Get Compact Layout in New Google Reader

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Yesterday, Google rolled out a new Google Reader interface (seen below). The new layout is fast and clean, but it has plenty of pointless whitespace and a lot of the previously available social features has been removed.

New Google Reader Layout
New Google Reader Layout

I like the idea of going to a cleaner look and I have generally liked the new versions that they’ve rolled out for other products, but Reader is almost unusable for me on my small screen laptop because of the excessive waste space.

If you are not happy with the latest design changes, here’s a new userscript called “Google Reader compact” to get back the classic layout in Reader.

Compact Google Reader Interface
Compact Google Reader Interface

Once installed, the script does some CSS changes and reduces the margins between posts and it also saves a little bit of space at the top of the page. That’s all it does. No old sharing options. If the whitespace is your only problem, you won’t be disappointed with it. To get some more screen space, you can always use the “u” and “f” hot keys.

We might eventually get an official compact option like ‘Display Density’, available in Google Docs, in Reader but till then this is a handy little extension. Google Reader compact userscript works on Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera

Install: Google Reader compact

And if you want better control over your online feed reader, you can try these free self-hosted alternatives.

What do you think of the new Google Reader layout?