ABC Hints&Tips Overviews Reference Glossary Support
Contents : Hints&Tips
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: question and answer (use Esc to move from the question field to the answer field and to finish editing)
  2. To learn your material choose Ctrl+L or press Learn at the bottom of the screen
  3. To maximize your learning efficiency, read SuperMemo Decalog
  4. Apart from simple question-answer repetitions, you should remember that SuperMemo also supports incremental reading. This is a new technique that makes reading and learning yet more efficient. See: Incremental reading tips (below). Read more: Incremental reading
  5. To move from the beginner level to the basic level, choose File : Level : Basic
  6. 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.
  7. To master all fundamental skills needed to effectively use SuperMemo, read: Step by Step: User's Guide

Basic level

  1. To search for all elements containing a given substring, press Ctrl+F, type the substring and press Enter
  2. To see the calendar of repetitions, press Ctrl+W (same as Tools : Workload on the main menu)
  3. To introduce the currently displayed element into the learning process press Ctrl+M (memorize) or choose Remember at the bottom of the screen. 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 reedit an item and thus increase the probability it would not be remembered on the next repetition
  4. 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). Elements awaiting memorization will not be shown during repetitions
  5. If you want to completely remove an element from the learning process and to ignore it when memorizing new items, choose the button Dismiss. This will make the element invisible in the learning process, but still available in browsing, search, etc. During repetitions, when button Dismiss is not visible, you can choose Ctrl+D to dismiss the current element. To completely remove the element, choose Ctrl+Shift+Del. This will permanently erase it from your collection
  6. To create or modify the structure of the knowledge tree read: Creating the structure of a knowledge tree
  7. If you want 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)
  8. If you suspect file damage to your collection, press Ctrl+F12 and make a quick integrity checkup of all most important files

Middle level

  1. If you want to change the interface font used by SuperMemo, press Ctrl+Shift+O, and choose Fonts : Interface font
  2. If you change the color of your element, or the size of the components, or their type, etc. you can preserve this "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). Read more: Using templates
  3. 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). Read more: Using categories
  4. 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)
  5. If you want to use all powers of SuperMemo, you can choose File : Level : Professional or press Ctrl+Alt+F12. Unless you use a low-resolution screen, this mode is recommended as it provides you with lots of tools that will help you understand the learning process

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. If you had a break in learning and cannot cope with outstanding repetitions, use Learn : Postpone
  3. To locate and get rid of the most difficult or badly-structured material use View : Other browsers : Leeches or Tools : Options : Leeches : Wizard. Read more: Leeches in SuperMemo
  4. To turn on and off the status bar, check or uncheck Window : Status bar. The same refers to toolbars and hints displayed when a mouse stops over a button or a menu item
  5. If you prefer to use keyboard as opposed to the mouse, read about keyboard shortcuts

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 (use Esc if you are editing texts to avoid executing Open in New Window with Internet Explorer) 
  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 add many articles from a number of copies of Internet Explorer opened in your computer, use Shift+F8 (Edit : Import web pages)
  5. To randomize repetitions and article review on a given day, use Ctrl+Shift+F11 (Learn : Random : Randomize repetitions)
  6. 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)
  7. To postpone all items in a branch (e.g. To Do branch): (1) choose this branch in the contents window, (2) choose View : Selected branch (contents menu or Ctrl+Shift+Enter), (3) Child : Items (browser menu), and (3) Learning : Postpone (browser menu or Ctrl+Alt+P)
  8. To make presentations of a given article (topic) more frequent (i.e. in shorter intervals), reduce topic's A-Factor: (1) choose Edit : Element parameters (element menu or Ctrl+Shift+P) and (2) edit A-Factor
  9. To make repetitions of a given item more frequent, reduce item's forgetting index: (1) choose Edit : Element parameters (element menu or Ctrl+Shift+P) and (2) edit Forgetting index
  10. 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