Chris Paris is a very active GottaBeMobile.com reader and forum member, helping others in our forums with tablet pc issues, etc. He’s written the following article for us on how to blog in ink using Word 2007.
– Chris Paris
I’ve been an early adopter of using MS Word 2007’s blogging features, having used it for various blogs — via WordPress — since the software came out. Here’s the latest , entirely blogged from within Word! A while back I wrote a tutorial on setting up Word 2007 for WordPress – (pardon the comical pseudonym), and it’s been well received, even though setting up WordPress under Word 2007 isn’t exactly easy. One mistake, and Word will throw an obscure error, directing you to a minimalist help page that hasn’t been updated since Word 2007 came out. However, my tutorial should work fairly well even if you blog from some other provider, and Word 2007 includes native support for Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, SharePoint Blog, Community Server, WordPress and Typepad. A “refresh list” option right on the dialog box hints that it will auto-update to include additional support for newer blog services, but I can’t confirm that.
Most problems reported from folks who have used my tutorial have to do with getting Word to upload graphics to blogs; simply put, it requires you have a image host that allows uploading via FTP. Word 2007 doesn’t like uploading in any other way, and won’t support inserting HTML code, so you can’t add graphics by hard coding source URLs — that rules out using a image hosting service like Flickr or Photobucket. You must have a good FTP account to get graphics to work; if you don’t blog to a site that provides you FTP support, then you can stop reading right now.
Until now, however, I didn’t think inking was possible under Word 2007’s blogging features. To access the blogging abilities, one must go to Office Button -> Publish -> Blog. At that point, a limited (crippled) version of the ribbon appears, and you are presented with only rudimentary composing and editing abilities. As you can see, it does NOT include a menu for reviewing or inking.
All is not lost, though: one can trick Word into offering up the inking menu anyway. Instead of attempting to create a blog entry directly from the Publish -> Blog option, one can simply open a regular blank Word document, using the usual full-option ribbon. From there, you can ink to your heart’s desire, as if you were creating a normal Word document. Word 2007 offers the option to publish whatever document you are currently working on as a blog, again by clicking Office Button -> Publish -> Blog. Doing so now carries your inked document over to the blog editing screen within Word. The inking option still does not show up on the ribbon, but (surprise!) will show up if you click any of your ink!
From here you can now use the full spectrum of inking tools, as if you were working from a normal Word document.
Once you are done inking, however, Word cannot properly convert the ink to a graphic for uploading — at least, not automatically. So using the object selection arrow (also available from the inking menu on the ribbon), simply select all your ink, CUT and then PASTE SPECIAL, opting to paste the ink as the graphic of your choice. This will convert your ink to a graphic, which will then be uploaded to your WordPress (or other provider) blog posting as an embedded image.
A neat bonus: when pasting your ink back as a graphic, if you select GIF format, Word automatically sets the page background color (typically white) as transparent, meaning your ink will appear over your blog’s background color, rather than be posted as an ugly white square with ink in it. (GIF posts do make the ink a little jaggy, though, while PNGs and JPGs will smooth out to give the appearance of anti-aliasing.)
Interestingly, if you cut and paste back as a JPG or PNG, you will get varying results; sometimes the background is solid black, other times it is white. Pasting as a Windows Metafile and posting seems to force Word 2007 to convert the graphic to a PNG first, and you get a white background (at least I did). Your results may vary.
Posting as a .gif
Posting as a .jpg
The ink won’t be searchable on your blog, so it’s not a all-encompassing ink-blogging solution, but for sketches, informal handwriting blogs, etc. this is a tremendous solution. Everything in one package: MS Word 2007, which many folks already own! You don’t need OneNote, you don’t need a graphics editing app, and the uploading from within Word 2007 to your blog is instantaneous.
No one blogging this way will get a result like Sumocat’s incredible ink blog, but it’s still a great option to have for quickie inkblogging!