I've been getting friendly with Windows Live lately, and after getting terribly tired of having to switch to HTML view in Windows Live Writer in order to insert a note (could be a footnote or endnote depending on how you look at it), I decided to see if I could write a plug-in to make my life easier.
So was born the Blog Notes plug-in. Unfortunately, there is no extensibility for just marking up existing text (e.g., adding a superscript button to the markup toolbar), so I had to go with the option to insert some HTML using the interface. I really was trying to keep it simple and lightweight (for my own sanity), so it is pretty basic.
The functionality is pretty straightforward. Thanks to Mark James for the free icons. Once the plug-in is installed, you should see an "Insert Blog Notes..." option in the Insert pane on the right side as shown below.
Clicking on it brings up the Blog Notes dialog:
Clicking "New Note" will insert a new superscript number (the next one in the sequence).
Clicking "Reference Note" will insert the selected number as superscript. You can also just double-click the number to do that.
The "Notes Section" button will insert a notes section.1
Lastly, "Write Note" simply adds the selected note plus a period and couple spaces.
As you can see, it's pretty basic, but it saves a few seconds for each note (assuming you bother to switch to HTML view, find the number, and put <sup></sup> tags around it like I do [did]). You can also tweak one option/setting. Go to Tools -> Options, and select the Plug-ins tab:
Clicking Options... on the Blog Notes plug-in brings up a tres simple dialog:
This one option will toggle whether or not the plug-in uses in-page anchor links for the notes so that the superscript numbers would link down to the corresponding note in the Notes section. I originally added this feature without realizing the implications. Because blog posts are often aggregated and otherwise viewed in unexpected places, using in-page anchors is iffy at best. Community Server seems to strip them out, and dasBlog keeps them, but since it emits a <base /> tag to the site root, all of the anchor links are relative to the site homepage instead of the current post, which effectively renders them useless. I looked at the dasBlog code where this happens, and it's in the core assembly. I was concerned what side effects changing it to use the current URL would have, so I didn't do that. But if you have blog software that will let you use this feature, by all means, enjoy!
Get It! Since there are numerous tutorials on the Web (that I learned from) to write Live Writer plug-ins, I won't go into those details here, but you're welcome to download my code and learn from it directly if you want. I think I have comments and such in there.
Notes 1. This is the "Notes Section." The button adds the "Notes" header and writes out any existing note numbers.
The opinions expressed herein are solely my own personal opinions, founded or unfounded, rational or not, and you can quote me on that.
Thanks to the good folks at dasBlog!
Copyright © 2013 J. Ambrose Little