Microsoft Word is not a Great Blogging Platform

When I started this blog, I had this crazy idea that I’d do everything in Microsoft Word, on Windows 10, and publish on WordPress.com. Some people push the limits of that open-source free-software life, I wanted to push the limits of ease-of-use and comfort. I’m calling the experiment a failure, kind of.

Microsoft Word is a great word processor. It’s ease of use and feature set are unmatched. Nothing even comes close. It can even push to various blogging platforms. So here’s the blogging experience:

  1. Open Word.
  2. Choose the “Blog Post” starter template.
  3. Type some nonsense.
  4. Drag and drop in some images.
  5. Click “Publish”
  6. It’s up on your site

It’s lacking a few things:

  1. Code snippets. As a programmer, these are pretty damn important to me. Microsoft Word doesn’t have a good story for adding these, and certainly not syntax highlighting. There is a plugin interface, and several people have tried to make plugins to support this, but they’re kind of awful. That could be due to Word’s plugin interface limiting them, who knows. Maybe I should try to make my own? Then there will be one more awful syntax highlighting plugin!
  2. Image thumbnails. I have to plan ahead and make images just the right size so that the contents are visible on the page, but the image isn’t too large to fit on screen. But what if I have a high-res image that must be displayed as high-res, or lose significance? For instance, a circuit schematic diagram, block diagram, etc.? (One of my pet peeves is when people embed circuit diagrams in their blog post, but it’s compressed so much you can’t decipher it, and there’s no option to view the original file). The best solution I have with Microsoft Word is to split the image up into smaller pieces. What I’d like is a thumbnail, which when clicked, displays the full image. I could do that with some custom HTML/CSS/JS tags in the word document, but that sort of defeats the purpose…

And so, I’m going to try out the browser-based editor which WordPress.com provides. I’ll miss some things like word auto-correct, but at least it has code blocks with syntax highlighting, a feature that abounds in web-based editors. Microsoft Word really needs to get with the times.

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