Contents window

The contents window in SuperMemo displays the knowledge tree (for the current collection).

These are the most prominent components of the contents window:

  • Knowledge tree (in the middle of the window). If you would like to build your own knowledge tree, read: Building the knowledge tree
  • Caption (at the top of the window). The captions shows the full path to the location of the current collection on the hard disk (or a network drive)
  • Toolbars (under the caption):
    • Edit toolbar - buttons used in most frequent operations on the knowledge tree
    • Data bar - information about the element that is currently selected in the knowledge tree
  • Editing buttons (at the bottom of the window):
    • View - view the currently selected element in the element window
    • Learn - make repetitions for the selected branch and memorize pending elements belonging to the branch
    • Add - add a new element as a child of the currently selected element (a child is an element that is one level down in the knowledge tree)
    • Insert - insert a new element in the place of the currently selected element (the current element moves one position down)
    • Delete - delete the currently selected element and all its children (if any)
    • Accept - accept the choice of the currently selected element. This button is active only if another option in SuperMemo requires selecting an element. In such a case, the contents window is opened and you can point to the element of interest and click Accept). For example, choosing Hyperlink on the component menu will open the contents window and ask for selecting an element to link to

All branches in the tree are marked with small icons that indicate the status and type of a given element in the learning process:

  • yellow icons indicate dismissed elements Dismissed topic or Dismissed item (i.e. elements that do not participate in learning)

  • blue icons indicate memorized items Learnt item (e.g. question-answer items that take part in repetitions)

  • sky blue icons indicate pending elements Pending item or Pending topic (i.e. elements awaiting memorization or review)

  • green icons indicate topics in the review process Learnt topic (e.g. articles that take part in incremental reading)

  • red arrows indicate tasks

  • L-plate icons indicate items Pending item or Learnt item or Dismissed item

  • folded-sheet icons indicate topics Pending topic or Learnt topic or Dismissed topic

Note that:

  • memorized - elements marked with a blue L-plate Learnt item or green topic icon Learnt topic have already been memorized and take part in repetition and review
  • pending - elements marked with a sky blue L-plate Pending item or topic Pending topic are waiting for review in the pending queue. Once they are memorized, their icon will change to dark blue (for items Learnt item) or green (for topics Learnt topic)
  • dismissed - elements that do not take part in the learning processed are marked yellow Dismissed topic or Dismissed item. Usually they serve as holders of other items or branches (e.g. Internet, WWW, etc.) or they are kept only as reference or comment

The plus sign to the left of the element indicates that the element has children. You can see the children when you click the plus sign. The minus sign to the left of the element indicates that the element with children can be collapsed. When you click the minus sign, all children will disappear from view and the minus sign will be replaced with a plus sign

Professional level

The contents window provides also a number of advanced options on its contents menu. To open the contents menu right-click over the contents window or press Alt+F10.


You can use View to see the current element in the element window
To have a template applied with Add new, you must select the appropriate category
You can make repetitions in a single branch

You can move elements with drag&drop

You can use View to see the current element in the element window
(Noel Clary, USA, Sep 18, 1998)
When I double click an element without children, I get to view it in the element window. However, when it has children, its branch opens or closes. How can I easily view contents elements with children in the element window?
Click View at the bottom of the contents window

To have a template applied with Add new, you must select the appropriate category
(Vidar Garlie, Norway, Mar 18, 1999)
When I go to the contents window, select a category branch and press Alt+A, the template of this category is not used! Can you help?
To use a category template, you have to first choose the category in the category combo box on the Tools toolbar. Selecting branches in the contents window does not affect the current category selection

You can move elements with drag&drop
(facep2b, Mon, Jun 11, 2001 23:03)

How can I move the presenting order of items within a branch? Say, I want to move an item from the 95th place in the category to the 3rd place
You can use drag&drop operations in Contents in Replace target mode. If the branch contains lots of elements, you can open a second Contents window and drag&drop between the two. See: Building the knowledge tree

You can make repetitions in a single branch
(Patrik Nilsson, Tue, Aug 21, 2001 11:24)
Is it possible to have different priorities of items in the pending queue? E.g. if I first want to memorize what about school and then all kinds of hobbies?
Pending queue is linear but can be sorted by various criteria. However, the recommended solution in your case is to keep school and hobby material in different branches or different categories. Then you will be able to use branch learning. For example, select School branch in the contents window and click Learn (or choose Ctrl+Alt+L)