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More on the ‘feed’ URL bug

Surfin’ Safari: “The feed URL dialog that tells you 10.4 must be installed to view RSS feeds is simply a bug and not part of a master plan for global domination.”

We assumed as much, but it’s nice to hear it confirmed. The question is: will there be an update for Panther users? (A few other Safari and WebKit bugs have been noted in the 10.3.9 update.)

Despite the bugs, the update has some cool new features. Our favorite may simply be the better performance.

Gundam NetNewsWire Theme “Continuing in my long line of creating Gundam themes for Mac OS X programs comes a Gundam view style for NetNewsWire.”

Safari 1.3 and feed URIs

Tim’s Bandwagon reports on how ‘feed’ URIs apparently don’t work in Safari 1.3, which came with the recent OS X update to 10.3.9. (We haven’t checked this out ourselves yet, but we’ve seen a number of reports.)

URL Manager Pro 3.4.2 released

MacMinute: “URL Manager Pro allows users to store, manage, and organize bookmarks independently of their browser. Version 3.4.2 adds support for NetNewsWire, the RSS news reader.”

NetNewsWire full and Lite 2.0b41: bug fixes

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0b41 brings NetNewsWire 2.0 even closer to shipping. This release fixes a bunch of bugs—see the change notes for details.

You can download this release from the NetNewsWire betas page.

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b41 has been posted too. Here are the change notes for the Lite version. (It’s also available from the betas page.)

(NetNewsWire 2.0 costs $24.95; NetNewsWire Lite is freeware.)

Mail-like style for NetNewsWire

decaffeinated: “The sheet itself was for NetNewsWire; on a whim I’d decided to whip up a style to make feed items resemble email messages a la Apple Mail, and I liked what I saw.”

Speeding up Safari [and NetNewsWire]

Scott Laird: “I spent a few minutes cleaning out the cookie jar, and—amazingly enough—Safari’s a lot faster. I haven’t seen the beachball of death since I cleaned up the cookies; before I was seeing it every minute or so.”

Update: To be clear, the reason for pointing to this article is that cleaning up your Safari cookies can help NetNewsWire performance. NetNewsWire uses WebKit (the Safari engine) under the hood, which means it shares cookies with Safari.

Expand, collapse keyboard shortcuts

These handy shortcuts work in both the subscriptions outline and in the Sites Drawer:

, - collapse, or collapse-to-parent
. - expand
; - collapse all
' - expand all

Note that these keys are right next to each other and that on laptops they’re close to the arrow keys.

For more keyboard shortcuts like this, choose Help > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Make Need-to-Read Blogs Even Easier to Find - Mac Skeptic: “Though NetNewsWire’s interface looks more like that of an e-mail application than a Web browser, it’s easy to get used to its look and start browsing through feeds and news items... If, like me, you have a lot of subscriptions in Bloglines, you can set NetNewsWire 2.0 to monitor these as well.”

Delete the SearchIndex file

If you’re using NetNewsWire 2.0b37, and you used earlier betas, then you can delete the SearchIndex file.

It’s probably taking up a few megabytes of space on your hard drive. (Possibly quite a few megabytes.)

Here’s what to do:

1. Make a backup of your NetNewsWire prefs and data. (It’s always a good idea to make backups.) For more about making backups, open the Help book, click on “Contents,” then click on “Backing up your data.”

2. Delete the file at ~/Library/Application Support/NetNewsWire/SearchIndex

This file is no longer used (as of 2.0b37) so it’s safe to delete.

Keyboard shortcut for searching

To put the cursor in the search field in the toolbar, type cmd-opt-F. (If the search field is visible in the toolbar.)

Then to move focus back to the headlines table, type the Tab key.


Coalmarch Productions: “This script [for NetNewsWire] allows you to subscribe to any number of mailboxes in Its main use is for dropping new unread messages from subscribed news groups (yahoo/apple, etc.) so I don’t have to switch to Mail when I want to be goofing off and reading news.”

Keyboard shortcuts tip

You can set keyboard shortcuts for scripts—and even change the builtin NetNewsWire shortcuts. Here’s what to do:

1. Open System Preferences.

2. Click the Keyboard & Mouse icon.

3. Click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.

4. Click the + button.

5. In the sheet that opens up, choose NetNewsWire from the Application popup menu. Type the name of the menu item in Menu Title, then type the shortcut you want in Keyboard Shortcut. Click the Add button.

6. Restart NetNewsWire for the change to take effect.

Dock menu tip

If you choose a news item from NetNewsWire’s dock menu, and hold down the option key, you will jump to NetNewsWire’s view of the news item rather than opening the page in the browser.

Celsius1414: mini-monitor

Robert Daeley: “I set up a simple shell script to ask Mail and NetNewsWire for their current unread counts, then I display it in a tiny GeekTool window.”

Embedded browser changes

More details about the embedded browser changes in 2.0b37 was posted to

NetNewsWire full and Lite 2.0b37: tag subscriptions, syncing, performance, more

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0b37 is the “almost-there” release. It includes some new features—tag subscriptions, syncing, per-feed enclosures (and podcasts) settings—and fixes lots of bugs and increases performance.

Read the change notes for more details. You can download it from the NetNewsWire betas page.

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b37 has also been posted. Here are the change notes for the Lite version. (It’s also available from the betas page.)

(NetNewsWire 2.0 costs $24.95; NetNewsWire Lite is freeware.)

NetNewsWire 2.0 browser tabs screenshotAmong the many changes in this beta is an updated look for the browser tabs. (Click the thumbnail for a larger screen shot.) Also note the new Feed button in the lower-right corner: it appears when a page you’re viewing has a feed. Just click to subscribe.

Open unread items in OmniWeb

waffle: Here’s a “simple AppleScript to open all the unread items in the current subscription as tabs in a new window in OmniWeb.”

Battlestar Galactica podcast

With tonight being the season finale of Battlestar Galactica, don’t forget to check out Ron Moore’s commentary via the Battlestar Galactica podcast.

You can also subscribe to the Battlestar Galactica Blog’s RSS feed.

Pricing clarification

This is just to clear up some confusion about pricing that people have...

NetNewsWire 2.0 (in beta at the time of this writing) is $24.95. Once it ships, it will still be $24.95—this is its normal price.

MarsEdit is a separate product: it also costs $24.95.

You can buy NetNewsWire and MarsEdit together for $39.95, which saves about $10.

To be clear:

NetNewsWire 2.0..............$24.95
MarsEdit 1.0.................$24.95
NetNewsWire/MarsEdit bundle..$39.95

(NetNewsWire 1.0.8, which is still for sale for now, costs $39.95. I think that’s where the confusion comes from. The older version of NetNewsWire costs more because it includes a weblog editor as well as the aggregator.)

If you have any questions about pricing, please send email to

How to find a subscription in the subscriptions list

To find a particular subscription in the subscriptions list, here’s what to do:

1. Click anywhere in the subscriptions list.

2. Type cmd-F to bring up the Find panel.

3. Type part of the name of the subscription you want to find.

4. Hit return.

This will select the first matching subscription. (NetNewsWire will expand groups as needed.) Hit return again to go to the next matching subscription, if the first one wasn’t the one you were looking for. Continue until you find it.

The search is not case-sensitive, so “mac” will match “MaC” and so on.

NetNewsWire 2.0 to AppleScript

Daytime Running Lights: “this Apple Script lets you post to from NetNewsWire - from the browser pane, not the subscriptions!”

How to get the URL of the current tab

Here’s a short AppleScript script which gets the URL of the current tab. If the current tab is the News Items tab, then the URL is just an empty string.

tell application "NetNewsWire"
	set urlsList to URLs of tabs
	set ixCurrentTab to index of selected tab
	item (ixCurrentTab + 1) of urlsList
end tell

How to subscribe to multiple gmail accounts

A generous NetNewsWire user sent us this tip:

For your first account use

For second and subsequent accounts use or some other name=value pair.

The name=value pair can be pretty much anything. Be sure to include the ? after atom.

You will be prompted by NetNewsWire when you initially subscribe to each gmail account feed.


Mark Allerton: “FeedShuffle is a program that can be run as a ‘Special Subscription’ in NetNewsWire 2.0. It will generate an RSS feed containing a random selection of items from all of your other NetNewsWire subscriptions.”

Tip: How to find a feed in the Sites Drawer

You can search for feeds by name in the Sites Drawer. Here’s how:

1. Open the Sites Drawer if it’s not open already: choose View > Show Sites Drawer.

2. Click on a group or feed in the Sites Drawer.

3. Type cmd-F to bring up the Find panel.

4. Type something you want to search for—cnn, for instance—to find the first feed with a name that contain what you typed. The searching is case-insensitive, so cnn matches CNN.

5. Click Next to find the next feed.

P.S. This same thing works in the Subscriptions list.

Tip: How to open tabs in the background

You can tell NetNewsWire to open tabs in the background. Here’s how:

1. Open the Preferences window—choose NetNewsWire > Preferences...

2. Click on the Browsing icon.

3. Uncheck the box next to Select new tabs as they are created. (This is the same wording Safari uses, by the way.)

Now when you open a page in a tab, NetNewsWire won’t select the tab. Many people like to read through their news, opening tabs as they go, and then go through the tabs that they opened.

Tip: How to cancel refreshing

When NetNewsWire is downloading feeds, and you want to cancel downloading—type cmd-period.

Another way to cancel the refresh session is to open the Activity Window—which you can do by clicking on the progress indicator in the bottom left of the main window—and click the Cancel All button. You can also cancel individual feed refreshes in the Activity Window.

Tip: How to see all the latest items at once

NetNewsWire has a special, built-in subscription that includes all the unread items. New items screenshot

It’s kind of like a super-group in that it shows news items from anywhere in NetNewsWire.

Choose View > Show New Items Subscription to show it. It will appear at the top of your subscriptions list, with a green globe icon.

Tip: Use the Help Book

NetNewsWire comes with an extensive Help book. Choose Help > NetNewsWire Help to open it.

The Help book is also searchable. Type a question (or a keyword or two) into the search field at the top of the window and hit return.

If you need to find something, the Help book is the first place to look.

Podcast Shuffle

Manton Reece: “Podcast Shuffle is an RSS feed with randomly selected podcasts. Each item is a direct link to the most recent enclosure for a particular show.”

Managing Podcasts with AppleScript “In my last entry on the subject of podcasts, I mentioned that I was planning on writing an AppleScript to help me manage the podcasts to which I subscribe. That AppleScript—my first—is now complete.”

Inside Ranchero with Brent and Sheila Simmons

The DrunkenBlog interview on NetNewsWire, MarsEdit, Apple’s dark years, frisbees, user interface, and coffee.


Nick Matsakis: “PodcastBuddy is an appscript that uses NetNewsWire 2, iTunes, and the Notes Reader on iPods to create iPod Notes for Podcast feeds. PodcastBuddy creates a note on your iPod for each podcast feed in NetNewsWire which has unheard programs.”

Import Linked MP3s into iTunes script This AppleScript script “will download all links from the currently selected item in NetNewsWire that end in .mp3, import them into iTunes, then trash them.”

Custom feed refreshing in NetNewsWire

43 Folders: What if you want “to further minimize distractions from time sink ‘fun’ sites? Easy.”

NetNewsWire Aqua Package

Bartelme Design: “Because of the fact that the graphit package for the famous RSS reader NetNewsWire was quite popular, I decided to extend the package with some nice aqua stylsheets. Don’t hesitate to download the whole package and skin the whole app either in aqua or graphit style.”

CMH Graphite Style for NetNewsWire

Christopher Harrington created a new style for NetNewsWire.

NetNewsWire 2.0b25: bug fixes for Bloglines

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0b25 fixes a few bugs—most importantly, it fixes a crashing bug that some people using the Bloglines subscriptions feature were running into.

See the change notes for more details.

NetNewsWire 2.0b25 can be downloaded from the NetNewsWire Betas page.

How to Create an ‘App of the Year’

Daring Fireball: “Making an app scriptable isn’t just a check-off feature—it’s about allowing users to check-off their own individual customized features.”

Graphit Style for NetNewsWire

Bartelme Design’s graphite style includes not just a style sheet but alternative application icons.

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b23: description update bug fix

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b23 has one small but important bug fix—a bug was fixed where the description pane could stop updating in certain circumstances.

Otherwise it’s the same as 2.0b22. If you’re already using 2.0b22, we recommend updating, since this is an important bug fix.

NetNewsWire Lite can be downloaded from the NetNewsWire Betas page.

The Lite version is free. (The full version of NetNewsWire 2.0 costs $24.95.)

Serialized eBooks via RSS

Russell Beattie: “Many of us are too busy to read classic books out there, instead choosing ‘page turners’ or books that are more applicable to our every day lives (like a some new marketing book). But we do have time to zip through our aggregator daily, right? So by taking a 500 page novel and distributing it, a few pages at a time, via RSS, we could read a new book in a month or so without even trying.”


Michael Conrad Tadpol Tilstra: “This script is for NetNewsWire. This will, more or less, turn any web page into a new feed. When ran, it checks to see if the page has changed. If it has, it makes a new feed entry with the page.”

CNN RSS feeds

CNN now has RSS feeds. (Via ongoing.)

RSS Market Share

The FeedBurner folks report on the current state of RSS market share: “Of the feeds that we currently manage, in aggregate, RSS circulation is growing by about 1% every weekday.”

Technorati cosmos within NetNewsWire

Niall Kennedy: “I wrote an AppleScript for NetNewsWire that allows a user to subscribe to the Technorati cosmos for any individual item within NetNewsWire.”

Attention.xml export for NetNewsWire

Niall Kennedy: “I wrote an AppleScript that exports all of your NetNewsWire subscribed feeds and followed items within the feed to the Attention.xml format. The output can be saved locally or stored on Technorati’s servers if you have created a Technorati account.”

Interview with Brent Simmons

Jeff Harrell interviewed Brent Simmons about NetNewsWire, MarsEdit, syndication, and Macworld Expo rumors.

VoodooPad + GTD + Applescript -> NetNewsWire

Leland Johnson wrote a script that pulls tasks at random from VoodooPad and lists them in NetNewsWire—as a kind of tickler, a way of reminding him of things on his to-do list.

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