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How to Use RSS in DEVONthink

October 5, 2022 — Jim Neumann
Screenshot showing the RSS preferences in DEVONthink.

There is a flood of information and news available to us every day, making it hard to stay up to date. With so many sites to browse, it’s easy to miss some in the process. RSS is a convenient way to get articles from websites delivered in an organized and clearly presented way, if the websites provide this option. DEVONthink supports RSS and can be used as a reader. Here’s how that works.

To add an RSS feed, get the feed URL from the supporting site. Look for an RSS logo or a Subscribe link. In the desired database, select Data > New > Feed , paste the URL, and press Add. The feed will be added and the name should be automatically detected.

To fine-tune RSS behavior, open DEVONthink’s Preferences > RSS. Here you can set:

  • How often DEVONthink checks for new articles. Optionally, you can force a refresh by Control-clicking the feed and choosing Refresh Feed.
  • Whether to convert hashtags or an article’s categories to tags. Be cautious of this setting as is can easily create many tags.
  • Whether and how often DEVONthink should remove old articles.
  • What format the feed should come in as. Automatic is the default option, showing the headline and a small excerpt. Other formats download the article as the selected format, e.g., as a PDF. This can use our clutter-free option, if desired.
  • Choose a stylesheet to control how DEVONthink shows articles retrieved with the Automatic option.

Also, you can set the Format for a selected feed in the Tools > Inspectors > Info > Generic inspector. This will cause future articles to be downloaded in the selected format.

One thing to be aware of: feeds are special groups and articles are not editable in their feed group. If you move an article out of its feed group, you can’t move it back. Also, you can’t edit an article in its feed group, so if you want to highlight one, e.g., a PDF, move or copy it out of the feed group first.

And lastly, at this time DEVONthink To Go can display feeds and articles but doesn’t yet refresh the feeds.