Trim Shortcuts turns off Ctrl+Alt+C and some other shortcuts
(Jiri Pik, Wed, Jun 27, 2001 8:44)
Why can I not use Ctrl+Alt+C shortcut for selecting the current category in SuperMemo 2000? In the previous releases it worked without any trouble?
Make sure you have Trim Shortcuts in Tools : Options : SuperMemo unchecked. This shortcut can be inactivated to compensate for a bug in handling diacritical characters in some national versions of MS Windows
It may happen that you will not be able to edit
material if you use a wrong template!
(Glenn Fraser, Japan, March 16, 2000)
When I choose Add new I cannot edit the texts! Until recently, I was able to work without problems. What might be happening?
You must have saved an empty element as the default template (e.g. by pressing Ctrl+Alt+M upon deleting all components). The simplest solution is:
- go to any of the correctly looking elements
- choose Template : Save as default (Ctrl+Alt+M). This will save the element as the default template
- choose Add new (Alt+A). This will add a new element with the same looks as the saved element
- delete texts, sound or images saved in Step 2
- choose Template : Save as default again (Ctrl+Alt+M). This will save the template with the right looks but without any content
Use import/export repetition history to resolve corrupted repetition history
(Jiri Pik, Czech Republic, 12/1/2001 5:59:25 PM)
SuperMemo has just displayed the following error: "Wrong repetition history record found. Writing Item #145428: NOM DE GUERRE"
Repetition history record is kept only for your information and does not take part in scheduling repetitions. If the repetition history has been corrupted (e.g. due to an aborted learning data transfer) and you cannot fix it with File : Repair collection : Verify rep. history, you can try the following procedure:
- back up your collection
- use File : Tools : Export : Repetition history
- run File : Tools : Reset parameters : Repetition history
- use File : Tools : Import : Repetition history (with the file created in Point 2)
Errors in reading picture files may indicate problem with file integrity
(Simon Jacques , Thursday, April 17, 2003 2:10 AM)
I received the following message in SuperMemo: "Bitmap error"
This message is not displayed by SuperMemo. It results from errors in a picture file used by SuperMemo (e.g. picture displayed in your collection). SuperMemo never modifies picture files (except JPG/GIF compression). For that reason, you can be sure the error must have occurred as a result of problem with file integrity on your hard disk. Such errors may have multiple causes: physical hard disk error, logical file structure error, damage produced by a virus, etc. If this problem occurs with only one file, you can simply delete or replace that particular file (it would be safe though to inspect the entire hard disk for file integrity). However, if this reoccurs, you may want to have your PC inspected by a hardware expert
Range Check Error on starting SuperMemo
(Paul Richards, United Kingdom, Wednesday, June 25, 2003 10:35 AM)
When I start SuperMemo 2002, I get a range check error. The software seems to work ok after that; however, I get the same error when I try Help : About. The error occurs even when I start SuperMemo in a clean folder. I am using Windows 2000.
Try installing the latest Internet Explorer with SP1, and allowing Windows Update to update everything it wants to. This error is most likely caused by some outdated Windows libraries that deal with controls and/or graphics. Even new installations can misbehave if some applications substitute Windows DLLs with their older or modified versions
Errors while reading incrementally with SuperMemo
(Piotr Wasik, Poland, Monday, January 13, 2003 11:38 AM)
SuperMemo is often aborted by the OS with a Polish error message: "Program wykonal nieprawidlowa operacje i nastapi jego zamkniecie" ["This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down"], while extracting sub-topic with Alt-X, few times during a two-hours session. I don't believe in hardware problems as suggested in your troubleshooting section. I understand that incremental reading feature is heavily dependent on IE6 libraries and it's quality affects overall SuperMemo stability. What is the best reference configuration for SuperMemo to make it reasonably stable?
It is true that in some configurations, error messages in HTML-based incremental reading can be annoying. SuperMemo delegates a couple of simple copy and delete operations to MS HTML libraries (source code). Unfortunately, depending on the HTML content and the operating system, even these simple operation may cause errors. SuperMemo 2002/2004 was developed in English Windows 2000 and Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6.0 that included all patches and updates up to the date of release. For that reason, these platforms provide highest stability. Newest patches to IE6 might add stability but can also produce slight changes in the behavior of SuperMemo. Non-NT Windows (98 and ME in particular) are by far less stable and this also shows in SuperMemo. In addition, some national versions of Windows may contribute to instability. In Windows 2000 or XP, SuperMemo nearly never closes and nearly never causes loss of data in the presently edited HTML. If your present installation produces aborts you can either consider upgrading to an NT-based platform (Win2000 or XP), or change your default incremental reading template to RTF (to avoid using HTML libraries). It is also recommended that you experiment with various types of content. mshtml.dll shows notoriously bad behavior with tables, scripts and some multimedia content. Using HTML filter (F6) dramatically improves performance in such cases
Trim shortcuts may turn off certain shortcuts
(Kentaroh Takagaki, USA Educational, Thursday, September 26, 2002 5:17 AM)
I have recently switched to Windows XP. After the switch, I lost the functionality of the Ctrl+Alt+D shortcut key (Duplicate element). I do not have any other special keyboard utilities installed, and all of the other shortcuts I use work fine
Go to Tools : Options, click the SuperMemo tab, and check if the Trim shortcuts option is unchecked. This option turns off some shortcuts by design to avoid conflicts with some national keyboard settings
SuperMemo for Windows requires the Pentium
(Patrik, Monday, October 08, 2001 11:38 AM)
Does SuperMemo 2000 run on a 486 processor?
Officially, SuperMemo 2000 requires the Pentium, but there are no technical limitations that would truly put it out of use on a 486 computer. Your main limitation will be speed. In addition, large collections may consume a few MB of RAM that could make your PC crawl. Finally, be sure to run newer Windows releases to avail of multiple features added by the Internet Explorer. Important! Please try a demo before ordering the product
SuperMemo eGroup is not owned by SuperMemo World
(Nathan Forsdyke, Tuesday, August 06, 2002 3:12 PM)
It would be good to see a link to the Yahoo users group in the help menu of SuperMemo, to encourage people to join up
SuperMemo eGroup is not owned by SuperMemo World. As a result, we are not in power to ensure its continued existence and make the link permanently functional
Use layouts to determine window sizes (#29094)
(Janusz, USA Educational, Monday, October 18, 2004 7:34 PM)
Is there a possibility to introduce a command line parameters to open SuperMemo in a predetermined window size (say 640x480)?
No. You can use layouts instead. Arrange the windows in the way you like and choose Window : Layout : Save as default (Ctrl+Shift+F5). You can store several layouts and choose one of them from Window menu at any time
There are no plans for a dedicated version for Windows ME
(Walter Cook, Saturday, July 21, 2001 7:20 PM)
Will you have a version of SuperMemo for Windows ME out soon or have you developed a workaround solution for it?
Currently a dedicated version for Windows ME is not planned. There is a likelihood of improved performance with new component library coming with the release of Delphi 6 (compiler used to develop SuperMemo for Windows). Another hope comes from Microsoft patches that could resolve incompatibility and memory leak problems (see: Memory leak bug in Windows ME). Otherwise, the only solution for now is to try a demo of SuperMemo 2000 and decide if performance problems are sufficient to disqualify the product
You can easily learn 10,000 items per year (#29064)
(Robyn, Oct 13, 2004, 10:12:16)
I read that many users add 10,000 items per annum effortlessly, but this is 28 items per day implying 230+ reps per day. Isn't that very demanding? Can it be kept up year after year? What sort of material is the 10,000 item observation based on?
Adding 10,000 items per year is demanding and requires self-discipline. Many users are able to achieve this rate, but they are still a minority. The statistic refers to learning English vocabulary (in particular: Advanced English). This rate can be sustained for a couple of years; however, it requires a ready-made simple word-pair collection. Advanced English provides a supply of learning material for only a sustained 4 years of learning at the said rate
E-mail communication is imperfect but invaluable (#30023)
(snjpurcell, Friday, November 19, 2004 6:36 AM)
Waiting on e-mail interactions given all the problems you have with email as documented in your FAQ is a very poor solution for unlocking SuperMemo for use
Even though the cases of lost mail increase (mostly due to anti-virus and spam protection barriers), e-mail is still a very effective way of communicating with customers. Unless there is an inherent problem on the customer side (e.g. specifying wrong address, permanent error at the mail server, etc.), the random nature of communication problems makes it possible to resolve a vast majority of cases by simply resending mail. Assuming perfect randomness of delivery trouble, if 1% of mail is lost, resending should leave only one in 10,000 cases unresolved. In cases of repeated delivery problems we may resort to calling the customer. Such cases are extremely rare
You can save HTML files locally to save on your Internet bill (#29200)
(nibalart, Italy, Oct 24, 2004, 23:12:18)
I have imported some html pages, but when I'm not connected to the Internet the pictures don't appear. Is there any chance to do all downloads automatically without spending a fortune on connections to the Internet
You could save the page with File : Save As (Web page complete) in Internet Explorer and import it with Edit : Add to category : HTML file in SuperMemo (Ctrl+Alt+H). This way, you will be on-line exactly as long as it takes to load the page once
Turning off template type mismatch warning (#29188)
(morphpuppy, Oct 23, 2004, 12:23:18)
When I press Ctrl+Alt+N to paste text to SuperMemo, a screen pops up with "Template type differs from the element type Topic #164". How can I turn this off?
When you choose Ctrl+Alt+N, your article is pasted to a default topic template of the current category. However, if your default topic template is actually an item template, you will receive the warning: "Template type differs ...".
You can either choose another topic template for your current category or change the type of the current template to "Topic". You change default category templates in the category registry (Search : Categories)
Find string enters the editing mode (#736)
(Marcos Pereira Rufino, Jun 29, 2004, 18:49:52)
When I press F3 or choose Search : Find string, one of the components enters in the editing mode
Find string is used to search for a string in longer texts. The component automatically enters the editing mode so that you might immediately proceed with editing actions. Most often, you will need that function in incremental reading. Once you locate a piece of text, you may want to process it for further learning. By default, presentation mode is selection-less so that you associate selections with editing
Use Edit : Menus to access the component menu of a read-only component (#29192)
(Ivan Briery, Oct 25, 2004, 12:17:19)
I selected Read Only in an HTML component, but now right clicking on the component does not offer the same menu. How do I remove this Read Only attribute now?
You need to use Edit : Menus : Component to access Text : Read-Only again. Once you make a component read-only, it will disable the standard component menu with all editing options. In such cases, HTML component offers the standard Internet browser menu
You can import multi-line question&answer files (#29253)
(Steffen Schwember, Oct 28, 2004, 08:51:36)
I could not import multi-line (not multi-answer) items into SuperMemo using the following text in the Q&A file:
q: What is ...?
You must make sure that you are using plain text components. In HTML, your lines will be merged into "explanation example synonyms" (unless you introduce HTML tags). You can either choose a plain text template for the import, or apply the template after the import
You can easily back up SuperMemo (#29624)
(Gilles Compienne, United Kingdom, Tuesday, November 02, 2004 10:39 PM)
I have been disappointed by the fact that the download only gives access to a bootstrap program. It means that if your servers are down or your company goes under then I will not be able to reinstall the product (to keep Windows happy, I usually reinstall it every 2 years or so!)
You only need to back up your SuperMemo executable (e.g. sm2008.exe). The program is self-contained and does not require an installation procedure. You can also backup SuperMemo along with your collections. To reinstall, you will only need to copy your SuperMemo folder to a new computer. Last but not least, if there was to be a problem with the continuity of a given software line or business, SuperMemo is likely to be released as freeware
(Michal Klejman, Poland, Aug 28, 2000)
Will SuperMemo be available for Linux?
We hope to port SuperMemo 2000 to Unix with Kylix tools from Borland. Currently it is difficult to estimate the probability that this enterprise will take off and what the release time-table might be. Please write to lnx(AT)supermemo(.)com for details
Note that you can try SuperMemo 6 (DOS) or SuperMemo 7 (Windows) in Linux emulation modes
Ordering SuperMemo 2008 should be easy (#29743)
(Jan Warngren, Thursday, November 04, 2004 8:52 AM)
I've been trying to get to your SuperMemo Store for a couple of days. I've tried via Yahoo Shopping, by clicking on your website and by googling it and so on. Don't you want to sell your product? Haha, usually when you want to buy something it is very easy. Now it almost seems like you deliberately trying not to sell
You can order SuperMemo 2008 from here. If you experience any problems, make sure your firewall or your browser do not block the purchase in any way (scripts, cookies, ActiveX, etc.). The order page is hosted by Yahoo Stores and should be considered state-of-the-art. Other orders seem to flow in without hindrance at the moment. See also: Yahoo FAQ
What is the delivery time (for CD-ROM titles)?
(Noel Clary, USA, Nov 26, 1997)
What is the delivery time of packages sent to the US?
If you order directly from SuperMemo World, it takes on average 7 days for packages to reach Western Europe by airmail. The same time for the US is about 10 days. It may take over a month to deliver packages to some distant countries (e.g. South America, Africa, etc.)
Ctrl+Alt shortcut problem
(RD, beta, Poland, 02-03-12 11:59:18)
SuperMemo seems not to see the difference between Alt Gr (right Alt) and Ctrl+Alt, which makes it difficult to enter Polish "a" and "e"
This is a problem that affects many Windows applications (not only SuperMemo). SuperMemo solves this by switching off offending shortcuts with Tools : Options : SuperMemo : Trim Shortcuts. It is also possible to enter these diacritical characters by pressing ~a or ~e in a sequence
You can do a swap on questions and answers in a branch (#29748)
(Kazimierz Bigus, Nov 04, 2004, 14:52:53)
What is the easiest way of swapping questions to answers for a given group of elements?
Use Tools : Swap Q&A on the browser menu
You can paste a picture to HTML as remote or as local (#1040)
(Ewa K, Aug 12, 2004, 09:26:58)
When I copy pictures from webpages into HTML, they always get integrated locally with the HTML file. Can I just leave them on the remote server?
You can paste pictures to become local or to remain remote:
- local - copy the bitmap alone (e.g. right-click the picture and choose Copy in the browser)
- remote - copy the picture as HTML (e.g. select the picture by clicking to the left and dragging the mouse to the right, and then choose Copy)
In the first case, only the bitmap will be copied with no information about bitmap's location. Such a bitmap will be integrated with the HTML file to which you paste.
In the second case, a piece of HTML will be copied with a pointer to the remote image (e.g. <img alt="Map of " src="http://www.nationmaster.com/images/maps/sb-map.gif" width="330" height="354">). Such an image will remain remote
Keyboard use is optimized for English
(Michal Szklanowski, Poland, Monday, January 20, 2003 12:43 PM)
When I use Trim Shortcuts option, SuperMemo is unfriendly for keyboard freaks, because you don't have shortcuts to Add new or Learn. Why did you choose Alt keys instead of good old Ctrl keys, which work for all keyboard layouts?
The shortcut table is quite crowded. For that reasons, it is optimized for mnemonic use with a bias towards English. As Ctrl+Alt combinations misbehave in some localized versions of Windows, the option Trim Shortcuts is vital for those who need to use AltGr in their local language. The shortcut Ctrl+A was voted out by users of SuperMemo who prefer to use it for standard Select All in texts. However, you can still use Ctrl+L to execute Learn. In most context, Enter will also execute Learn. With SuperMemo 2002, the emphasis shifts from adding your own items to incremental reading. This means that instead of using Add new, you will rather paste texts to SuperMemo and process then with incremental reading tools
Problems with installing a collection (#29810)
(Lovicam, Nov 10, 2004, 06:16:31)
I downloaded the GeographyMix and it shows the icon of a floppy disk on my desktop. I double-click on it but it does not do anything, I open SuperMemo and double-click on it and it still does not do anything. I then dragged GeographyMix onto the SuperMemo icon, it opened SuperMemo with nothing, and created two additional icons on my desktop: a folder and an icon. When I click on the icon, it opens the same blank version of SuperMemo, and when I open the folder, it shows 5 folders (info, registry, stats, tasks and temp) and one file (collection). I then opened SuperMemo and clicked on File : Open Collection : Desktop -> GeographyMix.kno then I click OK and it re-opens the same blank page with nothing on it
The correct sequence is:
- Run GeographyMix file to extract the collection
- Open the collection by selecting the KNO file with File : Open collection (in SuperMemo)
- When you run GeographyMix.exe, it creates the collection for you. It may happen fast enough so that you miss the unzipping act. It may also be corrupted and the extract process is aborted (in the latter case, you should repeat the download)
- When you run SuperMemo and then run GeographyMix.exe, the outcome is exactly the same. SuperMemo takes no part in the process
- When you drag GeographyMix.exe on SuperMemo, SuperMemo creates an empty collection GeographyMix. It does not run the exe file, extract the collection, nor open the collection
- When you then click on the newly created icon, you open the same blank collection that was created when dragging GeographyMix
- Each collection is made of the KNO file and the folder. That is the foler where you see "5 more folders". These all store the data of the empty collection you have created
You can change the default item template in any category (#29973)
(Pat E., Oct 18, 2004, 21:29:47)
I couldn't seem to find the way to change the item template for the current category
Do as follows:
- Choose Search : Categories
- Scroll to the category that is to be modified (if that category is not the current category)
- Click the button Template
- Choose a new item template
- Click Accept
Q&A file import allows of HTML tags (#29766)
(Justin Wilson, USA Educational, Nov 05, 2004, 07:41:45)
I imported a Q&A file with important information about verb types included inbetween angle brackets. I was shocked to discover that all this information is simply discarded after import!
Q&A files allow of HTML tags. All information in angle brackets will be interpreted as HTML. If it does not form valid HTML, it will be treated as "invisible comment"
SuperMemo knowledge and SuperMemo documentation do not live by the same rules (#30037)
(David Weisblat, Nov 18, 2004, 07:28:15)
The layout of your own support documentation doesn't follow your own rules of formulating knowledge. Doesn't that seem odd to you?
The 20 rules of formulating knowledge refer to knowledge that is supposed to be subject to active repetition. SuperMemo documentation is supposed to be reviewed passively. 20 rules refer to learning, while the documentation serves as a reference. Not all rules valid for active repetition will apply to passive review.
Nevertheless, if you identify specific problems with the documentation or specific articles that are hard to comprehend or use, your remarks will be considered with utmost attention
Certain shortcuts do not work in the editing mode
(JP, Monday, December 02, 2002 9:32 PM)
The Ctrl+Alt+C shortcut key responsible for selecting a category from the category combo box available in the Tools toolbar doesn't work when I review elements, which use HTML components.
The shortcut key will work once you exit the editing mode (e.g. by pressing Esc)
Installing old Advanced English with new SuperMemo
To update Advanced English 97 bought on CD-ROMs to SuperMemo 2008 format I put all the information from both CD to the hard drive (into two different folders corresponding to each of the discs) of my computer and run the old Advanced English collection. SuperMemo seems to successfully go through the process of updating. But at the end of the process I got the following message: File not found: F:\Supermemo_disk1\SYSTEMS\PRON\reports\Recover.txt
The recommended procedure is:
- install Advanced English 97 (running setup from CD-ROM)
- open it with SuperMemo 2008
If you would like to use the collection without CD-ROMs, copy the sound files from CD-ROM #2 (the ELEMENTS folder) to your hard disk and point Secondary Storage of Advanced English to that location (Tools : Options : Access : Secondary storage)
Corrupted download may result in "futile upgrade" (#24584)
(Nitin T, Nov 17, 2004, 19:30:13)
I have ordered SuperMemo 2004 upgrade. The install seems to go successfully. In the end I am given an option of "Run SuperMemo". When I run it, it still opens the old SuperMemo 2002
This could happen if SuperMemo files had been corrupted at download. Repeat the download process. If the problem persists, you may need to look for reasons with your computer configuration. You can also contact support for further assistance
After a break, you may be surprised with good recall and long intervals (#24576)
(Dustin, USA Educational, Nov 18, 2004, 09:26:34)
I decided to dust off one of my old collections and give it another go. I was pretty pleased that I managed to answer half of all the questions just about perfectly. Since there was an interval of two years since my last use, SuperMemo was putting the next repetition out to, in some cases, 2009! These are items with a total of 3 repetitions on record. I'd like to know if for the time being there's a way to override the interval manually? This way I can confirm, just for myself, that in some 70 days from now there's still a good memory trace
There is a widespread misconception that SuperMemo schedules repetitions when the information is "on the verge of forgetting". The truth is that it schedules repetitions at the time where only a small fraction of material is likely to be forgotten. Due to a negatively exponential nature of forgetting, this implies, that even after a substantial delay in repetitions, you are still likely to remember most of the learned material even if you double or triple the interval (assuming well-formulated knowledge). To capitalize on this fact, you should reserve pure SuperMemo strategy only for your mission-critical material. For the rest, you can safely increase the forgetting index or heavily use Postpone. This way you can find the optimum balance between high retention of vital knowledge and high speed of learning for lesser important material. If, due to delays, your interval was 2 years instead of 2 weeks, you can still recall some of your material if it is either very easy or is subject to repetition outside SuperMemo. If you show good recall after 2 years, SuperMemo will accordingly look for an appropriately long interval that will comply with the forgetting index criteria. Repetition in 2009 should then not be a surprise. If your material is very easy, SuperMemo imposes an upper limit on how much you can delay a repetition (even if it might result in better recall than indicated by the requested forgetting index). This is why you may show excellent recall after a long delay. However, 2009 is a repetition date with that limit already imposed. If you believe you recall some items by fluke or by virtue of having them reminded in the course of other activities, you can manually set the next repetition to a safer date. You can also change intervals when you simply feel you do not want to risk forgetting in the meantime (remember about the spacing effect that may have the outcome opposite to the intended one!).
You can use Execute Repetition (Ctrl+Shift+R) to choose a new interval or a new repetition date. Having already executed a repetition, you can alternatively use Reschedule (Ctrl+J) for the same purpose. Both commands are available from the element menu
SuperMemo CD-ROMs carry older versions of the program
(David Palmer, UK, Sep 9, 1997)
If I order SuperMemo via snail mail on CD-ROM do I get a better or more detailed version?
No. CD-ROMs usually use older versions of SuperMemo or Multimedia SuperMemo
Warnings at collection repair are no reason to worry (#30034)
(John Butler, United Kingdom, Nov 18, 2004, 12:21:27)
I get the following message at using Repair collection:
Warning! Template registry reference list cut to 500 members
Template #13: "Item"
Members listed: 593
Should I start getting worried?
Warnings should never be a reason to worry. However, if you do not understand them, it might be beneficial to check for their meaning in the documentation or, if they are not documented, write to support for the documentation to be extended. In your case, you have used a template "Item" on more than 500 elements. SuperMemo tries to keep a reference list of these elements. This reference list is useful if you would like to see which elements use the template "Item". However, for performance reasons, SuperMemo does not keep lists longer than 500 elements. In other words, if you review elements using the template "Item", you will not see all of these elements. If you applied a new template to those elements, there would still be 593 elements which would retain the old template. At the next Repair collection, SuperMemo would then recompile a new reference list and you would be able to access those extra 593 elements and re-apply the new template
You can use the German keyboard with SuperMemo (#30019)
(Mark Banks, Nov 19, 2004, 05:00:39)
Does SuperMemo have the capability to type the German umlaut a, o, & u (dots on top of the letter); and es-tset (looks like a B)?
Yes. However, this is not a function of SuperMemo, but a function of Windows. Use Control Panel : Keyboard : Input locales for that purpose
You can achieve fluency in both British and Indian accents (#30057)
(Anab, United Kingdom, Nov 22, 2004, 12:35:03)
I am originally from India and speak good English since all my education in India was in the English language. But after I came to London, I felt a little inhibited, as my accent was very "Indian”. I realised that it is not your command over the language but how you speak the language, which defines the relationships one forms with local people and becomes critical to feel socially included. I wish to learn “A British Accent” but at the same time I don’t want to forget the way I speak originally because that seems to be one of the most important links I have to my own cultural background and my home in India. Is there a method by which I can learn a new accent and still retain my old accent?
To retain your Indian accent, you will probably only need to stay in touch with your culture and refresh your natural way of speaking from time to time. Probably you will not need SuperMemo for that. As for the British accent, you will need to begin a program of conscious immersion. This means a meticulous attention to all differences between the two accents, the choice of words and phrases, and the pronunciation. Focusing 100% on the British accent for some time would probably be the best strategy. All documented details of differences between the accents, you could store in and rehearse with SuperMemo. This way you will be sure your investment is not eaten away by time and forgetting. It will also help you minimize interference between accents. With time, you shall be able to turn on a mental "switch" and speak the accent of your choice. Despite the fact that we speak here of two versions of English, the knowledge of differences between accents and cultures is huge! It may be easier to learn a new language fluently, than to move from fluency to a native perfection. You can accomplish reasonable language fluency with 5000-10,000 items in SuperMemo. Approaching native accents is more of an acting skill. It may call for another 5000-10,000 items with this vital difference that those items are not easy to find in a textbook (say "British English for natives of India"). Moreover, the items are often hard to define and verbalize. Learning a new accent will also rely more on your "inborn talents" for mimicking languages. Research shows that you need specialized neural networks for this goal. If you fail to develop these networks early, if you live most of your life in one phonetic world, it will always be harder (but not impossible) to compensate when moving to a new phonetic world. The best thing you might do now is to ask one of your friends with an acute ear for accents to call your attention to your native ways of speaking. Once you identify differences, you could use SuperMemo to meticulously document and drill both ways (i.e. both accents). You will iterate this process until you reach a satisfactory fluency. This is a long way!
You can remove all information about the learning process
(Mariusz Szepietowski, Poland, Dec 7, 1997)
How can I remove information about the learning process from a collection? I would like to start learning all over again from scratch?
Use File : Tools : Reset collection. At the end of this process choose sorting the pending queue either by contents or by ordinals (e.g. as in Advanced English)
Can I order SuperMemo and have it mailed as a gift?
(Werner Pirkl, Switzerland, Feb 2, 1999)
I would like to order SuperMemo and have it shipped to Austria to a colleague who does not have access to the web. Is it possible?
Yes. However, we recommend that you rather order a CD-ROM version of SuperMemo as it might be easier to use for novices
Adding random images to items would not likely improve the learning process (#28967)
(Michael, Oct 10, 2004, 15:17:53)
If SuperMemo could select a random image from a directory of a few thousand everyday life images (people going to work, forests, shops, kitchens, etc), and display those images as background to items, would this not be far better than seeing every item against a plain background? It would be more like real life: at each repetition, your brain would have to recall the answer while in a completely new 'virtual environment'
Unfortunately, random images are not likely to add challenge to repetition. They would not simulate real life situations well. The value of the context shows at times when you force the brain to extract commonalities from a muddled picture. Questions with backgrounds are extremely easy to decode and you will quickly learn to ignore backgrounds (well-formulated items are context-independent). Your brain will simply learn very quickly than no additional useful information can be found in the background. The ever changing backgrounds will not render your questions different or more difficult. You will make a repetition, and a few seconds later you may not even be able to recall the context picture. The picture will not enter the stimulus portion of the stimulus-response association. No inference, no learning. This is why the value of this approach from the learning standpoint will be limited. This does not mean that random pictures would not have an esthetic effect that would make learning fun and/or perhaps improve the neurohormonal setting for the review process. Theoretically, this could work to your advantage. However, pictures might also act as a distraction (e.g. if these included attractive individuals of the opposite sex). Changing backgrounds might be welcome, if you previously used static backgrounds to short-circuit the path to the correct answer (i.e. associate the answer with the picture rather than with the question). Such clue-illustrations should be avoided, yet are a common practice for many. Sadly, SuperMemo World has also made an error by experimenting with static images in Advanced English 97 CD-ROM. Research shows that these images had a detrimental effect on the learning process. Students who memorized portions of Advanced English 97, showed diminished recall once the pictures were removed from the process (even though these had not carried any relevant information).
Last but not least, this answer is purely theoretical. To definitely answer your question, we would need to run a test and compare repetitions with and without visual context. The outcome would hinge on the type of images (e.g. the degree of distractibility) and your personal preferences. For that reason, do not take this response as final. You can create your own collections and experiment. Once you believe you are getting better results with pictures, it would be worth analyzing your particular case and look for reasons
You can see the position of a task in the tasklist within Element Parameters (#30155)
(Bryan Bodine, Wednesday, December 01, 2004 9:16 PM)
What is the meaning of the Pos field in the Element Parameters dialog on the Task tab?
Pos indicates the current position of the task on its tasklist. Although, task's position on the list should solely be determined by its Value and Time, you may occasionally want to "sneak in" urgency to override importance (e.g. in condition of an approaching deadline). Instead of determining the true Value of the task, you can "cheat" and set Value in such a way that the task is placed close to the top of the list
You can keep many tasklists in one collection (#30018)
(Mackay Paul, United Kingdom, Wednesday, November 17, 2004 8:23 PM)
How can I create multiple tasklists within a single collection?
Use Edit : Create tasklist for each tasklist. Use tasklist combo box on the Tools toolbar to switch between tasklists. You can also use the combo box in the tasklist manager, this will switch the tasklist temporarily (i.e. the default tasklist will not be changed)
Not all buttons in SuperMemo are documented (#30230)
(Bryan Bodine, Wednesday, December 01, 2004 9:16 PM)
There is a small (no caption) button to the right of Time field in Task parameters. When clicking this button, it automatically converts whatever is in the Time field to 0.017. There is no documentation on this button
This button is useful only in reading lists. It sets the Time field assuming the reading speed of 1000 chars/min. Some less frequently used buttons or menus are indeed not listed in documentation. In such cases, you could use button or menu hits for a description. If that is not helpful, write to us
You can choose a template for cloze deletions (#30293)
(Aleksander Pronkiewicz, Poland, 9. decembar 2004 23:56)
When I create a cloze deletion, a template is applied by default to newly created items. Saving a new template as a default does not change anything
The template used by cloze deletions depends on the default item template of the category to which the article belongs. Saving template as default will only affect the currently used category. If the article belongs to another category, saving default template operation will have no effect on the appearance of cloze deletions. In addition, if you uncheck Auto-Apply in the article's category, no template will be used. Instead, the cloze deletion will be formed on the basis of the template used by the article
RTF text components need to be printed separately
(Ronn, Tuesday, August 28, 2001 4:26 AM)
I have been trying to print out the questions and answer element. I click on print and all I get is a blank sheet of paper
Rich text components do not get printed along the element content. You can work around this problem in the following ways:
1. Using Text : Print on the rich text component pop-up menu (right click)
2. Copying questions and answers via clipboard (e.g. Ctrl+C)
3. Using plain text components instead of rich text components (e.g. apply Classic template)
All this trouble results from a bug in Delphi VCL library (SuperMemo development tool) that fails to print RTF texts on form printouts
SuperMemo is a compromise (#30745)
(Robert Dr? Poland, 20. decembar 2004 9:12)
If Random Tests are inferior to mid-interval repetitions, why haven't you dumped Random Tests at all from SuperMemo? I don't think that many users understand the difference between Random Tests and mid-interval repetitions
Random Tests should not be used in learning; however, they are still useful in reviewing someone else's collection. Inevitably, SuperMemo is a compromise between what is optimum for learning and what users want. For example, drag&match tests are dismal in terms of learning efficiency (let alone the time needed to prepare tests for oneself), yet years ago a number of customers threatened to "switch to alternative flashcards" if they did not get drag&match. Random Tests are considered a must-have feature by SuperMemo newcomers. The fact that many users do not understand the difference between random test and mid-interval repetition, only shows that the road to acceptance of the alternatives is long. Very often, the choice of the proper name solves the comprehension problem. Let's hope, the term review will be accepted to intuitively denote mid-interval repetitions (although review is also used in other contexts, e.g. to differentiate active recall from passive review in repetitions). In Random Tests you randomly peek at elements. In Random Review you peek at elements and inform SuperMemo that you are trying to register information in memory. This way, SuperMemo can leave an imprint of the Review on the learning process.
Use Random Review when inspecting your own collection, use Random Test when inspecting somebody else's collection
Why do I have to fill out the shipping address for downloadable material?
(Costanzo Cosentino, Italy, June 15, 2000)
I would like to order SuperMemo Upgrade. However, there is a shipping address in the form. Why do I have to fill out the shipping address for downloadable material?
This field should not normally appear on the order form. Please check if you mistakenly did not add any CD-ROM item to your shopping basket. If this problem persists, please simply ignore the shipping address
You can temporarily randomize repetitions (#30734)
(Piotr Slowinski, Poland, Dec 23, 2004)
How can I randomize repetitions without randomizing the sequence of items in the outstanding queue?
You can do it this way:
- View : Outstanding
- Ctrl+Shift+F11 (Randomize browser)
- Ctrl+Alt+L (Learn browser)
This will act as if you randomized repetitions, but you will be able to return to the original sequence of elements with Esc
SuperMemo in Windows XP
(Claudio Fernando Pereira, Macau, Sun, Jan 13, 2002 3:11)
Is there any compatibility problem with SuperMemo in Windows XP?
No. SuperMemo 2002 has been developed in Windows 2000 and extensively tested in Windows XP
You can easily add components with templates (#188)
(David Mckenzie, United Kingdom, 8. januar 2005 14:23)
When I add a component to an already generated element, 99% of the time I want to add an answer. I also often add images which I want not stretched. Is there any way of setting defaults for these 'one-off' components?
You can define a template with an extra answer component. Then you can apply this template if you want to add an answer to elements that look the same or add that template if you add the answer to different types of elements. Analogously, you can define another template with an extra unstretched image component and apply or add this template wherever applicable
Background in SuperMemo (#232)
(Marcos Pereira Rufino, 13. januar 2005 20:21)
I've noticed that the "background" feature (Ctrl+Alt+F10) is active by default in SuperMemo 2004. Is it supposed to happens this way? I used to disable the background every time I open my collections because I like to see my dictionary at the back of SuperMemo and have a fast access to it
The background is used for SuperMemo to completely fill out your screen and maximize focus on learning. However, if you like to see through unused screen space, you can turn off the background and save your default layout the way you find it more efficient (save the layout with Ctrl+Shift+F5)
Understanding U-Factors, O-Factors, etc. is optional (#368)
(Alec Sherman, Australia, Saturday, January 15, 2005 1:08 PM)
What is 'A-Factor', 'U-Factor etc.?
Understanding all those X-Factors may take some time and is not vital for your progress in learning. A-Factors (for items) are easiest. They tell you how difficult an item is. The larger the A-Factor the easier the item. Very difficult items may have A-Factors equal to 1.3-1.4. Very easy items may have A-Factors equal to 5-6. Mathematically, A-Factor equals the ratio of the second and the first optimum interval in learning a given difficulty class of items. The actually used intervals always differ slightly from optimum intervals. U-Factor (for repetition>1) equals the ratio of intervals I(n+1)/I(n) for n-th repetition. It tells you how much the interval increased in the last repetition. Other X-factors may be harder to understand. You would need to understand the algorithm used by SuperMemo. Understanding of the algorithm is not easy and is entirely optional. See also the glossary with short definitions of individual factors
SuperMemo relies heavily on third party applications to do import and processing of data (#444)
(Gary Belhomme, Canada, 27. januar 2005 8:39)
I just wanted to know if SuperMemo can accept input from pen scanners? If it does not have this feature are you planning to offer it in a future versions?
SuperMemo does not include a specific code for pen scanners. However, you can use a pen scanner with your favorite word processor and paste the resulting text to SuperMemo. Wherever possible, SuperMemo avoids duplicating functions that are far better done by other applications.
Phonetic transcription registry includes special characters in the sort (#419)
(Mirek Wojna, France, Jan 28, 2005)
I added phonetic transcription to the phonetic transcription registry: licorice -> 'lIk@rIs/'lIk@rIS. But when I search for /, and review the new subset, I cannot find my transcription. It should be sorted between: leads = lid/led and lists = lIsts/lists
Remember that the registry does not sort independent of the stress mark! In other words, you should search for licorice after lever='lev@R/'liv@R
Use Alt+F7 to get to the read-point (#356)
(Karen, 22. januar 2005 8:54)
Pressing F7 to get to my read point in the article brings up a spelling checker. Have you changed that command? That never happened in SuperMemo 2002
Yes. This change was postulated by users who are accustomed to use F7 to spell-check their texts (as in Microsoft applications). You can use Alt+F7 to get to the read-point. It will take some time before this becomes a habit. The change was made to make life easier for future users
Problems with registration on Pocket PC (#497)
(Epp, Helmut, USA Educational, Feb 01, 2005, 06:20:39)
SuperMemo for Pocket PC seems to forget the registration. After I put in the password and username all is well and I am not restricted to 30 elements
Make sure you use File : Exit to quit SuperMemo. This one operation is needed for the registration data to be stored in Windows CE registry
Massive swapping of questions and answers is possible with the browser (#598)
(Quin Arbeitman, Wednesday, February 09, 2005 2:20 PM)
I opted for SuperMemo 2004 because of the possibility of executing Swap components on a subset of elements; however, I have had no luck finding this option (including by googling "site:supermemo.com")
To swap questions with answers in a group of elements, do the following:
- open the elements in the browser (e.g. to open all memorized elements, choose View : Memorized)
- choose Child : Items on the browser menu (to speed up processing by eliminating topics and tasks)
- choose Tools : Swap Q&A on the browser menu
It is recommended that you back up your learning material before you process a large number of elements at once
Q&A import can only be used to import plain text
(Alexia L McKnight, Monday, February 11, 2002 12:17 AM)
I imported a big Q&A text file into SuperMemo. How can I get SuperMemo to retain special characters: superscripts, subscripts, etc.?
Q&A format is a plain text format intended solely for data exchange between platforms and older versions of SuperMemo. To retain formatting, you need to create your material in SuperMemo. For good effects you can use rich text components and edit your texts in MS Word (shortcut F9). Or you can save your files as HTML and import them to HTML component. As for your Q&A file, it will require some extra effort. Either you paste individual items individually or import them all and correct formatting in SuperMemo. The fastest approach though is to use incremental reading tools. Paste the entire file to a single rich text topic (e.g. with Ctrl+Alt+N), generate individual elements with Extract and create individual items with Cloze. This work should take a fraction of time needed to learn this material
You can use voice recognition to create your collections (#640)
(leo murphy, Friday, February 11, 2005 10:49 PM)
If I used voice recognition software to dictate my questions and answers into text, could I transfer the text of questions and answers into SuperMemo?
Yes. You could use the Q&A file format or paste your file and process it with incremental reading
My collection disappeared (#977)
(HickoryHol, Friday, February 18, 2005 9:56 PM)
Today I decided to download a free collection (Latin vocab) and now I have lost everything I had previously entered. Is there any way I can retrieve it? What did I do wrong so that this doesn't happen again? I want to order other collections but am a little afraid to now
You would need to specify more details on your course of action. When users report their collections disappearing, there may be a number of reasons of which the most frequent probably are:
- deleting the entire collection
- deleting the collection folder
- deleting collection's KNO file
- overwriting one collection with another
- misplacing the collection
- losing track of the location of the collection vs. the location of SuperMemo
- data loss (e.g. hardware failure, corrupt files, viruses, etc.)
- deleting the icon corresponding with the collection
- creating two collections with the same name (at different location), etc. etc.
Depending on the cause, your collection might or might not be retrievable. Installing a new collection should not affect your previous work, unless the new collection has the same name and location as your old collection, and you allow the installer to overwrite the old collection.
Make sure you read this text carefully: Backing up your learning material
Dragging modes determine how elements are moved in the contents window
(Asia, Poland, Wednesday, November 20, 2002 5:05 PM)
I can't easily move elements in the knowledge tree. Are there any tricks that make it easier?
Before you drag an element, it is vital to know there are three dragging modes, which determine different ways to move elements in the knowledge tree. They are available in the drag&drop combo box on the edit toolbar in the contents window. For more information, read: Modifying the tree using drag&drop operations
You can import Q&A files with your selected fonts and colors (#653)
(Bismillah, Tuesday, February 15, 2005 8:48 PM)
It is very difficult to setup a Q&A deck with proper fonts and colors for questions and answers
You can do it this way:
- apply the Classic template
- choose fonts for question and answer fields using the component menu
- choose the color (use the element menu for the color of the element or the component menu for the color of questions and answers)
- choose File : Tools : Import : Q&A Text and select Use the current element as template
Pending queue is not the best tool to prioritize your items (#1038)
(Eryk, Poland, Wednesday, February 23, 2005 6:34 PM)
When I add new items they automatically become memorized. What to do to have them pending and memorize when I feel like doing it?
Pending queue is no longer recommended in learning material you create yourself. It is far better to overload the learning process, use the forgetting index to prioritize items, use Postpone to unload excess items and use Execute Repetition (Shift+Ctrl+R) or Reschedule (Ctrl+J) to send items to a later date repetition. Pending queue presents items on the "first come first go" basis. Overloaded learning process with randomized schedule will present excess items randomly. You can then decide to send them to later date with Ctrl+J depending on when you think you will have time to master them. You can even use Forget (Ctrl+R) to put the least important items to the pending queue. If you do not want to learn Postpone and other incremental reading tools, you will need to press Ctrl+R after adding each item or use Learning : Forget on subsets of items that you want to place in the pending queue
Retention and back-Retention data
(Robert Drozd, Poland, Wed, Jun 26, 2002 16:29)
I used Save data in Excel format in the Workload window. What do these columns mean: BackRetention, BackItems, BackTopics?
Retention on a given day tells you how well you remembered the material repeated on that day. BackRetention tells you how well you later remembered the same material. Retention is measured on the day in question. BackRetention is measured later; when successive repetitions take place (on various dates). BackItems indicate how many items took part in the BackRetention measurement. BackTopics say how many topics took part in later reviews. The later the measurement, the closer the value of BackItems to Items
You can print many Q&A items on a page (#1163)
(Lyn Nurick, South Africa, Wednesday, March 09, 2005 4:29 PM)
How can I print out all the elements with their answers? Is there a way of printing out many items on one page (e.g. to be used as a last minute revision)?
By design, SuperMemo is basically a paperless application. Therefore, it does not include printing options. However, you can work around it by exporting your item subset as a Q&A text file:
- open items to be printed in the browser
- choose Tools : Export as Q&A text on the browser menu
- print out the resulting file
If you know how to use stylesheets, you can also export with Tools : Export as XML. This way you can retain HTML formatting and provide your own custom layout to the printed items
You can determine the priority of
I keep material of different learning priority in my collection. Can SuperMemo help me pay more attention to high priority material?
Yes. You should reduce the value of the forgetting index for high-priority material (forgetting index is a proportion of items not remembered during repetitions). In the contents window select the item or node that you want to have higher priority and choose Process branch : Forgetting index : Set forgetting index on the contents menu. Forgetting index is 10% by default and can be set to 3-5% for high-priority material or only to 20% for least important branches of the knowledge tree. You can also set the forgetting index in a subset of elements with Process browser : Forgetting index : Set forgetting index on the browser menu. Read: Using forgetting index
Phonetic transcription on upgrade (#1264)
(Aga Kolodziej, Mar 17, 2005, 18:19:38)
I switched from SuperMemo 97 to SuperMemo 2000, but I can not find how to replace text with phonetic transcription when mouse is moved over the component
You need the following:
- phonetic transcription installed (including the font)
- setting for the mouse move in Tools : Options : Mouse
- setting for the phonetic transcription in Tools : Options : Language
Categories vs. Folders vs. Topics (#1277)
(marktboylan, Mar 15, 2005, 23:16:57)
Can someone please explain to a noob the difference between categories, folders and topics?
Topics and items are two types of elements ("pages of information") in SuperMemo. Topics may be used to display longer general texts for reading. Items may be used to display specific questions and answer that test your memory. Only items ask for grades in learning. Folders are elements that keep together a bundle of other elements. They are like folders in Windows, only instead of keeping Windows folders and files, they keep topics and items (and other SuperMemo folders). Categories are like special super-folders that keep elements together and make sure they are provided with some special properties (e.g. color, font, picture, etc.)
You can turn on and off templates for cloze deletions (#1307)
(Vikki Lam, Mar 10, 2005, 20:52:21)
How can I turn off the option that automatically applies a template to my cloze deletions?
- use Search : Categories
- select the category to which your cloze-generating material belongs
- uncheck Auto-Apply
You can learn a number of branches in sequence (#1304)
(appleriver, Mar 21, 2005, 10:42:16)
Whenever I get through one branch in learning, I would like to automatically go to the next branch
In subset learning, you have two options:
- learning a single branch of the knowledge tree
- learning a single subset in the browser
This means that you can do one of the following:
- put the branches you want to learn in sequence into a single parent branch and start subset learning on the parent branch
- put the branches you want to learn into a subset and learn that subset
You can release your own CD-ROM with SuperMemo (#1458)
(Jonathan, Mar 23, 2005, 08:40:35)
I have recently built a SuperMemo language collection and I am hoping to sell it to language students. I would like to sell it along with a copy of SuperMemo. What should I do?
You can do the following:
- release your collection on CD-ROM with SuperMemo 98, which is freeware
- release your collection as a download
If neither option is satisfactory, contact us to discuss other options
You can change the color of the font in a text selection (#1576)
(ksimic, Apr 06, 2005)
I can`t find how to change the colour of selected part of the text
You can right click over the selected text, choose Text : Edit font on the component menu and change the color of the font. Remember that this will not work in plain text components (e.g. you will need to use HTML components instead)
You can use Japanese in SuperMemo 98 freeware (#1565)
(Jonathan Heddle, Mar 23, 2005, 08:40:35)
Can I use Japanese in SuperMemo 98? Can I copy Japanese texts from SuperMemo 2004?
You can use HTML components in SuperMemo 98 to display Japanese. To copy Japanese texts from SuperMemo 2004 to SuperMemo 98 do the following:
- view HTML source of the Japanese text in SuperMemo 2004 with Edit : View Source on the component menu (Ctrl+Shift+F6)
- copy the code to the clipboard
- switch to the editing mode in SuperMemo 98 (e.g. with Ctrl+E)
- paste the HTML source code to the HTML component in SuperMemo 98
- press Esc to return to the presentation mode and view the Japanese text
SuperMemo 2005 (#1635)
(Klara, Apr 06, 2005, 14:10:23)
Can you tell me when do you expect program SuperMemo 2005?
We do not announce new versions in advance to make sure that the development cycle is completed without external pressures that might negatively affect software quality. Moreover, the cycle now extends to 2-3 years and there is very little chance for successive annual releases
Titles are created automatically from the first text component (#1616)
(wulinsi, Apr 05, 2005, 09:25:10)
I have a template with a static text component in it. The default item name is always the text from the static component, so its always the same
You could put this component to the end of the component list in your template. Use Components : Component order on the component menu (Ctrl+Shift+O)
You cannot choose the number of repetitions afforded an item (#4709)
(Kats R., USA Educational, May 31, 2005, 19:55:22)
I use a forgetting index of 8%. However, sometimes, there are too many repetitions. Is there any way to fix repetitions at a given number (say 100 or 150), without changing the forgetting index?
Repetition number does not meaningfully translate into learning goals. This is why you can control the learning speed and retention only via the forgetting index. However, if you reach 100 repetitions at the forgetting index of 8%, you need to carefully analyze your items for the compliance with the rules of formulating knowledge. For well-formulated knowledge, you should rarely reach beyond 20-30 repetitions in lifetime within the reasonable range of the forgetting index
You can generate your own XML files for import to SuperMemo (#4334)
(Xavier Verges Farrero, Apr 26, 2005, 00:40:32)
Would SuperMemo 2004 be happy if I generated my own XML files?
Yes. The definition is simple enough for you to just export an exemplary XML file from SuperMemo 2004 and figure out its structure on your own
Vocabulary can be learned in a passive way, active way or both (#4377)
(Chris Capel, May 02, 2005, 23:33:48)
When learning language vocabulary, why is it important to have swapped items, with the same word appearing in the answer of one item and the question of another?
In real life, you encounter words and phrases passively (e.g. when reading or listening to someone) or actively (e.g. when you write or speak). For those reasons, you too form memories for both passive recognition and active recall. As active recall often (but not always) entails passive recognition, you use passive recognition only in two cases:
- When you can recall words, but you still do not recognize their meaning
- When you do not plan to use words actively, and passive recognition is all that you need
For active recall, it is recommended that you use word definition instead of word pairs in learning. This means that you should define the meaning of the word and ask for its recall. If you use a foreign word as the question, your command of the target language will be less fluent, and may entail a degree of translation instead of native automaticity. Learning with word pairs in two languages is recommended only for translators and interpreters who need to translate between languages, as opposed to just using the learned language. All in all, swapping may be useful, but it is not always needed
SuperMemo 2004 is compatible with a subset of Multimedia SuperMemo (#4279)
(asmiech, Poland, Apr 21, 2005, 12:14:26)
I learn Power Words with Multimedia SuperMemo 1.2.57 (Jan 9, 2003). Is it possible to use SuperMemo 2004 for the database?
It is possible to open files created with Multimedia SuperMemo with SuperMemo 2004; however, some functionality may be missing. At times, the missing functionality may be needed to effectively use a given collection. In addition, you cannot downgrade your collection back to the old format. In other words, the upgrade is irreversible. For more see: http://supermemopedia.com/index.php?title=Multimedia_SuperMemo
Cannot select a new default element (#4142)
(Barry Giles, Australia, Jun 03, 2005, 12:52:46)
Cannot select a new default element because of this error:
Access violation at address 0046925D in module 'sm2004.exe'
Read of address 616373A5
This is a harmless bug in SuperMemo 2004. The error occurs when you try to define a default element, but close the Options window before choosing the default element in the contents window with Accept.