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List All Newsgroups

You can trick most news readers into providing a linear listing of all accessible newsgroups, whether they provide the feature built-in to the program or not.

Some news readers always sort newsgroups into hierarchies when they display them, so that you have to open each hierarchy like an indented folder list to see the individual groups themselves, so you can't get a simple sequential listing of all groups. For example, you may want to get a simple linear listing of all of the comp.* groups so that you can scan the whole hierarchy, and don't want to have to open each sub-hierarchy one-by-one.

With these kinds of news readers you can often use the following trick to get a linear listing anyway:

  • Open the news reader's "search newsgroups" function.
  • Enter as a search string just the portion of the name you want to see. For example, if you enter "comp." as a search string, then you will get a linear listing of all of the "comp" newsgroups without any hierarchical groupings.
  • If you want a complete linear listing of all of the newsgroups, search for just a period ".", which will return every newsgroup in alphabetical order.

Where there is a will, there usually is a way.