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Exporting Anki to Supermemo

May 15, 2010

Many readers have been searching for method to exporting Anki to Supermemo, I’m currently testing out Anki’s algorithm to validate if it works or if its faulty. Currently I can’t, yet, answer the second part, but for exporting Anki to SuperMemo I’ll tell you my easy low tech solution.

I would love to have some kind of program to make this conversion even faster. Most SRS’s application have an option to export to supermemo sm7 format. Full Recall has a very good one. I don’t understand the idea on locking some database into a proprietary format. Even mnemosyne’s author, who believes that no algorithm can improve the retention of what you learn, or at least not in a significant manner, has made an option to export easily to sm format. Why Damien Elmes, Anki’s author, doesn’t like the idea of exporting Anki’s to supermemo, I can’t tell. In this same manner I don’t understand why SuperMemoUX can’t be sync or share easily classic supermemo.

Well, for the Anki to SuperMemo, here’s what you can do. You’ll need NotePad++, a great open source text editor, and when you find it  useful as I have, contribute to the project, is a nice way to say, thank you.

Anki steps:

  • In Anki, open up the Deck you want to export
  • Go to menu file: export
  • Choose: Facts in tab separated file
  • Hit export and save the new txt file

Notepad++ steps:

  • Open above created text file
  • Replace using Ctrl+H in a two step sequence
  • check Regular Expression
  • Inserting Q:
  • In “Find What” type:
  • ^(.+)
  • In “Replace With” type:
  • \r\nQ: \1
  • hit “Replace all”
  • Inserting A:
  • In “Find What” type:
  •  \t
  • In “Replace With” type:
  •  \r\nA:
  • hit “Replace all”

Make sure you leave a space after Q: and A:

  • Save file and quit Notepad

In SuperMemo

  • File: Import: Q&A Text

Please leave feedback if you got trouble or some other issue regarding this method of exporting Anki.

Update: Thanks to Don Rivers via Twitter, I’ve found my self on a very unfair judgment, SuperMemo should also export to a standard format. Now Anki is probably not willing to make an easy way to export onto CSV, but as for SuperAuthor, I don’t think there’s any chance they’ll ever add this functionality. Even though THEY SHOULD.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2010 04:39

    Coversion between Sm and Sm Ux can be very easily done with the use of Super Memo Ux Plugins. Many users have reported moving successfully database larger than 10 000 items with sound from Super Memo to Super Memo UX. And I think that SM UX Plugins may be worth some description on your blog…

    • gersapa permalink*
      May 22, 2010 10:31

      Published a review on SuperMemo UX Plugins:

  2. May 18, 2010 12:38

    Hey, Anki looks nice. I always use to write my own Q&A text file, then import into SM palm pilot (and later, FullRecall). Does Anki support importing Q&A pairs as a .txt file?

    Also, does Anki allow for “Forced” repetitions like FullRecall does, or does that damage it’s repetition interval?

    Interesting to see that SM2 is still the algorithm of choice for many of these programs. Always felt happiest using it 🙂

    • May 18, 2010 12:56

      LOL – nevermind: just went to anki and read their FAQ (duh). Questions answered!

    • gersapa permalink*
      May 18, 2010 14:36

      No problem, and yes! Anki look nice, looks good. So far its been consistent I my reviews, I’m testing the algorithm behavior. I don’t like short interval reviews (neither the ultra short, or 10 min), but the great advantage is you can make the changes you like as its open source, but this intervals are based on intuition and no hard science, still a lot of testing and time to come to a final decision on its efficiency, as for the looks, is nice.

  3. rmd permalink
    May 19, 2010 03:08

    I’ve moved all my new learning over to Anki recently, after becoming frustrated with Supermemo’s usability. Anki has a nice interface, and it’s easy to use. Over time, I have become used to its algorithm. I’m not a “heavy” user, so I can’t comment on how it works with a high work load vs Supermemo (i.e., is the algorithm substantially inferior on the margin?) . But I do feel like it’s a LOT easier to enter material and it seems to work pretty well for me.

    • gersapa permalink*
      May 19, 2010 08:16

      I think Anki’s interface is very appealing, I’ve started memorizing a small collection on Anki, a couple of months ago. But for testing algorithm’s efficiency, I’ll have to start all over again.

      I’ll plan to take some collection of say 1000 items, sort them out and test 250 items on Anki, Mnemosyne, FullRecall and SuperMemo, or something like that. For now I don’t have numbers to say how much efficient one is over the other. I believe FullRecall should be better over long periods of time, because of its reliance on neural networks. That is if, indeed you learn by spacing out repetitions and that memory is like a wax table where memories fade away progressively after time, for now neuro-cognitive scientist don’t even agree if the so called consolidation process really exists, and there’s no definitive answer about the explanation for the negative accelerated forgetting curve (which by the way is not exponential… or factorial, or logarithmic). Decay as an explanation for forgetting on long term memory is not considered either.

      I’ve gotten to much scientific there, what I wanted to say is, I understand there is no one size fit all solution regarding memorization software. My opinions are biased so much as anyone else who find some thing they like (or find useful in case of supermemo, I don’t like its supermemo Classic interface, SuperMemoUX is great). The only was to overcome such biases is hard data, and I will try to find out.

      The’re also many other functions not available else where, but like you say above, high learning curve, and personal – non very intuitive – methods (some times I’ve felt like ridding a hover machine while trying to go straight ahead with out rotating in a windy weather) of supermemo is a detriment against supermemo popularity.

      Because of Anki’s portability, I’m planning on using Anki to memorize drugs and doses which is almost as any paired abstract knowledge learning as languages.

  4. Pitagoras permalink
    June 12, 2010 10:28

    Hi Friend, some news about the software analisys? Thanks for sharing.

    The tip to exporting/importing is simply perfect. Thanks.

    • gersapa permalink*
      June 14, 2010 15:37

      I have finished some preliminary analysis on FullRecall, how ever Mnemosyne with have a 2.0 version, and I have decided to start the comparisons after this version is available, as to Anki, its author has manifested there are no intentions on any changes on the algorithm. So this means that research should only depend no Mnemosyne 2.0 being released.

  5. Justice permalink
    September 15, 2010 18:21

    How’s the analysis coming along?
    I’m totally new to this spaced repetition business so I dont rly know which app is best. Need an opinion from more experienced users. Btw I need it to study law. U think its a good idea to use this kind of software for that?

    • gersapa permalink*
      October 13, 2010 22:45

      Is difficult to tell what app is better then other. But I do believe this is a great app to study law. I have a couple of friend that use it for this purpose. Only memorize the key points.

  6. Irritated permalink
    January 29, 2011 02:47

    I can’t seem to transfer my few thousand anki cards to supermemo. An answer from one of my cards will be replicated throughout my collection overlapping many other cards from the import. I don’t know what to do. Where should I go to get this fixed?

  7. August 16, 2011 20:31

    Did you finish the experiment to compare Anki’s algorithm to Supermemo? Which did you find is better and how much of a difference?

  8. generacion_yeye permalink
    June 18, 2012 13:38

    If you work in Linux: 3 easy steps:

    (a) anki|export delimited with TABS -> We get file input.txt

    (b) In a TERM window type this command

    $> awk -F “\t” ‘{print “Q:”$1 “\nA:”$2″\n”}’ input.txt > output.txt
    (c) Import with Supermemo output.txt

    Tx for publishing this.
    KR from Madrid

  9. June 4, 2016 08:13

    Advertise your business

  10. December 2, 2016 16:44

    I dugg some of you post as I cogitated they were very beneficial very helpful

  11. Sirajd permalink
    December 18, 2016 12:21

    Hey, is it possible to export the pictures as this aswell?

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