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Using Helvetireader with

One of my favourite applications a the moment is, which essentially can turn any website you regularly visit into a Mac OS X application. I used to use NetNewsWire for all my RSS needs, but after spending some time with Google Reader I decided to convert.

The main selling point was the combination of using Google Reader with Byline, which is a Google Reader app for the iPhone. Since now I have a laptop, a desktop, and an iPhone one of the main issues I was having was that I wanted to be able to synchronize what I was reading. NetNewsWire didn’t cut it. The only thing that really irked me with using Google Reader was the fact I was tied to using a browser, there wasn’t an app for it (that functioned the way the web app does), and I found the default Google theme to be incredibly dull. After some quick research I discovered and Helvetireader.

Before (Google Reader default):

After (Helvetireader applied):

In this quick tutorial I will show you how I changed Google Reader to use John Hicks’ Helvetireader and build the whole thing inside a Fluid app.


  1. Download and install
  2. Open up and fill out the information like in the photo below. Where it asks for the icon you wish to use, you can download a ultra-high-res image of the Google Reader icon. Store the image on your computer, and then add through the file dialogue.
  3. Press “create” – this will create an application for Google Reader and place it in your applications folder.
  4. Startup your new shiny Google Reader Fluid application.
  5. Now we will add the Helvetireader theme. Go up to the scripts icon in the menu bar. From the menu choose “open userscripts folder”.
  6. Download the following two files: HelvetiReader.user.js and config.xml. Or you can download the zip. Note: Helvetireader 2 is now out!
  7. Extract them to the userscript folder. If you have to overwrite the existing config.xml do so.
  8. Go to the scripts menu in your new Google Reader Fluid app and click “Manage User Scripts” and check off the option for HelvetiReader.
  9. Go to the scripts menu and hit the “Reload all User Scripts” option and then close and restart your Google Reader Fluid app
  10. Everything should now work perfectly and you will have successfully integrated Helvetireader into Google Reader

On a side note with Helvetireader the sharing menu disappears. If you scroll to the bottom of a post and mouse over where the gear is, the menu appears. I now love the minimalism, but it did take some getting used to.

Thank-you John Hicks!

6 Responses to “Using Helvetireader with”

  1. Please note that HelvetiReader Version 2 is now available. The theme is much more refined, and they’ve done a great job at enhancing the overall user experience.

  2. Yong Lejenne says:

    Appreciate you sharing, great article post. Cool.

  3. Livia says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing! Looks great. :-)

  4. Abhishek says:

    It does not work for me.

  5. Abhishek says:

    I was downloading the userscript from
    That is a bad script
    I had to overwrite the userscript using textedit and save it. That seemed to work. Love it now. Love Helvetica. I have been using Helvetireader for a while. I am glad to have it in Fluid.

  6. Dallas SMM says:

    Glad I found this tidbit on yahoo when I was surfing the web. Good STUFF!