3 Ways To View Full RSS Feeds In Google Reader

google reader full feed
I’m a big fan of RSS, let it be known. While some people are spouting rubbish about the days of feeds being over, devices that use and display these feeds in convenient ways are definitely giving RSS feeds a healthy comeback. For me, the idea of actually visiting the same website over and over in order to read the content is rather tedious – the idea that I have to bookmark each site and then click the bookmark to go and see what’s changed! If you ask me, bookmarks are dead, not RSS feeds.

However, one problem I do constantly run into is sites that display an excerpt in the feed instead of the full content – even more frustrating if it’s a site that ONLY posts pictures – requiring you to click through to the slow-loading full site in order to view the picture. (Just so you know, MakeUseOf and the Geeky Fun section all produce full feeds for you to browse at your Google Reader leisure)

Well, no problem. Today I’m going to show you 3 ways in which you grab the full feed from the partial feed – one website that could be used with any feed reader service or browser – one browser extension for Chrome and one for Firefox. If you’re using Internet Explorer, then stop it. It’s not a good browser by any standards, it’s the most insecure and the bane of every web developer with incompatible standards. Download Chrome or Firefoxnow.


We have introduced this in the directory before (as well as FiveFilter and WizardRSS), but this particularly site wins awards from me for the simplest and most beautiful interface. Open the site, paste in the feed URL of the crippled RSS and click submit. You can try with this fascinating UK news feed from the BBC if you like: http://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/uk/rss.xml

When the site comes back with the full feed – it’s quite speedy too – you can see a quick preview to make sure all is working well. then simply copy the URL it gives you above, and subscribe to that instead. If only everything on the internet was this simple, and worked so well.

Chrome: Super Google Reader:

Grab the extension from here and install.

Now, if you open Google Reader as normal, you should see a new Readable, Link and Feed tabs above each post. Feed is the default view which might only show you partial content for certain feeds. In this case, click on Link to be shown the actual page in context, including any banner ads or sidebar from the site in question – or click Readable to let the plugin have a shot at grabbing content intelligently.

During tests, I found that not all pictures were pulled in if it was a mixed text/media based article, but in general worked just fine – especially for sites that previously only allowed pictures to be shown when clicking through.
Firefox: (not v.4)

Firefox requires a little more work I’m afraid, but it is possible. Unfortunately, this method will only allow to use the iFrame tactic of loading the article from the actual site inside of Reader, rather than extracting the content – and it doesn’t work in Firefox 4 according to my tests.

First up, you need to install GreaseMonkey extension that allows you to run user-submitted scripts, then install both this and this script. Now when you open Google Reader in Firefox, you’ll be able to enable full entry content on a folder or feed basis.

If you love feeds as much as I do and regularly read through the news on your iPad or similar device, your best bet is to go through your feeds and replace them all with afulltextrssfeed.com equivalent. The Chrome extension is nice, but given that most of my feed reading is done away from the PC it would be more effective to just change the URLs.

If you know of a similar or better solution for Firefox – or even Opera as I know a few readers hate it when I forget that browser – do post your suggestions in the comments. Thanks!

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