I received a ton of great feedback on yesterday’s post about possibly killing FeedDemon’s news item list – my thanks to those who took the time to comment!
It’s clear that a lot of customers rely on the news item list, many of whom have been using FeedDemon for a long time. But it’s also clear that many of these customers don’t realize that FeedDemon’s newspaper view has evolved to the point that it does pretty much everything the news item list does (plus a lot more). So I’d like to take a moment to describe how to use the newspaper view as a replacement for the news item list. I admit that it takes a little getting used to, but I know several people who dropped the news item list in favor of the newspaper view and now can’t imagine using FeedDemon any other way.
Based on the comments, there are three main reasons why people like the news item list:
- It enables quickly scanning headlines
- It enables locating previously read items
- It enables navigating via the keyboard
As luck would have it, FeedDemon’s newspaper view offers these same benefits :)
Although the newspaper defaults to showing summaries, you can use the icons at the top right to toggle between full posts, summaries and headlines.
Personally, I like showing summaries because that enables me to quickly scan the first sentence or two of each item, but you can make the newspaper look more like the news item list by switching to headlines. Here’s the same feed showing only headlines:
Tip: If you choose to show only headlines, try increasing the number of items to display per page (Tools > Options > Reading).
And while the newspaper view defaults to showing only unread/flagged items, you can change the newspaper filter to display previously read items:
Last but not least, the newspaper view offers even better keyboard handling than the news item list. When the newspaper has the focus (Ctrl+B), the following shortcuts are enabled:
||Ctrl+ArrowUp or K
||Ctrl+ArrowDown or J
|Send item (email, blog, del.icio.us)
|Mark item read/unread
|Open item link
|Open item link in new tab
|Open item link in external browser
Tip: You can change these shortcuts by selecting Tools > Keyboard Shortcuts > Newspaper.
Now, I realize this post won’t win everyone over – some people will still prefer keeping the news item list visible. But do me a favor and try keeping it hidden for a couple days and see what you think. And if you feel bold, try using the "Next Page” button to mark everything on the current page as read and move to the next page. That way you can stop marking individual items as read and speed read your way through your unread items.
If it turns out you still prefer using the news item list, I’d be interested in hearing how I could change the newspaper view so that you no longer need it. It would really simplify FeedDemon if I could drop the news item list, but I won’t drop it until I’m confident that the newspaper view is a suitable replacement.