Helvetireader Puts a New Face on Google Reader

Jon Hicks from Hicks Design has released the Helvetireader skin for Google Reader. Helvetireader takes a minimalist approach, masking many of Google Readers abilities, creating a simple and very easy to read interface to Google’s excellent RSS feed reader.

Google Reader has been my RSS reader of choice since I made the switch from Bloglines last year. This new skin makes the site seem brand new, and makes it even easier for Reader to stand alone as desktop app with Fluid or Prism. To set up Helvetireader with Fluid, create a new Site Specific Browser for Google Reader, then launch the newly created app. Next, click on the script menu item, and select “New Userscript”. If you have the Developer Tools installed, this will launch Dashcode and allow you to edit the userscript. Just paste in this:

// ==UserScript==
// @name        Helvetireader
// @description Helvetireader style for Google Reader
// @include     https://*.google.com/reader/view/*
// @include     http://*.google.com/reader/view/*
// @include     htt*://*.google.*/reader/view*
// @author      Helvetireader by Jon Hicks (http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk)
// ==/UserScript==

var cssNode = document.createElement('link');
cssNode.type = 'text/css';
cssNode.rel = 'stylesheet';
cssNode.href = 'http://www.helvetireader.com/css/helvetireader.css';
cssNode.media = 'screen';
cssNode.title = 'dynamicLoadedSheet';
document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(cssNode);

Save your script, and relaunch the Fluid Google Reader App. After a second, the CSS from Helvetireader will kick in, and you’ll have a brand new look and feel to Google Reader. The CSS is actually hosted on the helvetireader.com web site, so you won’t have to modify your settings as the code is updated. This script is just as easy to set up on Firefox or Opera, and can be used with Safari or Camino with a little tweaking. Hicks expects this theme to be used by 10 people at the most, I expect it will be much more popular than that.

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