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Show RSS Feeds in Excel

Instead of using an RSS reader, you can show items from an RSS feed on a Microsoft Excel worksheet. Get the free workbook with an example. Two methods are shown -- add an XML Map, or import the feed.

see the XML Source

Method 1: Add XML Map to Show RSS Feed

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds provide details on website content updates, in a structured format. You can use an RSS reader (news aggregator), to find new content from your favourite blogs and websites, using software, a mobile app, or on a web browser.

Or, instead of using an RSS feed reader, you can show items from an RSS feed on an Excel spreadsheet. See the steps in this video tutorial. The written instructions are below the video.

Show RSS feed on a Worksheet

The first step is to find the link for the RSS feed that you want to show on the worksheet. In this example, we'll use the RSS feed for new articles from the Contextures Excel blog.

To get the link from the Contextures blog, follow these steps:

  1. Go to any article on the Contextures blog (not the Home page)
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and look for the Blog RSS Feed link.
  3. Right-click on the RSS link and click Copy Link

    rss link

Create XML Map

Next, you'll use that RSS link to create an XML map in a workbook.

  • In Excel, open the workbook where you want to create the RSS feed table
  • On the Ribbon's Developer tab, in the XML group, click Source.

rss link

  • In the XML Source task pane, click the XML Maps button

rss link

  • In the dialog box, click Add, to create a new XML map

rss link

  • Click in the File Name box, and press Ctrl + V, to paste the copied RSS link.
  • Next, click the Open button

rss link

  • If a message appears, like the one below, click the OK button
    • Optional: Check the box for "In the future, do not show this message."

Message: "The specified XML source does not refer to a schema. Excel will create a schema based on the XML source data."

rss link

After you add the map, it should appear in the XML Maps in this Workbook list

XML Maps in this Workbook list

  • Click the OK button, to close the XML Map dialog box.

Add XML Map to Worksheet

After the map has been created, follow these steps to add it to the worksheet, and see the data.

  1. In the XML Source task pane, scroll down, to find the Item section
  2. Next, click on the Item heading, to select it, and all of its sub-items.

    rss link

  3. Drag the Item section heading to cell B3 on the worksheet.

    rss link

  4. This creates a table on the worksheet, with the headings from the Item section.

    rss link

  5. To see the RSS list items, right-click on a cell below the headings, and click Refresh
  6. Then, close the XML Source Task Pane (at the right side of the Excel window)

rss link

Modify the XML Table

Here are a few things you can do to modify the XML table, so it's easier to read.

Cell Alignment

  • First, to select all the table cells, point to the top left corner of the first heading cell, and click the mouse button.
  • Next, with all of the cells selected, format them to be top aligned, with Wrap Text turned off

Delete Columns

The XML table has columns that you might not need, so follow these steps to delete them

  • At the top of the XML table, right-click on the heading cell for a column that you wnat to delete
  • In the pop-up menu, point to the Delete command, then click the Table Column command
    • Tip: You can select multiple column heading cells, and delete them all at once
  • After you finish deleting the columns, right-click anywhere on the XML table, and click Refresh
    • Note: This might remove some rows from the table, if there were multiple rows for each article.

Method 2: Import the RSS Feed

If you have a problem with creating a new XML map (method 1), you can follow the steps below, to import the RSS feed into Excel sheets.

Get the RSS Feed Address

The first step is to find the link for the RSS feed that you want to show on the worksheet. In this example, we'll use the RSS feed for the Contextures blog.

  1. Go to the Contextures blog, and look for an RSS icon, in the sidebar at the right.
  2. Right-click on the RSS icon and click Copy Link Location

    rss link

    The RSS feed address on my Contextures blog is: https://contexturesblog.com/feed/

Import the RSS Feed

Next, you'll import that RSS link in an Excel workbook.

  1. In Excel, open the workbook where you want to create the RSS feed table
  2. On the Ribbon's Developer tab, in the XML group, click Import.
  3. In the window that opens, click in the File Name box, and press Ctrl + V, to paste the copied RSS link.

    paste the rss link

  4. Click Open, and the Import Data window will open.

    Import Data window

  5. Optional - Click the Properties button and set the properties that you want
  6. Select a location for the data, and click OK, to close the Import Data window.

Format the Imported Data

  1. On the worksheet, click the Select All button, to the left of the Column A heading button, to select all the cells on the worksheet
  2. On the Excel Ribbon, click the Home tab, then click the Wrap Text command twice, to turn off the Wrap Text setting.
  3. Now you should be able to see the data in the table on the worksheet

See the XML Map

  1. To see the XML Map that was automatically created, go back to the Developer tab, and click the Source button in the XML group.
  2. The XML Source will appear in a pane on the Excel worksheet.
  3. Click on an XML Source item that has bold text, and that item will be highlighted in the worksheet table.

    see the XML Source

Get the Sample File

To see the RSS feeds for the Contextures Blog and the Contextures website, you can get the sample file: Excel RSS Feeds Sample File. This was created with Method 1 -- Add XML Map.

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Last updated: December 6, 2023 2:31 PM