Beginner level

  • 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
  • To review your learning material choose Ctrl+L or press the Learn button
  • To search for all elements containing a given text, press Ctrl+F, type the text, and press Enter
  • Use the Esc key throughout SuperMemo to close windows, dialog boxes, and to restore defaults such as the default layout, display mode (as opposed to editing mode), default element, etc.
  • Success in SuperMemo is largely dependent on the way you formulate your knowledge. See: Twenty Rules and Twenty Rules FAQ

Basic level

  • To move from the beginner level to the basic level, choose File : Level : Basic
  • To see the calendar of repetitions, press Ctrl+W (same as Tools : Workload on the Main menu)
  • To quickly open a collection with a keystroke, use Ctrl+O. Use the button Choose another to add your most important collections to the list
  • To master all fundamental skills needed to effectively use SuperMemo, read: Step-by-Step Guide to SuperMemo
  • If you are overloaded with repetitions, you can mark your most important elements as top-priority elements. They will receive a priority in learning. Use Alt+P to set elements priority. For example, press Alt+P and then press 2 to tell SuperMemo that the presented element is more important than 98% of the remaining elements
  • 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)
  • To send an element via e-mail press the e-mail button on the Element toolbar
  • 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)
  • 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 Shift+Ctrl+Enter (Done). To delete the element and all its children, choose Shift+Ctrl+Del (simple Del will also work in most contexts)
  • To edit texts in the currently displayed element, click the text or press Q (question), A (answer), E or Ctrl+E (edit all fields), etc. (advanced level: in some commercial collections, those keys might not work if Tools : Options : Mouse : Edit texts : On click is unchecked)
  • If you suspect that some of the files in your collection have been damaged, press Ctrl+F12 and make a quick checkup of your most important files

Middle level

  • To maximize your learning efficiency, read SuperMemo Decalog
  • You can use layouts to preserve your favorite location and size of windows. Arrange the windows the way you like it and choose Window : Layout : Save as default or simply press Shift+Ctrl+F5. You can always come back to this layout with Ctrl+F5. In many contexts, repeated Esc will have the same effect
  • To move a single element from one collection to another collection, view the element, press Shift+Ctrl+T, and choose the target collection
  • To create or modify the structure of the knowledge tree, read: Knowledge tree
  • A green-yellow layout button on browser and contents toobars helps you quickly align the current window with the element window (for easy browsing or working with the knowledge tree)
  • 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 Template : Save as default on the element menu). Use Shift+Ctrl+M to apply a new template. Read more: Using templates
  • If you want Add new (Alt+A) 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 Shift+Ctrl+P to move an element to another category by changing the Category field. Read more: Using categories
  • 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
  • In editing texts, you can use Shift+Enter to start a new line single-spaced as opposed to double-spaced Enter. This will work only in HTML components and will inserts the <br> tag as opposed to the <p> tag
  • To change the interface font used by SuperMemo, press Alt+O, and choose Fonts : Interface font

Professional level

  • To display all learning statistics, press F5
  • To sweep away those pesky toolbars, press Alt+F5. Return to your original layout with Ctrl+F5
  • If you prefer to use keyboard as opposed to the mouse, read about Keyboard shortcuts and SuperMemo Commander
  • If you had a break in learning and cannot cope with outstanding repetitions, use Learn : Postpone or Tools : Mercy. You can also use Mercy if you plan to go for vacation and stay away from the computer. You can do a portion of your repetitions in advance
  • 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
  • If you would like to move your repetitions to another SuperMemo, read about XML in SuperMemo
  • 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
  • To turn on and off the Status bar, check or uncheck Window : Status bar. The same refers to toolbars used in SuperMemo
  • To introduce the currently displayed element into the learning process press Ctrl+M 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
  • To randomize repetitions on a given day, use Shift+Ctrl+F11 (Learn : Random : Randomize repetitions)
  • If you would like basic stats displayed on the status bar during repetitions (e.g. interval, priority, etc.), turn off hints by unchecking Window : Hints (or by double-clicking the yellow hint display area on the status bar). Status bar is the best way to monitor the statistics if you need a maximized element window
  • You can turn your collection into a jukebox. Run a music video from YouTube in a loop and hide SuperMemo in the notification area by choosing Window : Hide SuperMemo (Shift+Ctrl+G). Be sure you open all SuperMemos, which you plan to use. Starting a new SuperMemo always unhides an existing instance from the notification area first.

Incremental reading

  • 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+N in SuperMemo
  • To quickly create an extract from the selected text in an article, use Alt+X (the same shortcut can be used to create picture extracts and video extracts)
  • To quickly create a cloze deletion from an extract you are reviewing in SuperMemo, select a keyword and press Alt+Z
  • To manually type in some notes use Alt+N
  • To quickly import many articles (or selections in articles) from Internet Explorer, use Shift+Ctrl+A (Edit : Import web pages : All). You can also use this option to import links, pictures, live pages and more
  • To import articles from Wikipedia, press Shift+Ctrl+W
  • To import videos from YouTube, press Shift+Ctrl+Y (see incremental video)
  • To quickly get images embedded in local pages imported from the net and make them local (i.e. put them to the image registry), use Ctrl+F8 (Download images on the Component menu)(see the picture)
SuperMemo: Download images dialog box that makes it possible for you to get images embedded in local pages imported from the net and put them to the image registry (in the picture: The Year 2008 in Photographs from Boston.com)
  • To quickly search the net for terms and concept used in your collection, press Ctrl+F3. By default you can search most popular dictionaries, encyclopedias or use the most effective search engines. However, you can also define your own one-key searches of specific databases, e.g. of movies, musicians, freeware software, mp3 files, news, newsgroups, and more. For example, if you want to search for movies in the Internet Movie Database add the following line to your search tools file with Define your own tools: &Movies, http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q="%TheText%"+imdb
  • To ensure the optimum proportion between reading and repetitions choose Learn : Sorting : Sorting criteria and set Proportion of topics
  • To review the material belonging to a single subject, open the subject in the Browser (e.g. by searching for elements with Ctrl+F), and use Learning : Learn (Ctrl+L), Learning : Review topics or Learning : Review all (Shift+Ctrl+L) from the subset processing menu. 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). Learning : Learn includes only the outstanding material in the review. See: Subset learning
  • To let SuperMemo automatcially handle learning material overload (i.e. excess number of elements listed as Outstanding), check Learn : Postpone : Auto-postpone on the main menu
  • To postpone all outstanding articles (topics) use:
    1. View : Outstanding,
    2. Child : Topics (Browser menu), and
    3. Learning : Postpone (subset processing menu).
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 repetitions of items (see: active-recall)

Incremental Video

  • To import YouTube videos, open the videos in Internet Explorer and press Ctrl+Shift+Y
  • To extract a portion of video, click Start and Stop buttons while playing the beginning or the end of the fragment to be extracted, and then click Extract (the actual extract will be created as a new element when you move on with learning, i.e. when you finish watching the current video). For more see: Incremental video