Blogger for Word!

To my great surprise and delight, a product that I first thought about five years ago and wrote the spec for a year ago has seen the light of day! (Thanks to Jason Shellen and crew.)

Hardcore webophiles (and, especially, Macheads) aren't going to get too excited about this, but here's the idea: There are millions of people who live in Microsoft Word—especially people who write stuff for a living. Say what you will, but Word is a highly sophisticated writing environment, and if I have to write a multi-page document, I still fire it up.

What doesn't make sense (and many other people have pointed this out) is that, if you want your words to wind up on the web, you have to trade this writing environment, and the tools you're comfortable with, for a flaky textarea.

Thus, Blogger for Word is a Microsoft Word plug-in that lets you publish to the web from Word. Not only does it export your text (and clean up the HTML), it actually round-trips, letting you publish to the web, edit, and publish again. Or even edit posts you wrote on the web in Word and save them back (or save them as a Word doc).

Besides offline blog writing and a bunch of other features, this could be great for collaborating on documents, as well. Essentially, even if you didn't want to publish it to the web, you have a free shared drive to pass a document back and forth with, plus preview and commenting capabilities.

Neat, I say!

Unfortunately, I won't be using it, since it only works for Word 2000 or better on Windows. (The plug-in architecture for Office is not cross-platform.) But I'm glad to see it out there, nonetheless. Hopefully people try it out.

Addendum: I forgot—Anil actually coded up a proof of concept of this idea and sent it to us back in the day.