Friday, April 10, 2009

Setting Firefox to use Google Reader

I've been sitting here watching some tutorials for using Netvibes, Pageflakes, and Google Reader - RSS aggregators. In every one I've seen so far (three to five for each site) the tutorial describes how to copy and paste URLs into the aggregator in order to subscribe. Yes, that works. But there are MUCH easier ways.

In the one I'm watching now (which prompted this post) the author, a Firefox user, was telling folks to right click on the orange RSS icons in order to obtain the correct url to paste into the aggregator. But, if you know what to look for you can shorten this process by several steps.

First, set up Firefox to know that you wish to use Google Reader. If you use Netvibes or Pageflakes you should just download the Subscribe tool for your toolbar. One click on that tool copies the url and takes you to your Netvibes or Pageflakes site with the new feed added and awaiting your approval to add it. But, since I use Google Reader because it integrates into the other google tools so nicely, I'm going to show you how to set up Firefox to automatically take you to Google.

In the picture below you'll see the Preferences (or Options) for Firefox. Notice I'm in the Applications tab. I scrolled down until I found the "Web Feed" item in the list. I then clicked the dropdown menu on the right and chose Google. From now on, when I click on an RSS/XML icon the browser will take me to a Google page where I am given the choice to add it to my iGoogle page or to my Reader. How much more simple could it be?

Oh - one more thing. Rather than hunt all over a page looking for a feed that may or may not be there, look in the Location field (See image below) If you see the RSS icon there, click it to subscribe to that page.

OK.. ONE more thing. If you're NOT using Firefox, go here to get it. You'll LOVE the browsing experience.


Rich Mackrell said...

Thanks for the tip Jim. I've tried to pursue finding an easier means to add rss feeds to google reader via firefox as well. A solution I just found and am finding it very useful is the Custom Button^2 add-on. It's three clicks as well: 1st click on the drop down next to the button, 2nd to subscribe, and 3rd to confirm the subscription. is where you can find the exact info on this.

***The challenge: Try to get adding feeds down to two clicks.

Kassie said...

Very helpful - thank you!

Eric Verno said...

Great Post! You can also install the Better GReader Add-On from They have an option to select "SMART SUBSCRIBE". This will have a little RSS icon appear in the upper right corner of the web page. You click it opens the post and others in Google Reader. You will have to press the subscribe button on the screen to make the feed permanent. Definitely a time saver!

PDonaghy said...

Love this Jim.
Have been using the 'copy and paste' method but not any more. LOL