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Adobe Adds Blogging To Web Authoring Tool

Adobe Systems has released Contribute 4, the latest version of its Web publishing software that's designed for the less-Web savvy user. This new release adds several features and functions, most notably blogging support.

As popular as blogging has become, it can be difficult for novices since it requires a combination of HTML knowledge with traditional word processing. There are few low-end HTML editors on the market, but the most popular, FrontPage, has died on the vine.

Microsoft  is replacing FrontPage with a high-end offering called Expression. For regular blogging, Microsoft will offer blog publishing in Word 2007, due as part of Office 2007 early next year.

For now, Contribute 4 combines word processing with Web publishing, including the ability to post and publish content to multiple Web sites and blogs. It will support all of the major blogging publishers, like Blogger, Typepad, and Wordpress (but not Microsoft's Live Spaces).

Other new features in Contribute 4 include unified Web publishing to multiple sites, enhanced Microsoft Office integration and Adobe Flash video support. Authors can drag and drop Flash Video onto a Web page or blog entry and Contribute handles the rest.

The Office integration allows authors to post and publish content from Office applications such as Word, Excel and Outlook directly to their Web sites and blogs.

Adobe  has made Contribute interchangeable with Dreamweaver, so content created in Contribute can be migrated to its high-end Web publishing software.

Temple University has been using Contribute since the first version. Karl Horvath, assistant director of computer services at the university, said Contribute has changed the way the university communicates using the Web.

"We changed Web communication from being in the hands of a grad student who knew computer science or a faculty member who knew Dreamweaver and FrontPage to putting it in the hands of secretaries and assistants because it's as simple as a Web browser or Microsoft Word," said Horvath.

The school had been looking for a publishing system that would leverage its existing investments, and settled on Contribute because it had a lot of the features of enterprise content management systems but could be deployed and implemented in a cost-effective manner, he said.

Contribute 4 is available now for $149, or $79 for existing customers looking to upgrade.