File menu


The File submenu on the Main menu provides the options listed below. Most of these options are not visible at the beginner level. Use File : Level : Professional to see all the options listed:

SuperMemo: File menu which you can use to manage your collections

File menu items

Open collection

  • Open collection - open a new collection for use with SuperMemo

Reopen collection

  • Reopen collection (Ctrl+O) - open a new collection from a predefined list with a single keystroke (see: below). Unlike Open collection, in Reopen collection you need to find the location of the collection on the hard disk only once. Later on, you only need to press a single key to open that collection. Unlike the pick-list of recently used collections at the bottom of the File menu, the key needed to Reopen a collection is always the same. In addition, rarely used collections do not get added to the Reopen list. Only you can determine which collections should be placed on this list and which should be removed

New collection

  • New collection - create a new empty collection. To create the collection, type in its name and press Enter. Users may find it surprising that SuperMemo features this option only after Reopen collection and not as the first one as the majority of other programs do. This stems from the fact that in the long-run you are far more likely to create a handful of collections, which you will later be reopening what might be even a couple of times a day each collection, instead of creating new collections again and again.

Copy collection

  • Copy collection (Shift+Ctrl+C) - copy the currently opened collection to a new location. If the destination collection already exists, it will be deleted before copying begins. Note that Copy collection is used instead of Save As. The Copy name is used here to indicate that the collection is not kept in computer memory but on the hard disk. After Copy collection, both collections are always identical

Delete collection

  • Delete collection - delete the currently opened collection after double confirmation. Important! SuperMemo assumes that it owns all files kept in the collection folder. Although it will ask you to confirm deleting the collection folder, it will not attempt to search that folder for files that you might have put there manually. You should never keep your private files inside SuperMemo collection folders

Repair collection

  • Repair collection (Ctrl+F12) - test the integrity of the collection and recover from integrity problems (e.g. resulting from physical damage to Collection files). In various documents related to SuperMemo, the term recovery is often used in reference to using Repair collection

Merge collection

  • Merge collection - copy the contents of the currently opened collection into another collection. Currently used material will be added to the material stored in the target collection. To merge two collections:
    1. use Open collection to open the smaller of the two collections,
    2. use Merge collection to indicate the name of the larger collection. This sequence ensures that it is the smaller collection that is transferred at merger. After the operation, the source collection will remain unchanged. The target collection will contain the larger collection with the material from the smaller collection appended. Important! Not all properties of a collection can be transferred. Review your material after the merge operation to be sure it can be effectively used in learning


  • Import - import external files in various formats
    • Files and folders - import a selected folder with all its subfolders and files to SuperMemo. SuperMemo will recreate folder structure in the contents window and will import all individual files in such a way that each file will be kept in a single newly created element. Use this option to incrementally clean up your hard disk from archive materials. You can, for example, import an old archive of articles that you never had time to review. You can import your mp3 collection or an archive folder with miscellaneous files that you want to review incrementally within a limited time slot. You can also import your entire family picture album that can later be reviewed in SuperMemo. Picture albums in SuperMemo are far more fun than static albums that offer no systematic review strategy. With Files and folders you may discover an entire new universe of application for SuperMemo. You can extend incremental reading into incremental processing of information; independent of its type and format
    • Q&A text - import a standard Q&A text file exported by various versions of SuperMemo or created manually. The Q&A format is simple and is best illustrated by example:
      q: river
      a: rivero

      q: school
      a: lernejo

      q: hope
      a: esperanto
      You can include HTML tags in such a file or use UTF-8 encoded texts. Remember not to: use angle brackets for comments as these will be ignored, not to enclose Q: and A: tags with HTML code, not to use HTML editors that add extra HTML tags (e.g. <body>), and not to rename your file from *.txt to *.html. For more see: Formatting Q&A with HTML.You will find Q&A text option particularly useful when using speech recognition software to quickly create question-and-answer collection (e.g. with Dragon Naturally Speaking). Make sure you save the file as plain text (i.e. as with Notepad, not as rtf, doc, etc.).You can also import Multiple Choice Test material. Add wrong answers with a1:, a2:, a3: tags. For example:
      q: What country borders with Nigeria?
      a: Niger
      a1: Tanzania
      a2: Mozambique
      a3: Iraq
      a4: Somalia
    • Q&A XML - import an XML file with SuperMemo learning material. Use a standard Q&A template to add all items. Use topics only as element folders. Import : Q&A XML will retain the original folder structure of the knowledge tree if it is included in the XML file; however, some SuperMemos ignore the tree structure. In such cases, SuperMemo will build a regular folder structure for you. Import : Q&A XML ignores element IDs. It imports all the material to newly created elements. The learning process is transferred as well (if included). If you would like to transfer only the learning process and update texts edited in other SuperMemos, use Import : Learning process : XML file (below)
    • Learning process
      • XML file - import the learning process from an XML file generated by any SuperMemo (including File : Export : XML in SuperMemo for Windows). Import : Learning process : XML file inspects element IDs to correctly identify elements whose learning process should be updated. If SuperMemo cannot find an element of a given ID, it will add a new element and import its learning process. Use this option to return the learning process from another SuperMemo to SuperMemo for Windows. See also: Revolution in the pocket
      • Text file - restore the learning process backed up with File : Export : Learning process (see below). If the file with the extension lr1 is missing (copy of sm8opt.dat), you can still use this option; however, user profile will be lost. For example, if you export your learning process to file my knowledge.txt it will be accompanied by my knowledge.lr1 (which is a copy of the user memory profile sm8opt.dat)
    • Source code - import a text file previously generated with File : Export : Source code, File : Export : Transfer subset, Export : Source code on the Contents menu or on the Browser menu
    • Translation - import a file with the translation of the text registry to a selected language
    • Repetition history - import repetition history exported with File : Export : Repetition history (see also: Repetition history)


  • Export
    • Document - export the entire collection as a single HTML document
    • Q&A text file - export SuperMemo Q&A files by using first question and first answer component of each element (if any)
    • XML - export the collection in the XML format that can be imported to other SuperMemos. XML files may also be imported back to SuperMemo for Windows with File : Import : Q&A XML (full import) or File : Import : Learning process : XML file (learning process only and text edit updates)
    • HTML - export the collection to HTML files ready to be published on the web. SuperMemo converts individual items to portions of HTML file. Currently only text and image components are exported. Spelling drills, scripts, binary components, videos, shapes, etc. will not be included in the resulting files. Use File : Export : HTML to quickly produce a web-preview for your collection. Your preview may include URLs to locations with further information about the collection or collection download. You can also use any HTML file as a template that will determine the looks of your exported collection. All you need to do to create a template is to insert any or all of the following tags in the text of any HTML file: #Content#, #Element#, #Pages#, #SuperMemo#, #Author#, #Download#. SuperMemo will place relevant information in the place of these tags. Specify the name of the HTML template file in the field below Use Template in the HTML export dialog box (e.g. by clicking the file browser button on he right). See also: SuperMemo Wiki
    • Learning process - store the learning process in a text file. This way, you do not have to back up large systems such as Advanced English. It is enough to save the learning process and restore it if necessary. The original collection (e.g. Advanced English) can be taken and provided with learning data restored from the text file. Along the text file, this procedure will also produce a file with the same name as the text file and with the extension lr1. This is the user learning profile (copy of info/sm8opt.dat). Deleting this file will deprive the learning process backup of information about the user profile; however, it will not prevent restoring the learning process (user profile will have to be built anew). If you find it surprising that there is no XML file option that would correspond to the File : Import : Learning process : XML file command above, it is because because all XML exports are the same. The difference is only in the import: either you can import Q&As as new items or just the learning process of the material that is already in the current collection. Use File : Export : XML for all XML exports
    • Repetition history - export repetition history to a text file. This file can be re-exported with File : Import : Repetition history (NB: currently, this is the only way to reduce the size of repetition history file: info/RepetitionHist.dat)
    • Source code - export collection source code in the text format (elements, their position in the knowledge tree and all components). Note that the user profile nor unused registry entries will not be transferred. This file can later be imported to another collection with File : Import : Text
    • Transfer subset - export a subset as text. This option is the same as File : Export : Source code with this exception that only the elements belonging to a selected subset are exported. Read more: Using subsets
    • Translation - export translation file that, after being modified, can be imported back with File : Import : Translation
    • Lexicon - export the lexicon in the Q&A format for import to SuperMemo. For example, Cross Country's Words collection has been generated using this option in conjunction with File : Import : Q&A text


  • Tools
    • View as HTML - view the collection as HTML. If HTML files are not available, they will be created first (as with Export : HTML above)
    • View report - view any text file, esp. a SuperMemo report file (by default: text files with extension txt from the REPORTS subfolder such as recover.txt, etc.)
    • View FAQs - view the HTML file with FAQ questions and answers generated with FAQ options (e.g. Reading : E-mail FAQ on the Component menu). SuperMemo FAQs at are generated with FAQ options in SuperMemo
    • Reset collection - remove all learning data from the collection to make it look as if it has not been used by anyone. File : Tools : Reset collection is useful if you would like to pass your collection to someone who would like to use it too. You can also reset your collection if you would like to distribute it commercially. File : Tools : Reset collection will remove all data related to your learning process, and leave all memorized elements in the pending (or dismissed) state
    • Semi-copy - copy the currently opened collection without its elements subfolder. This subfolder contains multimedia objects such as video files, sound files, bitmaps, etc. In multimedia collections, these files make up over 95% of the collection size. Semi-copy can be used for fast back-ups of large collections whose multimedia objects have already been backed up, or have not changed much since the last back-up. Additionally, you can use Semi-copy to create a copy for another family member using the same collection on the same computer (or over the same local network)
    • Move collection - copy the currently opened collection to a new location and delete the original
    • Rename collection - rename the collection. Rename collection quickly produces the same end effect as Move collection but is less safe! Instead of copying individual files, SuperMemo renames them (which is much faster). However, a mishap such as a power failure, will leave your collection in two pieces. Unless you know how to reassemble such a split collection, you should not use Rename collection, or use it only on low-value or well-backed-up material
    • Quick backup (Shift+F12) - make a quick backup of the current collection in the backup subfolder (you can also manually determine a new backup folder). The backed-up collection includes the date stamping in its name for easy review of your backups. The naming makes it easy to sort your backups for the date of creation. Important! Quick backup does not backup files that are do not take part in the learning process (e.g. reports). To back up all files, use File : Copy collection
    • Garbage - delete selected files to reduce the size of the collection (the saving might be the greatest in case you recorded lots of own recordings in the course of training pronunciation)


  • Properties - display information such as collection path, collection size, SuperMemo path, SuperMemo version, system information and memory use


  • Installation (Ctrl+I) - see: Unlocking SuperMemo for details
    • Input password - provide unlock password. This option is active only in the locked SuperMemo and should be used to supply the unlock password received upon purchasing the product. See: Unlocking SuperMemo
    • Request password - open dialog box that makes it possible to send an e-mail to SuperMemo World with your registration data. In response you will immediately receive payment instructions
    • Install icons - install SuperMemo icons on your Windows desktop and on the Start menu
    • Unregister - remove the registration data from the currently used collection. You must use this option before redistributing your own collections! Redistributing registered collections violates your user license and spreads your registration data to other users. Unregistered collection automatically locks SuperMemo. It can be then unlocked by providing the password or opening any registered collection
    • Publish - reset, clean and unregister the currently opened collection for publishing


  • Level - makes it possible to choose between beginner, basic, middle and professional levels of difficulty. You can start using SuperMemo on the basic level and gradually jump to higher levels as soon as you master the functionality of a given level. This will make sure you learn SuperMemo starting with most essential functions:
    • Beginner - the difficulty level recommended for complete beginners. It focuses on adding new material with Add new and learning with Learn
    • Basic - the difficulty level that builds upon the beginner level and introduces learning management functions such as Forget, Remember and Dismiss. It also introduces functions for editing the knowledge tree: Add, Sibling, Insert, etc.
    • Middle - the level that introduces collection management functions (Delete collection, Copy collection, etc.), editing components, advanced search functions and browsing functions, Options, Postpone and layout management
    • Professional - the level that comprises full functionality of SuperMemo with all advanced functions such as: import-export, tasklists, etc.
    • Warrior - turn on the professional level and define the layout optimizing the use of your screen estate (esp. for Incremental reading). The new layout is called the warrior layout (compare: Window : Layout : Warrior layout)
    • Next level (Ctrl+Alt+F12) - jump to a higher level. Note that this function is circular and will let you jump back from Professional to Beginner level
    • Previous level (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F12) - jump to a lower level

Process collection>

  • Process collection> - process all elements in the collection using options available from the subset processing menu


  • Exit (Alt+F4) - exit SuperMemo

Most Recently Used (MRU) list

  • 1-10 - open one of the ten most recently opened collections


Collection chooser

Collection chooser available with File : Reopen collection helps you quickly access your most frequently used collections:

SuperMemo: Collection chooser helps you quickly access your most frequently used collections