Up until recently I have been using Great News for all my RSS feed reading. The desktop client was plain in many regards but that did not really matter to me as it was fast and allowed me to browse news as fast as possible. I discovered QuiteRSS some time ago and made the switch, and the core reason for that was that the client received regular updates while Great News was virtually dead as it has not received a single update in more than two years.
QuiteRSS works surprisingly well out of the box and most users should not have any issues whatsoever with the client right after they have started using it.
There are a couple of things that can be improved however, and this guide is about those little things that improve your RSS feed reading further. Lets get started, shall we?
1. The browser
QuiteRSS opens articles that you click on in an internal browser by default. I prefer to open news in Firefox instead, my default browser. Not only do I trust Firefox more in regards to security. it is also a lot faster than QuiteRSS in this regard. Once you have made the change, articles that you click on get automatically opened in the selected web browser instead of in the QuiteRSS interface.
To make the change select Tools > Options or press F8, and switch to browser when the new window opens up.
Here you need to switch from "use embedded browser" to "use external browser" near the top. This loads articles in the default browser automatically. If you prefer to use a different browser instead, or a portable version, add it under external browser in the same window.
Links are opened in background by default. You can disable that behavior on the same page by unchecking "open links in external browser in background (experimental).
2. Update Feeds on Startup
QuiteRSS does not update feeds on startup by default. If you want the program to do that, you need to make another configuration change. Open Feeds in the options window and check the "automatically update the feeds on startup" preference there.
You may also want to check "automatically update the feeds every x minutes/hours" to avoid having to update feeds manually all the time. This is especially useful if you keep your RSS reader open all day long.
3. Marking news read
News are marked read by default when you select them in the interface, or when you click on one of the mark read buttons in the program's toolbars. I'm usually looking at titles only and not all news articles, which means that I have to click on the mark read button all the time to mark all news of a site as read.
To change that behavior and mark all news items of a group / site as read when you switch to another do the following:
4. Disable sounds and notifications
The notification system is set to play a sound when new news has been downloaded. While this may be useful to some, I find it annoying as I hear that sound multiple times in the hour. That's why I prefer to disable it. You can disable sounds under notifications in the options.
Here you can also change the notification settings. I once again do not need to get a notification when new news arrives, as I check the program interface regularly anyway. To disable notifications, uncheck the "display notification for incoming news" preference.
5. Keyboard shortcuts
It is never bad to know a couple of keyboard shortcuts that get you around in a program quicker and faster than any mouse actions can. Here are a couple of important shortcuts for QuiteRSS that you may want to add to your repertoire.
You find several other interesting shortcuts under Options > Keyboard Shortcuts. Many are not mapped yet. Examples are sharing options to Google+, Email, Twitter, all labels, Minimize to tray or star news.
You can change the font that is used to display the feed and news list in the program. This can be useful if you want a larger font, a different font, or simply different font colors.
You can change the settings under Options > Fonts & Colors.
QuiteRSS ships with a set of labels that you can use right away. You can however add your own labels as well, for instance to label different projects or research related information differently.
Each label consists of a name, icon, color and background text.
8. Clean up settings
The program runs clean up operations regularly and does a good job at that from what I can tell. You may however want to enable the database optimization option on shutdown to speed up the program. It may slow down shutdown though but if you notice slow downs in the application, you may want to enable it to see if it resolves your issues.
You find all clean up preferences under Options > Feeds > Clean Up. Here you need to enable "Enable DB optimization". Other clean up options of interest are:
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