Anki Advanced

Latest Update: 9 March 2019. Note to reader: this page is a work in progress.

If you are looking for a primer on Anki that provides an overview of the software, please access this guide.

Contents

Making Type-Answer Cards

Through a bit of formatting, you can create a basic or Cloze card in which the user is required to type out the answer.

Navigate to “Manage Note Types” within Tools in the menu bar, and then click “Add.” From here, select “Clone: 1. Basic” and press OK.

I suggest naming this new card type, “Basic (Type Answer),” but it’s up to your discretion.

Now return to the Add Card screen with Basic (Type Answer) selected as the card type. Select “Cards…” which allows you to change the formatting of the card type.

On the “Front Template,” insert the following,

{{Front}}
<br><br>
{{type:Back}}

And on the “Back Template,” insert the following,

{{FrontSide}}
<hr id=answer>
<br>
{{Back}}

Also refer to the image below:

I also recommend creating a ‘Type Answer’ card for Cloze, following the same procedure of cloning the Cloze card type and then changing the formatting as such,

Front Template:

{{cloze:Text}}
<br><br>
{{type:cloze:Text}}

Back Template:

{{cloze:Text}}
<br>
{{type:cloze:Text}}

Anki for Vocabulary-Building

Creating cards to build one’s vocabulary is relatively straight-forward in Anki, particularly if one simply hopes to learn a new word along with its definition.

In that case, the word can be entered in the Front field of the card and the word’s definition as the Back field of the card, as such:

Front:

inveigle

Back:

persuade (someone) to do something by means of deception or flattery

With a few minor adjustments, one can also hear the word’s pronunciation along with its use in a sentence and a short list of synonyms (words with the same or similar meaning).

One of the most powerful add-ons available for Anki is Awesome TTS (text-to-speech).

To install an add-on, navigate to “Tools” on the top toolbar, select “Add-ons” and select “Browse & Install…” or “Get Add-Ons”.

The following screen will prompt the user for the numerical code of the desired add-on. Note that you’ll have to restart Anki for newly-installed add-ons to take effect.

Awesome TTS for Anki 2.0 and older versions:

301952613

Awesome TTS for Anki 2.1+

900455869

Awesome TTS can also help users with difficult pronunciations, such as particular medical conditions or words in foreign languages (see Anki for Language-Learning below).

Once Awesome TTS is installed, one needs to create a pre-set configuration and then integrate the appropriate code into the template for the card.

First, open Awesome TTS by navigating to “Tools” in the toolbar and selecting the add-on, or navigate to “Browse” in the top row and then use the shortcut Command or Cntl  + T to open Awesome TTS.

There are a number of services preloaded into Awesome TTS. Perhaps the most versatile is Google Translate. If you’re building your English language vocabulary, you should naturally pick a voice that speaks English.

Once you are satisfied with the service and the voice you’ve chosen, and perhaps previewed it, you can save the configuration– a particularly crucial step!

In editing a card from “Cards…” I can now insert on-the-fly TTS with the following code in the Front Template:

<tts service="google" voice="##">{{FIELD}}</tts>

## is the language desired for the given card type. Here, because I am learning English vocabulary words, ## is en-US. These two-letter abbreviations are shown within the AwesomeTTS configuration screen.(French, for instance, is “fr”.)

FIELD is the field, e.g. Front, where the text to be transformed to speech exists. Here, I renamed the field “Word” for the word to be learned.

To include additional fields in order to show an example sentence and a short list of synonyms for the word being learned, select “Add” along the top row of the main screen of Anki and then select “Fields…”

In the small window that pops up, select “Add” and provide a name for the new field. As shown above, I used “Example” for the example sentence and “Synonyms” for the list of words with similar meaning.

Finally, to show these fields when reviewing a card, close the small window and select “Cards…” again to add these fields to the Back Template:

{{FrontSide}}

<hr id=answer>

{{Definition}}
<br>
{{Example}}
<br>
Synonyms:{{Synonyms}}

The resulting card will appear similar to this:


Anki for Language Learning

There are a number of important add-ons to Anki that enhance language-learning. Perhaps the most pertinent is Awesome TTS (text-to-speech). In the preceding section, Anki for Vocabulary-Building, I explained how to install add-ons and replicate the process here:

To install an add-on, navigate to “Tools” on the top toolbar, select “Add-ons” and select “Browse & Install…” or “Get Add-Ons”.

The following screen will prompt the user for the numerical code of the desired add-on. Note that you’ll have to restart Anki for newly-installed add-ons to take effect.

Awesome TTS for Anki 2.0 and older versions:

301952613

Awesome TTS for Anki 2.1+

900455869

For instance, let’s say I’m making a Spanish flashcard for “Connection/la conexión,” but I have no idea how to pronounce the word in Spanish.

You can include these pronunciations as part of the card types you have already made, or create a dedicated TTS flashcard type, using the same process as outlined in Part 1.

To create and save a configuration, navigate to “Browse” in the top row and then use the shortcut Command or Cntl  + T to open Awesome TTS.

There are a number of services preloaded into Awesome TTS. Perhaps the most versatile is Google Translate. Once you are satisfied with the service and the voice you’ve chosen, and perhaps previewed it, you can save the configuration– a particularly crucial step!

Select “Load Present…” from the drop-down menu and then select “Save” to name this configuration.

In editing a card from “Cards…” I can now insert on-the-fly TTS with the following code in the Front or Back Template:

(Please note that “//” is notation for the start or the end of a comment within a block of code and is not itself code.)

<tts preset="PRESET NAME">{{FIELD}}</tts>

// NOTE: FIELD is the field, e.g. Front or Back, where the text to be transformed to speech exists //

Alternatively, if you just want to use Google Translate for each pronunciation, you can just insert the two-letter abbreviation for the voice here:

<tts service="google" voice="##">{{FIELD}}</tts>

// ## is the two-letter abbreviation for the present; FIELD is the field, e.g. Front or Back, where the text to be transformed to speech exists //

Listening to the word while you’re learning it not only ensures that you pronounce it correctly, but also increases the likelihood you’ll recognize it in conversation.

Anki for Learning Poetry and Lyrics

The principles of active recall and spaced repetition within Anki can also be conducive to learning poetry, quotes, verse, and lyrics.

Short Quotes or Poems

For relatively short quotes or poems, simple Cloze deletions might prove to be the most efficient way to create and study cards.

Say you want to learn a famous quote from former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis,

Sunlight is the best of disinfectants.

I can make two Cloze deletions within a card for different words within the quote, as such:

"{{c1::Sunlight}} is the best of {{c2::disinfectants}}."

Two separate cards will then be created:

Longer Quotes, Poems, Etc.

When studying longer texts, installing two add-ons will help immensely in the creation of cards and long-term retention:

Cloze Overlapper (only for Anki 2.0)

969733775

LPCG (Lyrics/Poetry Cloze Generator) (works for all versions of Anki)

2084557901

For more information on how to use these add-ons, view

Other Recommended Add-Ons

To install, navigate to “Tools” on the top toolbar, hover over “Add-ons” and select “Browse & Install…”

From here, insert the numerical codes one by one. Note that Anki must be restarted for add-ons to take effect.

Button Colours

Adds fun colors to the interval buttons that appear after reviewing a card, as seen at the bottom of this photo,

2494384865

Image Occlusion Enhanced

Useful when memorizing diagrams, such as those anatomical structures. There is a comprehensive manual as well as a video tutorial available.

Anki 2.0 and older:

1111933094

Anki 2.1:

1374772155

Deck Stats

Displays all the new and due cards from all decks within the selected profile. (Both Anki 2.0 and 2.1 are supported.)

1421528223

More Overview Stats 2.1

Provides more comprehensive overview of cards within a deck, including the percentage unlearned, unseen, and when the anticipated date at which all new cards will be reviewed. (Both Anki 2.0 and 2.1 are supported.)

738807903

Frozen Fields

Allows you to instantly copy the same content from card to card. Once a card is added, the fields that are “frozen” are copied over to the next card. This can be handy if you’re making cards with similar question stems or citing the same source. See brief video tutorial here.

516643804

Review Heatmaps

Displays how frequently you review your Anki decks and the amount of cards reviewed, among a few other stats:

Note that only Anki 2.0 is supported by this add-on:

1771074083