Time-saving hints&tips for users of SuperMemo

Beginner level

  1. To add a new question-answer item to SuperMemo press Alt+A and type in the texts. Use Esc to move from the question field to the answer field and to finish
  2. To review your learning material choose Ctrl+L or press the Learn button 
  3. To search for all elements containing a given string, press Ctrl+F, type the string, and press Enter
  4. The key Esc is used throughout SuperMemo to close windows, dialog boxes, and to restore defaults such as the default layout, presentation state, default element, etc.

Basic level

  1. To move from the beginner level to the basic level, choose File : Level : Basic
  2. To see the calendar of repetitions, press Ctrl+W (same as Tools : Workload on the main menu)
  3. To master all fundamental skills needed to effectively use SuperMemo, read: Step-by-Step Guide to SuperMemo
  4. If you see an important element, you can increase its priority by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Up (same as Learning : Priority : Increase on the element menu). This will increase the frequency with which the element will be presented
  5. To move an element to another branch in the contents window, press Ctrl+Shift+V, select the new location in the tree and choose Accept (or Enter)
  6. To send an element via e-mail press the e-mail button on the element toolbar
  7. Apart from simple question-answer repetitions, SuperMemo supports incremental reading - a technique that makes reading and learning yet more efficient. Read more: Incremental reading (see also Incremental reading tips below)
  8. To introduce the currently displayed element into the learning process press Ctrl+M (memorize) or choose Remember at the bottom of the element window. Note that Ctrl+M during repetitions is equivalent to re-memorizing the element and re-starting repetitions all over again starting with short intervals. You should use this option in case you substantially reedit the item. This will let SuperMemo know you are dealing with an entirely new piece of information
  9. To completely remove an element from the learning process, choose the button Dismiss. This will make the element invisible to the learning process, but still available for browsing, search, etc. During repetitions, when button Dismiss is not visible, you can choose Ctrl+D to dismiss the current element. To completely delete the element from the collection choose Ctrl+Shift+Del (simple Del will also work in most contexts)
  10. To edit texts in a previously introduced element, find the element, click the text and use editing keys (Q, A, E, Ctrl+E, etc.). To edit texts with a click, Tools : Options : Mouse : Edit texts : On click must be checked (default)
  11. If you suspect a file damage, press Ctrl+F12 and make a quick checkup of your most important files

Middle level

  1. To maximize your learning efficiency, read SuperMemo Decalog
  2. To change the interface font used by SuperMemo, press Ctrl+Shift+O, and choose Fonts : Interface font
  3. To move an element to another collection, press Ctrl+Shift+T and choose the target collection
  4. To create or modify the structure of the knowledge tree read: Knowledge tree
  5. If you change the color of your element, or the size of the components, or their type, etc. you can preserve the "new look" by using templates. Save the present look as the default template with Ctrl+Alt+M (Template : Save as default on the element menu). Use Ctrl+Shift+M to apply a new template. Read more: Using templates
  6. If you want Alt+A (Add new) to add elements only to a given branch in the contents window, select this branch in the contents window and press Ctrl+K. This will create a new category in that branch. To change the category in use, choose in the category combo box on the Tools toolbar. Use Ctrl+Shift+P to move an element to another category by changing the Category field. Read more: Using categories
  7. If you want to learn only the material belonging to a selected branch in the contents window, choose this branch and click Learn at the bottom of the contents window (i.e. not in the element window). See: Subset learning
  8. In HTML, you can use Shift+Enter to start a new line single-spaced (as opposed to double-spaced Enter). This inserts the <br> tag as opposed to the <p> tag

Professional level

  1. To display the statistics, press F5. You can use layouts to preserve your best window layout setting: arrange the windows the way you like it and choose Window : Layout : Save as default or simply press Ctrl+Shift+F5
  2. To sweep away those pesky toolbars, press Alt+F5. Return to your original layout with Ctrl+F5
  3. If you had a break in learning and cannot cope with outstanding repetitions, use Learn : Postpone
  4. To locate and get rid of the most difficult or badly-structured material use View : Other : Leeches or Tools : Options : Leeches : Wizard. Read more: Leeches in SuperMemo
  5. If you prefer to use keyboard as opposed to the mouse, read about keyboard shortcuts
  6. If you would like to move your repetitions to another SuperMemo, read about XML in SuperMemo
  7. If you want to move an element to the end of the queue of elements awaiting memorization, choose the button Forget (during repetitions, when this button is not visible, you can choose Ctrl+R to accomplish the same). This will delay the introduction of the element into the learning process until the time when all elements from the pending queue have been reviewed
  8. To turn on and off the status bar, check or uncheck Window : Status bar. The same refers to toolbars used in SuperMemo

Incremental reading

  1. To paste an article from your web browser to SuperMemo: (1) switch to the browser, (2) select the text (e.g. with Ctrl+A), (3) copy the text to the clipboard (e.g. with Ctrl+C), (4) switch back to SuperMemo (e.g. with Alt+Tab), (5) press Ctrl+Alt+N in SuperMemo
  2. To manually type in some notes use Ctrl+N
  3. You should use Ctrl+N and Ctrl+Alt+N (as above) as your primary way of adding notes and articles to SuperMemo in incremental reading
  4. To randomize repetitions on a given day, use Ctrl+Shift+F11 (Learn : Random : Randomize repetitions). You should always randomize repetitions if SuperMemo presents more material for review than you can cope with
  5. To review the material belonging to a single subject, open the subject in the browser (e.g. by using Ctrl+F), and use Learning : Review topics or Learning : Review all. Review topics will let you review topics related to the subject. Review all will additionally force mid-interval repetition of all items in the subset (except those that have already been repeated today). See: Subset learning
  6. If you have many pages opened in Internet Explorer, you can import them all with Shift+F8 (Edit : Import web pages)
  7. To postpone all outstanding articles (topics) use: (1) View : Outstanding, (2) Child : Topics (browser menu), and (3) Learning : Postpone (browser menu or Ctrl+Alt+P). You can use this procedure each time you run out of time for repetitions. This way, you will be able to spend your last minutes on making item repetitions (see: active-recall)
  8. To postpone all items in a branch (e.g. To Do branch): (1) choose this branch in the contents window, (2) choose View : Branch (contents menu or Ctrl+Shift+Enter), (3) Child : Items (browser menu), and (3) Learning : Postpone (browser menu or Ctrl+Alt+P)
  9. To ensure the optimum proportion between reading and repetitions, you could divide your work with SuperMemo into two parts: (1) random review of articles and items, and (2) repetitions of outstanding items. Allocate strict time slots for both activities and postpone topics before Step 2. You can also define more steps in which you will gradually reduce the subset of elements subject to review. In your last stage you will only make repetitions of the most important items