inessential by Brent Simmons

Things you may not know about NetNewsWire 3.1 (part two: reading stuff)

More stuff you may not know about NetNewsWire (also see part one)...

Space bar

The easiest way to read your news is to hit the space bar—in fact, it’s the only key you need.

The space bar scrolls the current item. If there is no more to scroll, it goes to the next unread item. This way you can read all of your news with coffee cup in one hand, while the other taps the space bar.

Flag/unflag using the f key

Type the f key to flag an item. Type it again to unflag the item.

List of single-key shortcuts

You can see a list of single-key shortcuts by choosing Help > Keyboard Shortcuts. There are a bunch of them. (They’re not customizable yet, but that’s on the to-do list for the future.)

You can go back

If you want to go back to the previous news item, you can: type cmd-[. Or choose Go > Back. You can even add Forward and Back buttons (a la Safari) to the toolbar: choose View > Customize Toolbar.

Multiple selection

You can select multiple news items—and flag them or whatever. You can open their links all at once—just hit return or right arrow. (To open using the opposite of your prefs—to open in your external browser if you normally open in NetNewsWire—hold down the option key.)

There’s a limit (20, I think), so you won’t accidentally try to open 1000 items at once.

You can navigate using arrow keys

NetNewsWire is unique as far as I know in that you can navigate between the subscriptions list and headlines list using the arrow keys. When in subscriptions, use right arrow to go to the headlines list. When in the headlines list, use left arrow to go back to the subscriptions list.

Page-up/page-down works on description view

When the headlines list (in widescreen or traditional view) has focus, then the page-up/page-down keys scroll the description view up and down. (Just like Mail.)

Set font settings

You can change a bunch of font and color settings: open Preferences, then see the Colors and Fonts panes. (Note: some style sheets may over-ride font settings. Not all do, but some do.)

You can make text bigger/smaller

The make text bigger/smaller commands (see the View menu) work on the description view (as well as on web pages).

Widescreen users: how to save space

If you use the widescreen view, you can stack the headlines view: instead of multiple columns, the dateline appears below the title. Choose View > Layout > Show Datelines.

If you also want to see the first line of text, choose View > Layout > Show Summaries Below Title.

Show summaries in-line

Best when used with traditional view: View > Layout > Show Summaries In-line.

Find in the description view

If you want to find text in the description view, click on the view to give it focus (or navigate there using Tab), then type cmd-F. (It’s not cool like Safari’s find, I know, but it works. No need to make a feature request to make it cooler. ;)

Easy expand/collapse in Combined View

To collapse the current news item, hit the , key. To expand, hit the . key.

To collapse all, hit the ; key. To expand all, hit the ' key.

(Note: these same shortcuts work in the subscriptions list and Sites Drawer.)

Select text before post-to-weblog

If you want to quote part of a news item, select the text you want to quote in the description view, then choose News > Post to Weblog.

Change the look

If you use traditional or widescreen view, there’s a popup menu at the bottom-right of the window where you can choose a different style.

You can find more styles (beyond just what ships with the app) by going to the NetNewsWire Styles page.