CS3 Contribute Review

UPDATED!! 12/08/07

Being a new contributor to the Blogosphere, I’m on the hunt for a well-rounded application that will allow me to post to my WordPress blog without me breaking into a sweat. I don’t want to be tweaking things to get this blog publishing process working. It should just work – ala Mac OS X.

First foray into this editing world is Adobe’s Contribute CS3 tool. It came packaged with my Master Suite package, so I thought I’d give it a try. surprisingly the product costs $150 if purchase separately. This is huge considering that there are a number of other editors that are either free or under $50. Some of which provide better functionality. More about those in other posts.

After install the product, configuring it to connect to your blog couldn’t be easier. A nice little ‘wizard’ walks you through all the steps. Contribute can tie directly to Blogger, WordPress, TypePad. Hosting your own server? No worries, Contribute has you covered. Simply choose the appropriate selection in the wizard and Contribute will get you connected.

A HUGE benefit that Contribute brings is that it allows you to use your published template to input your new articles into. This will truly give you a WYSIWYG experience. A side note: the first time I set up my blog connection to this site, it didn’t bring down my template, but all the other functionality was there. To fix it, I simply deleted my connection and started again. It worked, so this may have been something I did wrong on my part initially.

The editor within Contribute is fast (compared to Qumana) has a number of features that should satisfy your average blogger. All the basics are covered from tags, categories, Trackbacks, Comments, embedded images/Enclosures, to standard linking. One of the hidden gems is the image manipulation tools. Very nice to have – but I would prefer some better image placement options, and the ability to have automatic thumb-nail and full size html/javascript tagging.

Contribute also comes with plug in for MS Word and Firefox that will allow you tie directly back to Contribute. Very handy if you are surfing all day and you want to blog a link.

Of course blogs can be composed offline for future posting. However, I would like to see some better integration with the different publishing states for WordPress (and I assume other blogging engines.) Currently either the article is stored offline in Contribute, or it’s on the website in a published state. Now there are some other settings in the menus regarding the publishing workflow, but I haven’t had time to read up on it.

In any event, i think that Contribute CS3 is pretty good so far. Is it worth the high price tag? I don’t think so- but let me play with it a bit more to find out.

JT

12/08/07 Update: Okay found a couple of items that really prevent me from using this tool:

  • The tagging feature is to tied to technorati and not the internal tagging system. This is a major oversight. There isn’t anywhere in the application to configure this to the internal system.
  • The “more” tag is NOT supported! Once you post an article, the article will display appropriately. However, as soon as you attempt to edit the article, you will only see the first 55 words (by default of course, it really depends on where you configured your system and if you hard-coded the tag in a particular area.) The point is that you only get to edit what is on the front page of your blog and not the entire article. Makes it very difficult to modify your blog for errors. — not that anybody would make any mistakes.

The search continues…..

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