Ollicle Reflex - NetNewsWire style

A stylesheet for NetNewsWire which optimises your feed reading experience with clean typography, clever CSS and crafty JavaScript.

Download and install


Double-click the unzipped .nnwstyle file – NetNewsWire will copy it to where it needs to be.

~/Library/Application Support/NetNewsWire/StyleSheets/

If you are already using an old version of Ollicle Reflex you will need to restart NetNewsWire for the new version to load.

This style uses JavaScript to do some things CSS alone cannot. Make sure you enable it:

  • NetNewsWire Preferences
    • Browsing
      • News Items
        • Enable JavaScript

If you haven’t already you can also select Ollicle Reflex from the Style Sheet menu in the same place.


This style has been developed and tested on a PowerPC Mac running NetNewsWire 3.2.3 on Mac OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard for the cat fanciers) with Safari 4 (which determines the version of WebKit NetNewsWire is sporting). I’m interested to know how it works for you.

Note: styles for NetNewsWire 3 do not affect the Combined view - only the Traditional and Widescreen views.

Key features

  • Simple clean style

    Select your own font in NetNewsWire’s preferences

    Respects and enforces your choice of fonts in NetNewsWire’s News Item appearance preferences. Distinguishes between layout and data tables and styles them appropriately. Strips out obtrusive inline styles.

  • Clever image handling

    Relatively small images are floated

    Large images are scaled to fit available width. Smaller images are only floated if the following text still has room. Text and images that clearly belong together stay together.

  • Automatic line height

    Narrow measure of text with a small line-height

    Optimises line spacing of the feed text to suit your window and font size. More about this: Flex CSS with JavaScript for better reading

  • Friendly fuzzy date

    Hover to see the regular date and time

    Click to toggle between the date/time of the post and it’s age in human language. Powered by timeago. Thanks Ryan.

  • Delicious Tagometer

    Number of time a bookmark is used in a tooltip

    Displays the number of delicious.com bookmarks for the linked webpage along with the most popular assigned tags. Includes a little hackery to see through feedburner and feedproxy urls.

  • Tidy diff display for recent feed changes

    Toggle between before and after recent feed changes

    With Highlight Differences checked in NetNewsWires general preferences you can toggle between the current and previous version of a changed feed. Feed changes are highlighted in a vertical bar in the left hand column. Hovering the bar with your cursor highlights additions inline, clicking it hides additions and reveals the deleted content.

  • Per feed layout and theme prefs

    Feed preference dialog for layout and skin

    Clicking the little switch in the top right hand corner of the description pane toggles the preference pop-up for your currently viewed feed. NetNewsWire shares cookies with Safari to store your selection of layout or theme for any post from that feed.

  • A choice of layouts

    THe single column layout is often a better choice when space is slim

    Two column is the default layout with the feed info persistent in the right hand margin or the optional One column, full width, layout with the feed info underneath in the footer. If you prefer you can set the single column option as a global default (see below).

  • Dark or light theme

    The  dark theme is great for images

    Choose between the default white background or the image enhancing black background. If you prefer you can set the black background option as a global default (see below).

  • Looks like old news

    Discoloured old feed featuring a styled table

    New in version 9 Using the white theme, news items discolour over time to reveal their age at a glance.

  • Customisable defaults

    Global preferences edited with a text editor

    If you don’t like my selection of defaults in Ollicle Reflex I have made a few of the prefences more easily configurable. Now you will need to roll up your sleeves and launch your text editor.

Overriding preferences for every feed

Locate the Ollicle Reflex style package

~/Library/Application Support/NetNewsWire/StyleSheets/Ollicle Reflex.nnwstyle

Reveal it’s contents by right (or control) clicking it and selecting “Show Package Contents”.

At the top of the contained “javascript.js” you will find values set within the curly brackets of var userPref = {};. Make sure you only edit what falls between the colon and the comma, and ensure you leave the quotes around the layout and skin names. Note the last item shouldn’t have a trailing comma.

To see your changes take effect it is necessary to relaunch NetNewsWire so it can update it’s cache of the style.

Maybe someday I’ll try my hand at making a small AppleScript app to edit these options in a more friendly manner. If in the meanwhile you manage to break it (the JavaScript elements of the style will stop working), you can always come back here and download the style again.

Blog entries

Update entry: Ollice Reflex 9 - it’s about time

Update entry: Ollicle Reflex refined for smarter feed reading

Update entry: Safari 3 fix for Ollicle Reflex

Update entry: Del.icio.us Reflex

ollicle.com entry: Reflex for NetNewsWire

Rough version history

First version of Ollicle Reflex

An evolutionary improvement on Ollicle Flex. Makes use of the wonderful jQuery to help stretch what’s possible in a NewNewsWire style further again. Ollicle Reflex introduced:

  • A new preference ‘UI’.
  • Optional black background (nice for images).
  • Inline feed styles stripped for consistent feed legibility.
  • Some small tweaks to the display of images.
  • Fixed position news title now only appears when you scroll down the page.
  • And improvements to most of what was good in Flex!

Version 4:

  • Del.icio.us Tagometer
  • Per item Highlight differences deleted content toggle

Version 5:

  • Fixed some issues with Safari 3 beta

Version 6:

  • Intelligently positions smaller images.
  • Adds customisable layout and background defaults.
  • Completely new diff display.
  • Scalable pref interface.
  • Easier to read data tables.

Version 7:

  • Line-height user pref now works.
  • Added pref to hide del.icio.us tagometer.

Version 8:

  • Respects the layout of consecutive images typical of image galleries.
  • Avoids the load ‘jump’ of images that have specified dimensions.

Version 9:

  • Image layout bug fixes.
  • White theme discolours according to feed item age.
  • Friendly relative date and time. (Requires NNW 3.2)
  • Design refinements to preference UI and content styling.
  • Made two column the default for either NetNewsWire view layout.

Oliver Boermans is a design geek in Adelaide, South Australia: ollicle.com is a place for Ollie to rant, reflect and share. Feed