As I’ve said many times before, ecto is my favorite blog editor. There’s been a Windows version of ecto out for a while, but I never enjoyed using it as much as the Mac version.
Now there’s a beta release of version 2 for Windows and I’m giving it a spin. I like BlogJet and Performancing for blogging from Windows, but I’m not in love with either and I’m willing to try something new.
Alex Hung, the developer of ecto for Windows is a very nice guy. We’ve exchanged email over the previous versions, and if there’s a client that I really want to like and I want to succeed, it’s this one.
That’s said…the new version was immediately hit with a bug that happened in the older versions. I opened the application and while I could see the application in the task bar, there was no editing window. There’s a fix for it and this worked in 2.0 as it did in previous versions.
One big plus in ecto 2 for Windows…inline spell checking! At last! This alone is reason to abandon BlogJet.
Also, ecto smartly pastes in the contents of the clipboard into a link, meaning you can copy the URL to the clipboard, select the link button and “Insert” and it’s there. Would be perfect if “Insert” were the default, so I could just hit Enter on the keyboard and I don’t have to use the mouse to go to the button.
The “insert file” window now behaves like the window in ecto for Mac, allowing for saved presets and delayed uploading:
However…the presets don’t work right yet. Even though I typed “images/” as my path above and saved it as a preset, ecto didn’t include that information when I pulled up the actual screen shot file above. Also, ecto for Mac automatically inserts the file title as the “alt” tag, ecto for Windows does not.
It’s a quibble…still much, much better than the previous versions.
Overall, it’s an improvement but still has some lack of polish that I hope is addressed in new betas, including:
- Scroll wheel doesn’t work in entry preview
- Interface is inconsistent. Sometimes when you toggle the side bar the entry area fills the space, sometimes it doesn’t.
- There doesn’t appear to be any way of adding Technorati tags. The tab is there, Technorati tags added before are there. But no “+” button at bottom or anywhere else to edit what is in that window.
There is Tools -> Options… where you would expect to see all the preferences listed (for a Windows application) but instead you only have a minimal window. The full preferences are actually under Edit -> Properties. Inconsistent and a bit confusing, especially when you see that there is also a “Check for update on startup?” button and it’s set differently from the other window. Which is the one ecto listens to?*
Regardless, when I started up this version it asked me if I wanted to download version 1.8.8 so there’s some work to do here.
Overall, a good preview of what’s to come and enough for me to use it for my blogging again going forward, for the inline spell checker if nothing else.
* I had images here that I tried editing after posting because they were too wide. Unlike the Mac version, I couldn’t double click on the image and bring back the editing window, and they weren’t being properly replaced when I removed and re-placed them. So I removed them from the entry completely.