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Help with RSS

What is RSS?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an easy way for you to keep up with your favorite news and information sources without spending time repeatedly browsing or searching for new information. RSS delivers the content you want (a "Feed") directly to you.

If you click an RSS link, you may see XML (eXtensible Markup Lanuage) code in your browser. With most browsers, this is expected.

How Can I Get RSS Feeds?

You can get RSS feeds in two ways:

RSS News Readers

What are RSS Readers?

RSS news readers are small software programs or Web applications that aggregate RSS feeds and display the information. They allow you to scan headlines from hundreds of news sources in a central location.

Where Do I Get an RSS Reader?

A wide range of RSS readers can be easily downloaded from the Web. Some readers are Web-based and others require you to download a small software program onto your desktop. Most are free.

Searching for "RSS readers" will result in a variety of RSS readers to install.

How Do I Use the RSS Feed?

Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed (also called a "channel"). In most cases, here's how it works:

  • Open the RSS feed you want to join in a browser window
  • From your browser, copy the URL that appears in your address bar of the browser
  • Paste that URL into the 'Add New Channel' section of the reader.

You should be all set! The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.

Browser-based Web Feeds

Some browsers—Internet Explorer 7, Firefox®, and Safari™—allow you to access RSS feeds within your browser. Firefox®, for example, lets you add an RSS feed to your bookmarks or the toolbar using Live Bookmarks. To access the feed, just click the RSS icon, and links to all of the latest information will appear.

To add a Live Bookmark to Firefox®, select the RSS link (marked by ).

Current as of May 2008

Internet Citation:

Help with RSS. May 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care