksheets for differences.  Of course, we could easily reach to VBA to do this, but we can also use Conditional Formatting to make these kind of comparisons.  I figured that I’d knock up a quick example, so here goes:

First I set up the workbook so that I’d have two worksheets with similar, but not completely duplicated data:

  • On Sheet1, in cells A5:G23, I entered a block of random numbers
  • I copied those numbers to Sheet2, cells A5:G23
  • I changed some of the numbers on Sheet2, to give me some cells that wouldn’t be identical

Now that I was set up to prove it out, I selected Sheet2′s A5:G23 range and created a new conditional formatting rule using the following formula:

=A5<>Sheet1!A5

Wouldn’t you know it, though, it came back with an irritating error:

cferror.png

Okay, so that’s irritating, but not insurmountable by any means.

Next, I set up a named range.

  • On Sheet2 select cell A5
  • Create a named range with the following formula:
    • =Sheet1!A5
  • For reference, I created it using the name “rngSht1″

So then, after selecting Sheet2′s range of A5:G23, we again head back to the conditional formatting wizard.  This time the rule we use is as follows:

  • Criteria  =A5<>rngSht1
  • Fill colour  Light red

And now, after applying the format, we end up with a nice display of the cells on Sheet2 that don’t match those on Sheet1:

cfcomparison.png

Server moving Oct 5-8

I’m not sure how much effect this will have on my site, but my host is moving a server to a new data centre (different city) on Oct 5.

It’s funny, actually.  TThey prefaced the email with a blurb on being careful not to change web pages, and then gave a HUGE amount of technical details on all of the different phases of the move.  What they failed to make clear, however, is if the server will be down at all, or if you’d lose any changes made from start to finish, or only during certain times.  A classic case of can’t see the forrest for the trees.

At any rate, the move is supposed to be coplete in 3 days.  I probably won’t post anything or make site changes during that three day period.  I’m hoping the site is up the whoel time, but we’ll see.

MVP for another year

This morning I got a nice email from Microsoft to let me know that I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award for my third year.  I’m pretty flattered to be awarded again, and already planning the trip to the MVP summit in March 2009.  :)