One of the main problems when moving to MAC is to find a good blog editor. A blog editor is a writing and managing tool, that will let you write in an application while offline, and then upload it to your blog.
Windows user will be using (or should be using) the Windows Live Writer, a really advanced blog editor. When moving to MAC you wont find anything as advanced as this. Instead there is a handful of less complex but quite useful apps. After some basic research I am now using the following freeware tools.
Blog Editor: Qumana
After some time I have ended up choosing the blog editor and manager Qumana. It handles all the top hosting solutions like typepad, wordpress, blogger etc. It offers a very simple and effective user interface to writing your blog post and handling tags and categories from your blog.
Inserting and uploading images is really easy. You can drag and drop and image from the desktop into your blog post, and Qumana will upload it to your blog and insert it in your post. Really easy!
It lets you insert video as snippets of code. But it can't display these embedded objects, like windows live writer does.
A nice touch is when you want to link to something, and have copied the URL to the clipboard. When you mark some text an hit SHIT-APPLE-L to insert a link, it'll automatically take the URL from the clipboard and suggest it. This really streamlines the task of inserting links.
It has a really well-designed and easy to use set of keyboard shortcuts, but support for standard text navigation like APPLE-ARROWS and ALT-ARROWS doesn't work, which is kind of annoying.
It also lacks tools for handling Header-styles (H3, H2 and such). This is a missing feature in many blog editors, and it's really annoying, if you like me use Headings a lot to subdivide blogposts.
Alternatives to using Qumana, that I chose not to use:
- ScribeFire plugin for Firefox: Simple and well integrated with Firefox. But no keyboard shortcuts. So if you want to make a lot of text bold in your text, then you'll soon be tired of reaching for the mouse.
- Marsedit2: Costs money, and is surprisingly lacking in features. It hasn't got a WYSIWYG editor but a HTML editor instead!
- Bleezer: To complicated to setup for my taste. But a nice WYSIWYG editor. Very early in development.
- Ecto: Originally developed for Linux. Resembles Qumana a lot, but... it's a little ugly and cluttered
Image Editor: Imagewell
This little baby is a lifesaver for the busy blogger. Imagewell is the tool everybody should download. Instead of firing up Photoshop to resize and crop a picture, you can drag and drop the image into Imagewell and set the size of the picture in no time at all. It even let's you FTP the picture to your server. I just save it to the desktop, and then drag and drop it into Qumana.
FTP program: Cyberduck
Here's the free FTP-program you'll love. Cyberduck is much easier to use than the old school WS-FTP i used for Windows. It let's you define bookmarks so you'll quickly be able to get to the folders you like.
And then of course there screen dumps. I didn't know how to do this in the start, but here's how to.
To enter screendump mode press SHIFT-APPLE-4. This'll get you into screen dump mode. Now you drag and drop a region, and screen capture will dump a file on the desktop (so you can drag it into Imagewell)
But if you want to take a screen dump of an entire window you can do it by hitting SHIFT-APPLE-4, and the when the screen dump cursor appears you hit SPACE. The cursor changes to a camera, and you can "snapshot" a whole window from your screen.
You could also install Jing, that'll let you snap videos of your screen to post talk-throughs of applications. I'm considering doing this in the future.
That's it! I'm am now up an running with an effective set of blogging tools. Tomorrow we'll look at video on MAC. How do you get all your AVI, DIVX and MPEGs to behave on your new MAC. Well with a few tools you'll never need to worry again.
See you tomorrow!
- Jens Poder
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