This tutorial shows how to use a spreadsheet in Google Docs as an RSS Feed reader. You can fetch RSS news feeds from different sources into one spreadsheet – much like a simpler version of Feedly – and then publish your feeds as a public web page. No coding required.
Before we get started, let’s look at a real example. Here’s a live Google spreadsheet that aggregates news feeds from some top technology blogs. As new items are added on the sites, they will automatically show up in the embedded page.
ImportFeed – Fetch RSS Feeds in Google Drive
Here are the complete step involved for putting RSS feeds into Google Docs. We are using a single RSS feed in the following example but your spreadsheet can have dozens of RSS feeds.
- Open a new Google spreadsheet and type the RSS feed URL in cell A1.
- In cell A2, type =ImportFeed(A1, “items title”, FALSE, 10) – This formula will fill column A with the titles of the latest 10 stories in that feed. Make sure that the second parameter – items title – is in lower case.
- In cell B2, type =ImportFeed(A1, “items url”, FALSE, 10) – This will fill column B with the URL (permalink) of the corresponding stories in column A.
- In cell C2, type =HyperLink(B2, A2) – This will combine the title and URL to make a clickable hyperlink in the spreadsheet.
- Copy the same formula that you entered into Cell C2 into cells C3 until C11.
Embed RSS Feeds into Web Pages with Google Docs
Since we are using a regular spreadsheet, you can change the fonts, colors and other formatting. To embed the feed in web page, go to to Publish – > More publishing options in the Google Spreadsheets menu, select C2:C13 as the range and get the HTML embed code.
Google Docs will automatically refresh content when the underlying RSS feeds are changed. Here’s a quick video walkthrough: