ANN: FeedDemon 2.1 Beta 3 (Keyboard Freak Edition)

Update 13-Nov-2006: The keyboard shortcuts listed below are no longer accurate. Please refer to the FeedDemon 2.1 Quick Reference Sheet for an up-to-date list of shortcuts.

FeedDemon 2.1 Beta 3 is now available – and I think keyboard users are going to like it, because the main focus of this build was making FeedDemon better for keyboarders.

Several web-based aggregators have added single-key shortcuts this year, and I’ve got to admit that they’re pretty handy, so I decided to do something similar.  Starting with this build, the following shortcuts are enabled when the newspaper (browser) has the focus:

  • Up arrow = previous item
  • Down arrow = next item
  • Ctrl+Up arrow = previous unread item
  • Ctrl+Down arrow = next unread item
  • Left arrow = previous page
  • Right arrow = next page
  • F = flag item
  • S = send item  (email, blog, del.icio.us, etc.)
  • B = add item to news bin
  • R = mark item read/unread
  • Enter = open item link
  • T = open item link in new tab
  • Ctrl+F5 = reload newspaper, adding any items retrieved since the newspaper was last shown

Since most of these shortcuts operate on a news item (article), I also had to add the notion of a selected item in the newspaper.  This way you can use the arrow keys to navigate items and see the selected one highlighted.  And this becomes even more useful when used in conjunction with the new Ctrl+D shortcut.

If you’re a heavy keyboard user, I’ll wager that Ctrl+D will quickly become your most frequently used shortcut.  Ctrl+D marks the current newspaper page read and moves to the next page. If no more pages exist in the newspaper (or if a newspaper isn’t even showing), then it moves to the next unread feed.

And just to make sure I keep my keyboard users happy, I’ve also added these shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+B sets the keyboard focus to FeedDemon’s browser
  • Ctrl+I shows the favorites menu
  • Ctrl+E focuses the instant search box (web search)
  • Shift+Ctrl+S enables changing the newspaper style
  • Shift+Ctrl+F enables changing the newspaper filter

Want to give it a try?  Stop by the FeedDemon Beta Site to get it (and be sure to read the release notes before installing it).  If you run into any problems with the beta, please let us know by posting to the FeedDemon 2.1 Beta Forum.

26 thoughts on “ANN: FeedDemon 2.1 Beta 3 (Keyboard Freak Edition)

  1. Nick, this is cool but what I would really like is a shortcut, preferrably enter or something quick, for ‘open item link in new tab’ when viewing newsfeeds in the list. Currently I have to manually click on the little icon in the preview and this is slow. I like to ‘space’ through all unread items and when I find something interesting ‘enter’ to open it in a background tab to go back to later and read.

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  2. Please include a setting to disable all these keyboard shortcuts.
    I sometimes find myself posting a comment in a browser tab, only to inadvertently press some key and lose the whole comment.

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  3. Weird. Did you use the up/down arrow to highlight the item? It works great for me — I love this because the way I read feeds is walk through the newspaper view opening interesting items in new tabs and then I go back and read ’em. So I just use up/down arrows and hit T and then Ctrl+D to go to the next page.
    I REALLY like how Ctrl+D goes to the next unread feed too.

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  4. Jeremy, I am not using newspaper view. I do that same as you it sounds but rather than newspaper view i just use the grid list.

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  5. Craig, the new shortcuts are for the newspaper; if you don’t use the newspaper, then they won’t work for you.

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  6. Craig, I highly recommend you switch to the newspaper view then. It only took me a day to get used to it when Nick first came out with it.

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  7. This is great but I have one question …
    I use the Prince style and while up and down works (it highlights the story just fine) when i hit enter it goes to the web page rather than “show this post” which is what you get when you actually click the link. Is this a bug or the intended design?

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  8. To a keyboard fan like me this is great news! Thanks for the constant improvements to FD.
    (As a side note, I work behind a BlueCoat proxy which seems to keep a cached copy of the file for several days in a row. I was wondering if there’s anything you could do server-wise to prevent this from happening…)

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  9. Is there a way to turn off the shading of an item when in newspaper view? It’s driving me crazy. I like the idea of selecting the item to use the shortcuts, but its harder to read now.

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  10. Nick,
    Is it possible to change this? I would prefer it go to the “show this post” and then the link in that window go to the item link.
    Thanks.

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  11. Nick, I’m using Surfer. Its the color the fact that scrolling with up/down arrows doesn’t work anymore. I used to load up all the items by clicking on the feed title and have a listing (in full text where available) of every item (btw, pagination has speed this up). Prior to this last beta release, I was able to scroll using the keyword to read long posts, now it skips to whole items often times jumping way ahead of where i was reading. It’s now not possible in this style to do this. Any way to turn off these shortcuts and have an option to go back to the old way?

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  12. are you going to make something like a google news reader interface? basically a river of news layout?

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  13. Nick, with the last beta I’m experiencing an annoying blink of the web page once loaded. It’s as if the web page went through a quick refresh after being completely loaded.
    If I come back to the official release, the problem disappers.
    I don’t know if it’s ever been mentioned but I had it also in the pre ver. 2.0 betas.
    Anyway, thanks for your wonderful job!

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