RSSOwl Tips and Tricks

Drag and Drop in RSSOwl

RSSOwl is supporting Drag and Drop for various operations. After you got a feeling for it, RSSOwl is easier and faster to manage:

Drag Sources - Places where you can beginn dragging

Drop Targets - Places where you can drop the dragged item

Note: In most Drop Targets you can even drop Data from Applications outside RSSOwl into RSSOwl. For example, Firefox allows to drag Links. RSSOwl accepts the dragged Links from Firefox.


By default, automatic reloading of newsfeeds is disabled. That's because refreshing data for top-level categories that contain large numbers of subcategories, feeds, and subscriptions can be a lengthy process. To save time, you may wish to set automatic update intervals only for the feeds you use most often, reloading large subscriptions and other large collections only periodically. To set update intervals, right-click a newsfeed in RSS Favorites, choose Edit, and choose an interval in Auto Reload settings.

Quickly close Tabs in the TabFolder

The easiest way to have a Tab closed is a double-click on the Tab you want to have closed. Other close operations may be performed with having a key pressed while double-clicking:

Force a link to open in the external Browser

By default, links in RSSOwl will always open inside the internal Browser as a new Tab in the Tabfolder. For the link of a Newsitem, you can easily force to open it in the external Browser by holding "Ctrl", or "Cmd" on the Mac, pressed while clicking on the link. This applys to:

Note: If you want links to always open outside of RSSOwl, check the "Use external Browser" option in Preferences.

Obtaining newsfeeds from protected sources

If you use RSSOwl to access a password-protected newsfeed from a site that is protected with a username and password it opens a dialog for you to authenticate. After a successfull authentification the newsfeed is displayed.

If you don't want to enter username and password each time, simply check "Remember Username and Password" in the dialog.

Load a newsfeed on startup

There are several ways to have RSSOwl open newsfeeds on startup:

If you use a script to start RSSOwl, please edit it and add the parameter.

Howto make RSSOwl show the Windows XP skins

Please note that RSSOwl automatically trys to enable the WinXP skin for RSSOwl. If you use WindowsXP and the skin did not change, try the following:

In order for an application to show the Windows XP skins, there must be a manifest file located in the same place as the executable that launches the application (the executable will be java.exe or javaw.exe).

The name of the manifest file must match the name of the executable, for example javaw.exe.manifest.

Open the "rssowl.jar" with any compression tool, that supports the Java Archive format. Copy both manifest-files from the "usr" folder to the folder of the executing JVM (must be the same directory, where java.exe or javaw.exe is in).

Execute RSSOwl. The WindowsXP Look & Feel should now be displayed.

Howto specify a JVM to be used by rssowl.exe

To specify the Java Virtul Machine that should be used to execute RSSOwl, use the optional parameter "-vm=".

For example "rssowl -vm=C:/j2sdk_1_4_1". The exe will then look into the folder "bin" searching for the "javaw.exe".

Howto define the directory to be used for RSSOwl's profile

To specify the directory RSSOwl should use to store the profile, use:

"javaw -Duser.home=[Path to Dir] -Djava.library.path=. -jar rssowl.jar"

The [Path to Dir] must point to an existing directory.

On Windows using the rssowl.exe, please use the "-profile [Path to Dir]" parameter.

Howto hide RSSOwl's splashscreen from startp

To hide the splashscreen that RSSOwl is showing on startup, use:

"javaw -Dnet.sourceforge.rssowl.noSplash -Djava.library.path=. -jar rssowl.jar"

On Windows using the rssowl.exe, please use the "-showSplash false" parameter.

How to use the context-menus on Mac

Normally the only way to open the various context-menus in RSSOwl is with using the right mouse-button. As the Mac mouse has only one button, please hold the Ctrl-Key pressed while clicking with the mouse-button and the desired context-menu will open.

(c) 2003-2008 RSSOwl Development Team [+]