How to use NetNewsWire 2.1 (OS X)

You’ve read the RSS overview, and now you want to get started reading RSS feeds. But which program to use? This tutorial will guide you through setting up and using NetNewsWire 2.1 (arguably the best/most popular RSS reader), for OS X. You’ll also learn how to customize NetNewsWire, find RSS feeds on topics that you’re interested in and more. NetNewsWire 2.1 is available as a 30 day trial.

Initial Setup
Running NetNewsWire for the first time
– Unsubscribing to feeds
– Subscribing to feeds
– Syncing with NewsGator
– Finding feeds


Initial Setup

  • Make sure you’ve downloaded and installed NetNewsWire 2.1.
  • Launch it from the Applications folder
  • The first time it starts you’ll be prompted to set NetNewsWire as the default RSS reader (aggregator) – select Set as Default
  • The setup wizard will launch the first time you run NetNewsWire. Select Evaluate NetNewsWire synchronized with a NewsGator online account and click Go Forward

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  • Enter your information in the required spaces, place a check mark in the box labeled I agree to the NewsGator Online Terms of Service and click Go Forward to continue

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  • The setup process is now complete. Click Close to begin using NetNewsWire

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    Running NetNewsWire for the first time

  • You’ll be prompted to sync NetNewsWire the first time it opens. Select Don’t Sync Now. Rest assured, this tutorial will show you how to sync (and why) before it’s over.

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  • As seen in the screenshot below, NetNewsWire has (by default) a very similar look and feel to many email programs. The RSS feeds or “sites” that you’re subscribed to are listed in the left column. The topics or “posts” within a given RSS feed are listed in the top window. And finally, the topic/article/post itself is displayed in the bottom window.

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  • NetNewsWire includes several popular RSS feeds by default, so you’ll have something to read right away. Take a minute or two to review some of the default subscriptions.
  • Unsubscribing to feeds

  • Now lets start customizing NetNewsWire to your liking. Start by unsubscribing to some of the default feeds that you don’t think will interest you (this step is of course, entirely optional). To unsubscribe from a feed, simply right-click (ctrl-click) it and select Unsubscribe…
  • You’ll likely be prompted to confirm the request. Select Unsubscribe. Repeat the above step until you’re left with only the feeds you want to keep.
  • Subscribing to feeds

  • There are a number of ways to subscribe to a new feed. The first one is to click the Subscribe button and enter in the site you wish to subscribe to. NetNewsWire is very good at finding the exact location of a feed, so you can usually just enter the sites web address, and NetNewsWire will find it for you. For this example, enter in https://www.simplehelp.net and click Subscribe (don’t worry you can always unsubscribe later, if you must :) )
  • You should now see that feed listed in the right column.

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  • If you find a new site that you like and notice that it has an RSS icon, click that icon
  • NetNewsWire will launch (because a bunch of steps ago you set it as the default RSS reader) and prompt you to subscribe to that feed
  • (if by chance you didn’t set NetNewsWire as your default RSS reader, and now wish you had, here’s how to do it: Launch Safari, from the menu select Safari and then Preferences…. Click the RSS icon in the top toolbar. Select NetNewsWire from the Default RSS Reader: pop-up)

  • To re-order the feeds that you subscribe to, just click the feed name and drag it up or down the list
  • Syncing with NewsGator

  • Now that you’ve customized NetNewsWire to your liking, you can sync your feeds, settings and preferences with the NewsGator service (remember way back at the beginning’ish of this tutorial?). From NewsGator.com:

    Synchronization means never having to read the same feed twice! One of the things that separates NewsGator apart from the competition is synchronization. This feature makes sure your feeds follow you wherever you go, and makes sure you never have to read the same content twice whether you read that content online, on your mobile device or on a totally different platform. (more…)

    If this seems like something that would be useful to you, read on. If not, skip down to the section on finding feeds.

  • To set up synchronization with NewsGator, make sure you have NetNewsWire in the foreground, select NetNewsWire from the menu and then Preferences… from the drop-down list
  • Select Syncing from the top toolbar, and place a check in the box labeled Sync using. Make sure that NewsGator is selected and then click the Sync Now button.

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  • NetNewsWire will sync with NewsGator now. Going forward, NetNewsWire will sync with NewsGator every time you close it, and periodically while you’re using it. Note that now you can read your feeds using NewsGator Online when you’re away from NetNewsWire.
  • Finding feeds

  • The fastest way to find RSS feeds that interest you is to select the Sites Drawer button from the NetNewsWire toolbar
  • The Site Drawer contains hundreds of RSS feeds organized by category. To subscribe to any given feed just double-click it – or select it and click the Subscribe button.

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  • One way to “create your own” custom RSS feed is to use Google News. Open Safari, visit http://news.google.com and run a search for a topic that interests you. I use this type of feed to get the latest info on some of my favorite bands and current world events.
  • When the search results are returned, click the RSS icon in Safari’s address bar
  • NetNewsWire will prompt you to confirm you wish to subscribe to this feed. Click Subscribe
  • Now you have a custom Google News feed. Google News indexes over 4,500 news sources continuously, so any time a new article comes out regarding your selected topic, you’ll find out about it right away.
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