How to Parse XML RSS Feeds Using Google Scripts

XML RSS feeds contain a wealth of valuable information from sources like news websites, blogs, and podcasts. This guide demonstrates using Google Scripts to parse XML RSS feeds and retrieve the desired information. The step-by-step guide enables simple automation and easy access to data from RSS feeds.

Set up a Google Spreadsheet

Create a new Google Spreadsheet to store the parsed data.

Open the Script Editor

Go to the “Tools” menu in your Google Spreadsheet and select “Script editor” to open the Google Apps Script editor.

Write the Parsing Function

In the script editor, write a function that will handle the parsing of the XML RSS feed. This function will use the XML service provided by Google Scripts to extract the desired data.

Save and Name the Script

Save the script in the Google Apps Script editor and give it a meaningful name for easy reference.

Run the Parsing Function

To start the parsing function, click the “Run” button in the toolbar. This initiates the parsing process and retrieves data from the XML RSS feed.

Customize the Parsing Function

You can customize the parsing function to extract specific data from the XML RSS feed. Modify the code to target the desired elements and attributes in the feed.

Schedule Automatic Parsing (Optional)

To schedule automatic parsing of an XML RSS feed in Google Scripts, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your Google Sheets document.
  2. Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Script editor.”
  3. In the Apps Script editor, click on the “Edit” menu and select “Current project’s triggers.”
  4. Click on the “+ Add Trigger” button to create a new trigger.
  5. Configure the trigger settings, such as the function to run, the event type (time-based or event-based), and the frequency or event that will trigger the code.
  6. Save the trigger settings.

Once the trigger is set up, the parsing process will automatically run according to the specified schedule or event, ensuring regular updates of the XML RSS feed data.Google Scripts simplifies parsing XML RSS feeds for extracting valuable data like news articles, blog posts, and podcast episodes. By automating the process using time-driven triggers, you can improve data analysis and keep users updated on the latest content.

Please note that the specific implementation of parsing an XML RSS feed may vary depending on the structure and requirements of the feed you are working with. You may need to customize the code accordingly to extract the desired data from the XML feed.


Can I parse multiple XML RSS feeds using Google Scripts?

Answer:  Yes, you can parse multiple XML RSS feeds using Google Scripts. Simply create separate parsing functions for each feed and customize the code accordingly.

What types of data can I extract from XML RSS feeds?

Answer:  You can extract various types of data from XML RSS feeds, such as article titles, publication dates, summaries, author information, and links. The specific data you can extract depends on the structure of the feed.

Can I parse XML RSS feeds from password-protected sources?

Answer:  Google Scripts can only parse XML RSS feeds from publicly accessible sources. It cannot handle password-protected feeds that require authentication.

Is it possible to filter or sort the parsed data within Google Sheets?

Answer:  Yes, once the data is parsed into Google Sheets, you can use built-in functions and features to filter, sort, and manipulate the data as needed.

Can I parse XML RSS feeds with complex structures using Google Scripts?

Answer:  Yes, Google Scripts provides powerful XML parsing capabilities, allowing you to handle XML RSS feeds with complex structures. You can navigate nested elements and extract data efficiently.

Does the parsing function need to be executed manually every time?

Answer:  The parsing function can be executed manually whenever you want to retrieve the latest data from the XML RSS feed. However, you can also set up automatic triggers to run the function at specified intervals for regular updates.

Can I parse XML RSS feeds from non-English sources?

Answer:  Yes, Google Scripts supports parsing XML RSS feeds from non-English sources. The language of the feed does not impact the parsing process.

Are there any limitations to the amount of data I can parse from an XML RSS feed?

Answer:  Google Scripts can handle a significant amount of data. However, there may be practical limitations based on the available memory and execution time allowed by Google. It’s advisable to test and optimize the parsing function for large feeds.

Can I parse XML RSS feeds using Google Scripts on mobile devices?

Answer:  Yes, you can use the Google Sheets mobile app to access and run Google Scripts, including the parsing function for XML RSS feeds. However, the script editing experience may be more convenient on a computer.

Can I combine data from multiple parsed XML RSS feeds into a single Google Spreadsheet?

Answer:  Yes, you can combine data from multiple parsed XML RSS feeds into a single Google Spreadsheet. Use separate parsing functions for each feed and append the data to the desired sheet within the spreadsheet.