RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” or “Rich Site Summary.” It’s a document specification that allows you to easily collect and organize web-based news and information from websites in a standardized format commonly called a feed, which is like a bookmark that actively updates itself.
You can subscribe to RSS feeds using a tool called an RSS feed reader. There are many free feed readers available out there that allow you to follow your favorite websites without having to visit each one separately. We have previously published an article explaining what RSS is and how you can benefit from it.
If you already use Microsoft Outlook for your email, you can also use it to subscribe to RSS feeds. We will explain how to add a new RSS feed to Outlook using the How-To Geek RSS feed as an example. To get the URL for the HTG RSS feed, move your mouse over SUBSCRIBE on the menu bar of our site (seen below) and click on an RSS feed on the far right in the RSS section of the drop-down box. Later, you will need the URL for the selected RSS feed page.
In Outlook, click the FILE tab.
On the Account Information screen, click Account Settings and select Account Settings from the drop-down menu.
On the Account Settings dialog box, click the RSS Feeds tab and click New.
NOTE: You can also right-click on the RSS Feeds folder on the left and select Add a New RSS Feed from the popup menu.
Go back to your browser and copy the URL from the address box for the RSS feed page that you opened. Paste the URL into the edit box on the New RSS Feed dialog box and click Add.
The RSS Feed Options dialog box displays. Change whatever options you want to change and click OK.
The RSS feed is added to the list of feeds and says “<pending>” because it hasn’t yet been updated. Click Close to close the Account Settings dialog box.
The How-To Geek RSS feed is now listed under the RSS Feeds folder on the left. Click on it to update it and display the content.
The articles from the RSS feed are displayed in the middle pane. Click on an article to display it in the right pane.
When you select an RSS feed, the RSS section of the Home tab is available with additional options. You can Download Content for currently selected article, such as attachments, enclosures, or the full content. Click Share This Feed to send a link to the selected RSS feed to someone else via email. You can also read the selected article in the RSS feed in your default browser using the View Article option.
If you decide you don’t want to follow one of your RSS feeds anymore, you can delete it. To do so, right-click on the feed and select Delete Folder from the popup menu.
A confirmation dialog box displays to make sure you want to delete the RSS feed. Click Yes if you’re sure.
NOTE: Deleting an RSS feed this way also deletes all articles downloaded from the feed source.
To remove an RSS feed and keep the articles you’ve already downloaded, go back to the Account Settings dialog box, as described earlier. Click the RSS Feeds tab, select the RSS feed you want to delete from the list and click Remove.
A confirmation dialog box displays to make sure you want to delete the RSS feed. Click Yes to delete the feed.
You can also add RSS feeds to Outlook using the Common Feed List and import RSS feeds from Google Reader into Outlook.
NOTE: Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013, so, if you have used it and have data you want to download from your account, you can use Google Takeout, which allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 06/4/13