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Best Blogging Software for the Mac | Kestrel's Aerie

Best Blogging Software for the Mac | Kestrel's Aerie

Best Blogging Software for the Mac

kestrel_thumb1 The Goal

Ever since I bought my MacBook Pro, over a year ago, I’ve been seeking a blogging platform for the Mac comparable to .

What I Want

  • True WYSIWYG editing: What you see is what you get. Compare the screenshot below to what you’re actually seeing here on the Aerie. (Feed readers, you may actually have to visit the site!)

WLW

Note the “Preview” and “Source” tabs below the editing area: The former shows your article exactly how it will appear on your website’s home page, including site header, sidebars, etc. The latter allows you to manipulate HTML if absolutely necessary; I’ve only had to use it for <code> tags.

  • Quick, easy, seamless insertion of graphics, with the ability to modify sizes, margins, borders, and more, without having to directly play with the img tag.
  • The ability to save drafts both locally and to the blog (not necessarily simultaneously), including being able to save a draft to the blog and open it for editing online (within the WordPress Visual Editor).
  • Plugins are nice!
  • Free is better!

What I Found

During the course of my search, I found the following software, listed alphabetically:

  • , $25,1 21-day free trial. Here’s what the sample pictured above looks like in Blogo:

Blogo 

The dropbox in the lower left makes it pretty simple to add images, but they only show up as placeholders in the document. Blog categories are not imported. Setting heading styles requires direct HTML editing.

  • : $19.95, 21-day free trial. Unfortunately, my trial expired before I thought to take a screenshot; the one below is from the website.

ecto3-editor

I couldn’t find a way to add a category without going online and adding it in the blog itself. Note the HTML angle brackets in the format bar, the only way to insert different heading styles (h2, h3, h4, etc.).

Best Blogging Software for the Mac — New Journal 1

As journaling software, MacJournal may be very robust; once again, however, it didn’t support standard header styles without resorting to HTML. The only manipulation of graphics (which are “drag and drop”) was to resize to 75-, 50-, or 25-percent.

  • 2: $29.95, 30-day free trial.

Untitled MarsEdit allows heading selection, but as you can see from the shot above, the editor uses HTML tags to display them. If you start getting very involved with design of your article, this can get very cluttered, and distracting.

However, there is a “real-time” preview pane:

MarsEdit_Preview The preview does include images, so it’s pretty close to WYSIWYG, at least as far as font sizes, headings, and image positioning is concerned. (Don’t look for an image here; I didn’t include one for this shot.)

And the Winner Is…

Believe it or not, the absolute best blogging software for the Mac is…Windows Live Writer! And that’s what I used to produce this article, as well as yesterday’s Carrot Cake post.

The drawback: WLW won’t run natively under OS X, even on Intel Macs. The workaround is to install Windows from Boot Camp, or use a virtual machine emulator such as , which I use, or .2

Windows Live Writer was developed for one purpose: To enable bloggers to easily and efficiently prepare blog articles for a wide variety of blogging platforms. It works equally well with Live Journal and Blogger, as well as WordPress. It’s features are unmatched compared to any, or all, of the dedicated Mac products. It’s free, which is an excellent selling point3 Yes, you need to have Windows, and for many, that may be a deal-breaker, either because of the cost or because they simply don’t want anything to do with any product from Redmond.

(Incidentally, I’ve not found a better blogging solution for Windows, either!)

If you’re a Mac-based blogger, what software do you use, if any? I’d be interested from hearing from you, either in the comments below, or via my contact form.

  1. All prices are for downloadable versions.
  2. Because I have a licensed copy of Windows, it’s not a problem for me. I also have Windows 7 RC, which was a free download, and to which I’ll upgrade when it comes out in October.
  3. See what I did there?
 

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7 Responses to Best Blogging Software for the Mac
  1. Angry Raider
    July 29, 2009 | 16:24

    I use MarsEdit, simply because out of the choices, it’s the best. But I don’t think it compares to WLW at all. When my trial runs out, I’ll start using Parallels. I just don’t like the startup time and the fact that I have to run an OS inside my OS to get what I need.

    Of course, since I know how to develop for the Mac, I could just make a WLW clone….

    • Kestrel
      July 29, 2009 | 20:15

      DO IT!

      Seriously, and maybe I should have stressed this, I really did want to like one of the Mac options. But I’ve also read so many other reviews, by people who’ve been using Macs a lot longer than I, that the blogging options aren’t very good.

      I’m also not very optimistic about a Microsoft port of WLW to the Mac; I have used MS Office 2007 for Windows, and Office 2008 for OS X. They don’t compare. ;)

      By the way, using Fusion, I can have Win 7 open in 2 min or less; a little slower than opening a native app, but not as slow as booting a real machine. Of course, if you already have Parallels, probably no really good reason to switch.

  2. make-up artist
    July 30, 2009 | 03:07

    great blog!

  3. Stop
    July 30, 2009 | 08:58

    You may not believe it, but back when I was still a full-time Mac user, I was also a (registered and everything) Mac developer. My only useful products were blogging clients, and I was working on a WYSIWYG one when my iBook up and died. :)

    I need to get a Mac again; I miss developing for that platform.

    • Kestrel
      July 30, 2009 | 09:12

      While I appreciate the free aspect of WLW, I would be willing to pay for a Mac clone of it. Get back to work!!

      • Stop
        July 30, 2009 | 09:39

        Donations for new MacBook are gladly accepted. ;)

        • Kestrel
          July 30, 2009 | 09:50

          Heh….I catch hell when I buy my own computers, so afraid I won’t be able to contribute to such a worthy cause.

          And second…I need to fix the formatting of lower-nested replies. OUCH! [Edit: Fixed!]

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