Friday, October 16, 2009

Turn RSS Feeds Into Printable Email PDF Newsletters With Tabbloid

I am a big fan of RSS but I know of many people who live inside their email inbox and refuse to come out.  Some people prefer the simplicity of email and some just don't want t0 come out of their comfort zone.   Which is fine.  As I always say, the world would be a very boring place if we were all the same.  Nevertheless, not using RSS means you are constantly checking countless sites for updates one at a time and that is a lot of time which could be used someplace else for something else.

There's an option to have RSS feeds converted into printable PDF newsletters (which can then be emailed to you) and the service is called Tabbloid.   The only slight drawback to this service is that the recipient has to, at least, have a basic understanding of what a RSS feed is (so they can enter it into the right boxes).   But assuming they know what a RSS feed is when they look at one, they can set up Tabbloid to have website updates emailed to them as a very neat and tidy PDF newsletter which they can then read at their leisure and pleasure (and print out if they want).   Or a RSS-knowledgeable person could set it up for them.

You could also use this service to start collecting blog posts in PDF format as a kind of archive.   Have them emailed to you and then archive them for posterity.  There's quite a few possibilities to this service.

Getting it set up is a cinch - and you don't even need to set up an account!

1.  Add the RSS feed

When you click to get started, you will be asked to enter the RSS feed in the first box in the top left.   Let's choose MakeUseOf's feed as an example :

Or as you can see, the site also offers lists of recommended feeds, if you are not sure what to subscribe to.   MakeUseOf isn't there though!   Oh dear..

You can see on the right hand side which feeds you have chosen and you can remove any of them at any time.

Enter Your Email Details

Now you have to enter your email details.

You can choose between daily delivery and monthly delivery (just remember that with a monthly delivery and a very busy feed like MakeUseOf's, you are going to get a HUGE file!).   Also choose your delivery time and time zone.

If you want to preview the issue before clicking on "save delivery options", just click the big blue "generate sample issue now" button and you will get a PDF to preview.   One thing here though - your issue will come through without a pdf file format at the end (which is slightly irritating I have to admit).   So in Explorer, open it by right-clicking on it, choose "open with" and then choose Adobe Acrobat or any other PDF reader.

You can view a sample issue here that I quickly made using the MakeUseOf feed.

As you will see, all weblinks are clickable and the layout is fantastic.   One little minor gripe that I would make is that the rest of the newsletter is not very customisable.   You can't give the newsletter another name for example.  But that is all very minor and may only bother you if you wanted to make a personalised newsletter to send out to your blog subscribers.   But if you only want to use Tabbloid for post archiving purposes or to read RSS feeds inside your email, then it seems to be a perfect service.

Do you know of any other similar services that do a better job?  If so, tell us all about them in the comments.

Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

New on MakeUseOf ? Get cheat sheets and cool PDF guides @ www.makeuseof.com/makeuseof-downloads/
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Offer Your Readers A RSS To PDF Option With Feedbooks (3)
How To Create A PDF Newsletter The Easy Way With MS Paint (5)
Forward and Store important feeds with RSSfwd (13)
What is a FeedReader ? (17)
Ways to Stay on Top of The News (10)


http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Makeuseof/~3/ghMXG_KCdMk/

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