Tam Nguyen Photography

New York Beauty and Fashion Photographer

Google Reader’s Latest Change in Layout Got You Down? You’re Not Alone!

Posted on November 2, 2011 in Personal

Google Reader’s Latest Change in Layout Got You Down? You’re Not Alone!

With the most recent change in layout by Google on Google Reader, I’ve found that not a lot of people, including me, are agreeing with the update. This might be the worst change of mankind. With Facebook and their changes, it does annoy me a lot, but I’ve managed to live with it by some means. On the other hand, with Google, they pretty much flat out said “take it or leave it” on their blog. When they updated my Reader, I thought I was about to go crazy. I mean, this is something I use daily and religiously. You can’t just go thermonuclear and change the entire layout in one day. Not cool. I knew the only way for me to be able to use the web app is to tweak it to my liking. And so I did.

Update: I’ve finally sat down and made the official Google Chrome Extension for Google Reader Fixes.

More update: Google Reader Fixes is also on Firefox Add-on.

I spent a few hours trying to hack Google’s CSS code using Firefox Web Developer add-on and Chrome’s “Inspect Element” (ironically) feature to reverse engineer the damn thing. Once I was done with the hack, I posted it on UserScript website, because, y’know, sharing is caring. Surprisingly, this little hack got a lot of positive feedback, and it’s gotten over 500 downloads in 2 days. Safe to say I’m not the only one who hates Google Reader’s new layout.

If you’re also one of those who don’t care for or dislike the facelift, head over to the UserScript and install the fix. Needless to say, you either need to have Chrome, or Firefox with Greasemonkey. Here’s what my new and modified Google Reader looks like. If you have any questions or comments, make sure to drop me a line. If there are enough people requesting new things for the script, I might make it happen :)

Oh, by the way, just for kicks and giggles, this is what my Google Reader Trends says, proving how much I use the service:

From your 521 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 26,064 items, clicked 250 items, starred 0 items, and emailed 13 items.
Since October 14, 2010 you have read a total of 300,000+ items.


  1. Bad_Attitude November 3, 2011

    Just wanted to jump in here and thank you for an excellent userscript. Well done! Definitely was not happy about the change but I was confident that someone would step up and provide a fix! Seeing how you use Reader even more than I do (don’t know a lot of people that do) I thought I would share some scripts that you might find useful. Each article shows a read or unread color plus text is wider in frame: (http://userstyles.org/styles/16340/google-reader-larger-serif-wider-plus-color. Scrolling inside each frame: (http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/61941). RSS button top-right corner of webpage:
    (http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/2571). In expanded view clicking on article title opens website inside Google Reader: (http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/104222). Maybe you’ll find something useful! ☺ From your 47 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 9,809 items, clicked 227 items, starred 27 items, and emailed 0 items.
    Since December 30, 2008 you have read a total of 202,905 items. You got me beat but I try!

  2. noescape November 4, 2011

    i agree your script is really good , and keep away about the ugly google new ui ( i even cannot consider how they agreed to release such a thing).

    one thing i will really like , will be to include the COLORFUL list view , which i was using before http://greasefire.userscripts.org/scripts/show/8782 , which is really good , for easy reading

    anyway thanks a lot , for your script :)

  3. MikeC November 5, 2011

    Many thanks for your script, I am now using this and makes life a lot better !! I use Google Reader as my main site and was hating the new look until I started playing with some scripts and found yours.
    I am not familiar with the workings of CSS so maybe you can tell me how I could modify the script to remove the >Explore section from the left panel totally, I don’t ever go in there and it is just taking up space. Is that easy to do?
    As with the other commenter I have used the Colorful List view before the new Google Reader change, but with only the borders of the articles coloured, that is a lot easier on the eyes. I find that quite useful to see when I have moved from one feed to another when I am viewing all items (vs a folder at a time). That script author is updating his script so maybe I will be able to use his and yours together then I will be 100% happy again.

    • Tam Nguyen November 5, 2011

      I just updated the script with a few new features. Make sure to grab the new version whenever you can!

      • MikeC November 6, 2011

        Thanks for the info, I have updated the script and will try it out shortly. Keep up the good work !!

  4. Wayne November 7, 2011

    Nice script, I like it a lot.
    However, on userscript.org it says “…Lessen white spaces on top and on bottom…”.
    While I agree with the overall white space savings, I cannot discover a difference at bottom. Any suggestions?

    • Tam Nguyen November 7, 2011

      Good question. I’m pretty sure I did something to the bottom, either of each article, or the entire view… now I don’t remember what I did haha….

      • Wayne November 8, 2011

        So, no fix for that ugly white stripe at browser’s bottom? 😉

      • Tam Nguyen November 8, 2011

        That piece of crap has been bugging me to… hang on lemme fix that real quick…

  5. Abhishek November 7, 2011

    Thanks a lot for this script. You have saved what was left of my sanity after switching to new Reader API.

    • Abhishek November 7, 2011

      I meant new Reader UI* .. damn

  6. Neale December 2, 2011

    Great script and really looks great.
    I am just having trouble with the buttons above the feed (refresh list type ect ect) They are under the white bar and i can only see a few pixels of the buttons.
    Any idea whats up?

  7. Adam February 11, 2012

    Just updated to the newest 3.2.0 version. Thank you so much for providing this userscript. It’s made using gReader much more pleasant.

  8. Barrie May 5, 2012

    I like the layout but one thing is puzzling me – how do I share items? It was the google+ thing that stopped me sharing.

    • Tam Nguyen May 5, 2012

      Yes. When Google rolled out Google+, they skilled the legacy sharing feature within Google Reader.

      If you like to enable Google+, just comment out line #42 of script v3.2.2.

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