How to find and view RSS feeds in various browsers

by Robert Nagle on 12/19/2013

in Instructional

Strangely, it is getting difficult to view RSS feed information  from a web browser . A few years ago, you used to see syndication icons everywhere, but it never really caught on. As a blogger and regular reader of RSS feeds on feedly/Mr. Reader, the crucial detail I want to know is whether a website is syndicating the partial feed or the full feed. From the standpoint of a person checking feeds on my Feedreader in a place without wifi access, it is crucial that I only add full feeds to feedly instead of partial feeds. Partial feeds may serve a purpose, but for the most part they are useless to me. The methods described below don’t always tell you directly whether the feed is full or partial, but once you know how to view the feed in “raw” mode, it’s pretty easy to figure out.

As far as I know, only Safari and  the Chrome extension lets you view the raw feed.

Firefox

Firefox has 2 methods for detecting RSS methods. Either one works. The second method puts a shortcut on your toolbar for easy permanent access.

  • Right click anywhere on the web page and choose Page Info and then the Feeds tab. It will show all available RSS feeds (and sometimes more than one!)
  • View –> Toolbars –> Customize and then choose the icon for Subscribe/Feeds and drag it to your Firefox toolbar. (This assumes that the menu toolbar is already visible. If not, right- click on the top of the browser and make sure that Menu Bar is checked.)

Internet Explorer (IE)

Tools –> Feed Discovery –>(see if a feed exists). If it does, IE will display it and give you some queries and options for subscribing and filtering. (If you don’t see the Tools toolbar, right-click on the top toolbar and make sure Menu Bar is checked).

Chrome.

At the time of this writing, the best way to discover RSS feeds in Chrome is to install an extension called RSS Subscription Extension. After installing it, you will see an orange feed icon on the URL bar. Pressing it will reveal more information about the RSS feeds on that particular URL.  In Chrome  after you go to the “pretty” view of the RSS feed, you will see a link on the right side of the browser labeled simply “Feed.” If you press this, Chrome will show you the complete feed as XML source code. (i.e., the raw view).

Safari.

The URL toolbar at the top will display a small blue rectangle with the letters RSS whenever a RSS is detected at a URL. When you click on this button, the full feed will display within the browser, along with some tools for filtering.

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