How to Quickly and Easily Add an RSS Feed to Safari

Safari makes it rather simple to tell. Load any website, and look in the upper right corner of Safari’s URL bar. If the site supports RSS, you will see a small blue rectangular icon that has white letters spelling out RSS. This means the site is offering what is called an RSS feed.

Safari RSS URL Bar

Viewing an RSS feed

If you click on the blue RSS icon, Safari will load the RSS feed. The page you now see, in general, is a slimmed down version of the main website. In most cases, it is sans nearly all graphics, and in plain text. This is just the RSS view mode of Safari. Since we have not saved any RSS feeds, the view has no real benefits other than being a more simple view.

Safari RSS Preview Page

Some RSS feeds contain full posts. Others, like ours, contain only a summary. The length of the data in the RSS feed is determined by the website creator. There are ways to see less data in your feeds, however, if the site owner decides to only show summaries, that is something beyond your control.

Now that you know how to view an RSS feed, let’s start to learn how to use it as a notification system. If you follow along to the end, you should get to a point where your top day to day sites are all part of an RSS system; and you know just which ones have been updated. You can then ignore the rest, since nothing has changed.

Setting Safari to show you unread RSS feeds

There are a few ways to manage RSS feeds in Safari; I am going to show you the way I feel is most accessible to new users.

Step one is to create a new folder on your bookmarks bar. The easiest way to do this is to control-click on the bookmarks bar and select the “New Folder” option. You will be asked to give it a name, I chose RSS. It will be placed at the beginning of your bookmarks bar. I moved mine to the end, but feel free to put yours wherever you want.

Now that you have an empty bookmarks bar folder called RSS, we need to put some items in it.  A good place to start is with this site. Click on the blue RSS icon in the URL bar, and you will see the slimmed down RSS version of our site. You should also see the URL change to “feed://”. To the left of the URL, right to the left of the “f” in “feed” is an icon. Not all icons on every site will be the same. Drag that icon into the RSS bookmark bar folder. You will be asked to give it a name; in this case, keeping the default of OS X Help should be fine.

Add blogs you’re interested in and you should now see a list in your RSS bookmarks bar menu of the blogs you’ve subscribed to

Safari RSS bookmarklet menu item

The video below walks through the steps of adding RSS feeds in Safari on Mac OS X.




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