How to save Windows Live Writer documents to cloud services

Window-Live-WriterMicrosoft Essentials Live Writer is a popular free offline blog authoring tool which allows authors to create blog entries without an Internet connection.  It has a full complement of tools and options well suited for creating content. But one oversight of this popular software is the inability to set the document folder. By default, all drafts are saved to C:\Users\*username*\Documents\My Weblog Posts. The problem with this setup is the author is tied to that computer for authoring. One solution is to post the drafts to the blog as a draft. When you go back and open the draft locally, it will retrieve the draft from your live blog account. But that solution does not work on another computer. Another solution is to manually copy the drafts to a cloud account such as Microsoft Skydrive or Google Drive if you don’t mind copying each file from the default location to the cloud manually each time. However, there is an easier solution. With a simple addition to the Windows registry, we can force Live Writer to save draft documents to another folder.  In this scenarios, we’ll save the files to a Skydrive or Google Drive synced folder insuring instant and automatic uploads to the cloud.

  1. First you’ll need to sign up for Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive, or other similar service which has a desktop sync tool. Both Skydrive and Google Drive allows creation of a sync folder on your local drive which automatically updates to the cloud.
  2. Move the folder C:\Users\*username*\My Documents\My Weblog Posts to your synced folder. In the case of Windows 7, it will be listed under Favorites.
  3. Now we need to setup Live Writer to save to this new location.
  4. Open the Windows registry by clicking Start  and typing cmd in the search window.
  5. First backup your registry by exporting it to a local folder. If you make a mistake, you can always roll back with this backup.
  6. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer
  7. Right click on the “Writer” folder in the left pane and choose New > String Value
  8. Name the value PostsDirectory and then double-click on it to edit
  9. Enter the value C:\Users\*username*\Google Drive\My Weblog Posts (where username = your user name)
  10. Close regedit and create a test post to verify it has saved to your synced folder.

Now every time you save a blog draft, it will be automatically synced to the cloud allowing you to edit the draft from other computers. Of course, you’ll have to repeat this process for the other computers. This setup has the advantage of backing up your drafts without publishing. It allow queuing of synchronization if you don’t have an Internet connection. Eventually, the cloud sync folder will update to the cloud without intervention from you.