Nifty new RSS options in Outlook 2013

Microsoft Outlook has had a RSS Reader built into it for some time.  A lot of folks opt for a more fancy Reader for their RSS news, but I’ve always maintained that Outlook is simple enough to use, and if you spend the majority of your day working in Microsoft Outlook like I do, it’s a perfect Reader.  The RSS Reader, however, hasn’t changed much over the years, and while the function of the Reader hasn’t changed much in Outlook 2013, there’s a few nifty new options that I stumbled on recently.  Each new option is available by right-clicking on a downloaded RSS article.

New Reader options


1 – Share This Feed

The first new option shown in the graphic above is the ability to Share a single feed.  In the past, if you wanted to share a feed, you had to go through a long process of choosing the feeds to share and exporting them into an OPML file.  Now, with Outlook 2013, you have the ability to share a single feed by right-clicking on the RSS article and choosing the option.  When you do this, an email is created so you can address it and send the feed through your email system.

Email feed

The recipient receives something that looks like the following, and at the top is a clickable component that when activated adds the feed directly into Microsoft Outlook 2013.

Received email


2 – Download Content

The Download Content option does exactly what the action implies, it allows you to download the entire article represented by the RSS feed content.  If you’ve used an RSS Reader much, you know that some web sites are configured to download only the article title, a brief abstract, and a link to go read the rest.  The Download Content option saves a lot of time by pulling down the entire article to read within Microsoft Outlook.  NOTE: Not all web sites look good in the Reader pane in Outlook 2013, but you’ll at least be able to read through the entire text.


3 – OneNote

OneNote is becoming my mainstay for notes and content.  I recently switched to using OneNote from Evernote.  Evernote is great, but OneNote is better.  I’m surprised how many people don’t realize that, and also don’t realize what a powerful tool is available as part of their Office package.  For those that have used OneNote for years, OneNote 2013 has been hugely improved, and works great across all Windows devices (Surface RT, Surface Pro, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8).

Outlook 2013 includes a OneNote option for the RSS Reader that gives you the ability to quickly shove RSS content directly into OneNote.  This is great since OneNote syncs across all Windows device you own.  When you shut down your primary PC for the day, you can still pick up your Windows Phone or Microsoft Surface and read the things you didn’t have time for during a busy day.

When you choose the OneNote option in Outlook 2013’s RSS Reader a OneNote window opens, allowing you to choose the notebook to store the RSS content.

OneNote Notebook

And, once you’ve saved the content to OneNote, the stored information looks great!

Saved RSS Content

If you saved just the RSS content, you’ll get just the information you see in the Reader, i.e., abstract and link.  But, if you chose to download the entire article, the whole thing will be saved to OneNote as a .htm file.


These are just some of the great new features in Outlook 2013, but I’m glad to see Microsoft has put some effort into improving the RSS Reader after so long.


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