Extending FeedDemon: Customize the "Send To" Menu

If you’ve used FeedDemon for a while, you’re probably familiar with the "Send To" menu, which enables sending a post to an external service such as Digg or del.icio.us.  But you probably don’t know that you can extend this menu (because, well, I’ve never mentioned it before!).

Each external service in this menu is contained in its own XML file which is located in FeedDemon’s \Data\SendTo subfolder.  Adding a new service is as easy as creating a new XML file in this folder which tells FeedDemon what to do with the post.

The format of these XML files is pretty simple.  Here’s the "Send To" file for del.icio.us, which is installed with FeedDemon:

<fdsendto service="del.icio.us" template="http://del.icio.us/{user}?title={title}&amp;url={url}" />

As you can see, there’s a single XML element named fdsendto which contains two attributes:

  1. service – the name of the service as it should appear in the menu
  2. template – the URL that FeedDemon should send the post to

The template relies on tokens which are translated to data from the actual post before FeedDemon passes it to the external service. Here’s a list of the supported tokens:

  • {url} = the URL the post links to
  • {title} = the title of the post
  • {description} = the full description of the post including HTML tags
  • {description-plain} = the full description of the post with HTML tags stripped
  • {summary} = the summary (excerpt) of the post including HTML tags
  • {summary-plain} = the summary with HTML tags strips

The del.icio.us example above also contains a {user} token, which tells FeedDemon to ask for the user’s name on the external service (this usually isn’t necessary, but some services do require a username before posting via a URL).  FeedDemon remembers the username after it’s supplied, but you can edit or remove this username by clicking the "Passwords" button in FeedDemon’s options then switching to the "Services" page.

Of course, you may not want to go through the effort of creating your own "Send To" XML files, in which case, check out these posts from two of FeedDemon’s power users:

Note: "Send To" menu items are cached at startup, so you’ll need to restart FeedDemon after adding an XML file to the \Data\SendTo folder before it will show up.

10 thoughts on “Extending FeedDemon: Customize the "Send To" Menu

  1. Nick, this is so awesome! I have been trying to figure out how to send posts by email through Gmail to no avail. Using this information I was able to quickly cobble together this line of code:
    fdsendto service=”Gmail” template=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=&su={title}&body={summary-plain}%0A%0A{url}
    &zx=RANDOMCRAP&shva=1&disablechatbrowsercheck=1&ui=1″ /
    (I had to take out the brackets and break the line, follow Nick’s sample above)
    Works like a charm. You have to send the summary as plain text, not HTML and you can’t send the description because it makes the URL too long.
    The only thing I haven’t worked out is that after you send the message it returns a blank page. Maybe someone can figure out how to fix that. (Most of the URL was stolen from the GmailThis! bookmarklet http://contrapants.org/blog/2005/07/gmailthis.html)

  2. I’ve been using this ever since i discovered SendTo folder, made my custom buttons obsolete :)


  3. I really wish the SendTo function was available from the toolbar–so I could use it when viewing a full blog entry (which is typically how I read posts.) That way I could easily blog information I find useful.

  4. @Nick – No worries – I figured someone would ask it eventually. If only FD had some built-in mechanism for retrieving, caching, and displaying Favicons so they could be used in the Send To menu… ;)

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