2 Effective Ways to Browse Through Google Reader Feeds

Ann Smarty 18-04-2011

Google Reader is yet another reason to love Google: it’s free, offers unlimited features and is very flexible. It also has a very powerful search platform that makes it easy to explore your feed archives. I rely on Google Reader to monitor all my blog subscriptions, track my online reputation, store my personal Twitter updates as well as Twitter search archives, and more.


Using Google Reader daily, you may have dozens (or maybe even hundreds) of feeds on your list – and browsing through them daily or weekly can take plenty of time. This post aims at making that procedure faster, which will hopefully increase your productivity and let you spend more time actually reading.

1. Built-in Keyboard Shortcuts

Google Reader supports quite a few keyboard shortcuts that make browsing through your daily feeds really fast and enjoyable. Keyboard shortcuts save time by helping you quickly explore your reading list without moving your hand back and forth between your keyboard and mouse.

When it comes to Google Reader keyboard shortcuts, there are probably too many of them for anyone to be able to find their way around them. I have compiled the most useful Reader keyboard shortcuts I am aware of in a handy table which will, hopefully, make it easier to memorize them:

Action Type Keyboard Shortcut Action
Search / Add focus to the search box (to start typing the search query)
Tab Activate feed filter for search
Down / Up arrows Select the feed type or folder to restrict your search
Enter Start searching
Browse the feed items j Select the top item in the list
j / k Go to the next / previous item in the list
Enter Go back to the list
v Go to the actual page (outside Google Reader)
g t Go to tag
g u Go to subscription
g s Go to starred items
g a Go to the “All items” view
g SHIFT+t Go to the “Trends” view
g d Show the recommendations page, or the browse page if there are no recommendations
s Star item
Change the interface 1 / 2 Alternate between the expanded / list view (respectively)
u Toggle left sidebar
f Toggle full screen mode

2. Mouse Actions

If you prefer using your mouse over your keyboard, here’s a great way to supercharge your Google Reader with additional mouse actions. Google Reader – Read by Mouse: This userscript has already been mentioned in our round-up of the best Google Reader tools.

The script adds the ability to browse through items in a feed using your mouse:

  • Left mouse button jumps to the next item in the feed;
  • Right mouse button jumps to the previous item in the feed.

You can toggle the mouse-only mode using the button at the bottom of your screen (or CTRL+z keyboard shortcut):

browse google reader

Additionally, you can select the action for the mouse middle button:

  • Open items in tabs;
  • Share item;
  • Start item;
  • Add a tag:

browse google reader


Which tricks are you using to browse Google Reader feeds? Do you think the tips listed above can be any help? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Related topics: FeedReader, Google Reader.

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  2. Anonymous
    April 20, 2011 at 2:38 am

    I use Flipboard on iPad to discover articles and twitter updates I'd like to read. The beautiful magazine interface without the pressure inducing read count (which goes into the hundreds for me) means I read Google Reader only when I truly have the time and mindset to reflect.

    • Ann Smarty
      April 20, 2011 at 6:11 am

      Yes, Flipboard is cool and it also synchronizes with Google Reader as well!

  3. Jimbo
    April 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    dup items? Google Reader Filter Greasemonkey script is *essential*

    • Ann Smarty
      April 20, 2011 at 6:10 am

      Yes! I have mentioned the script in another Google Reader tool review. Thanks for your comment!

  4. brian
    April 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I've been using Reader for a while and I've never noticed any bugs. Works perfectly for me. I love it. Great tips on this article!

  5. Reader user
    April 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I use Reader a lot. Unfortunately it is full of bugs and they don't seem to care.
    Just today it showed a message that said new version - but nothing changed.
    2 of the most annoying problems -
    1. If a feed has a lot of items each day, Reader will show the same items several times, they don't seem able to tell that these items were shown already.
    2. The search doesn't work properly, which is ironic for Google - no way to say search title only, search does not find items that it should, no spelling fixes, going back after search shows new items mixed with search results.
    And more.
    They should at least fix the bugs.

    • Ann Smarty
      April 20, 2011 at 6:20 am

      Yes, GR is not perfect. It is still great though! And I do hope they will fix the bugs! I too find the search option fail to find obvious results sometimes!

  6. Morean
    April 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

    thanks a lot

  7. Paul Ballardin
    April 19, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I personally use Google Reader to aggregate my feeds, but I consume my feeds on my PC, Tablet and phone using Feedly which absolutely rocks my world!

    • Hammy Havoc
      April 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Similar situation here. I was using it in conjunction with NetNewsWire, but today I've started toying with the Reeder Mac beta. Love how everything is synced and that I never miss anything.

  8. Gilberto J Perera
    April 19, 2011 at 2:48 am

    I personally like using the PostRank extension for Google Chrome that helps determine which articles in Google Reader are relevant based on interactions on the web. When you subscribe to hundreds of feeds it does make it real easy to navigate to the information that is most important.