Add Powerful News Feed Filters to Google Reader

greader.jpgGoogle Reader is a very nice online news reader, but it lacks some of the power user features you’ll find in its cousin Gmail. For instance, in Gmail it’s easy to create very powerful filters to control and organize the flow of incoming mail.

Google Reader doesn’t offer the same filtering goodness for incoming news — sure there’s tags/folders which help, but there’s no way to prioritize or exclude items within a feed.

Luckily the very powerful Google Reader Filter Greasemonkey script can fill the gap by providing simple, easy to use filtering options. Using the script, which works anywhere Greasemonkey does, you can highlight and gray out feed items based on whatever criteria you specify.

For instance, say you want to subscribe to the Compiler RSS feed, but you only want to see Michael’s posts. Just add our feed to Google Reader and then click on the the “Filter settings” button that the script inserts in the top right corner of the Reader window. Now add Michael’s name to the “highlights” portion of Google Reader Filter and my name to the “excludes” category.

Google Reader Filter won’t actually delete or remove the filtered posts, but the grayed out/highlighted feed items makes it easy to skip over the content you’re trying to avoid.

Perhaps the nicest part about Google Reader Filter is that it allows you to filter using regular expressions, which means your filters can be as complex and convoluted as you’d like.

Other possible filtering options for Google Reader (or any other news reader) include using services like Feed Rinse, which will remove the items you don’t want to see. Or you could use Yahoo Pipes to filter feeds before they get to Google Reader.

Hopefully at some point the Google Reader team will incorporate Gmail-like filtering capabilities into Reader, but in the mean time you’ll have to get by with a third-party option. If you have other suggestions for filtering RSS feeds be sure to let everyone in on your secrets in the comments below.

[via Google Operating System]

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