SuperMemo 14 (2008)


SuperMemo 14 (2008) extends incremental reading into the areas of picture and video learning. It also allows you to collect sleep data to optimize your learning, optimize sleep, and improve your understanding of your own memory, sleep habits and the dependence of learning on the quality of sleep.


Incremental video

Incremental video makes it possible to collect thousands of YouTube videos and learn them gradually in order of priority. Video learning is a powerful tool that should always be used to extend standard non-interactive education based on texts and pictures. It can also be used for the fun of viewing or listening to videos, esp. if your appetite for new material is always greater than your ability to process it. You can pause videos and resume viewing weeks later. You can extract best fragments for repeat viewing and/or learning. You can now also turn SuperMemo into a smart music and video jukebox. To learn more see: Incremental video

SuperMemo: Incremental video in action - Incremental learning about DNA wrapping and replication based on a video imported from YouTube

Sleep and learning optimization

Forgetting is random in nature. There are many factors that can make you forget or remember. SuperMemo cannot predict all those factors, however, there is one variable whose impact on learning is easy to compute: alertness. There is an easy-to-measure drop in alertness in waking time (assuming healthy sleep patterns and a free-running or nearly-free-running sleep). SuperMemo has never considered this variable in the past. With each interfering factor eliminated, SuperMemo algorithms can be more accurate in predicting the drop in your ability to recall a piece of information. Each variable taken into account makes it possible to increase the average length of optimum intervals that produce a given Forgetting index. For example, grades produced when learning in conditions of reduced alertness underestimate the actual retrievability of memories. In addition, learning in an alert state will produce a better consolidation and will result in memories that will last longer. To compute your average expected alertness, in free-running sleep, SuperMemo only needs to know the timing of your sleep. Using a two-component model of sleep, it can generate your alertness curve on the basis of sleep patterns and grades issued in learning.

SuperMemo: The predictions of the two-component sleep model about the homeostatic and circadian status of your alertness

SuperMemo 14 (2008) makes it easy to collect your sleep data. This data should help you optimize the timing of your learning sessions. It can also be used to optimize the timing of sleep (if your sleep patterns are irregular, e.g. when working in shifts).

SuperMemo: SuperMemo: Sleep and repetitions timeline displaying repetitions blocks of the current collection (in red) and sleep blocks (in blue)

If you collect your sleep data, or import your sleep data from SleepChart, SuperMemo will show you your alertness curve:

SuperMemo: Tools : Timeline : Alertness graph makes it possible for you to visually inspect how grades decrease during the waking day. It also shows the impact of circadian factors with grades slightly lower immediately after waking and slightly higher after the mid-day dip in the 9th hour

For more see: Sleep and learning timeline

Visual learning

A picture is worth a thousand words. That old adage holds true when learning with SuperMemo. This is why SuperMemo 14 (2008) puts a heavy emphasis on making it easy to add visual cues to your collections. You can easily search for pictures on the net and import them to SuperMemo. Zooming on interesting portions of the picture, slicing, cropping, cloning, moving focus, etc. can all be done with a single action of a mouse. For more see: Visual learning.

SuperMemo: The picture of the African political map zoomed in on Rwanda to illustrate to an item about the assassination of the President Habyarimana in 1994

Picture extracts can be used in incremental image processing (e.g. converting scanned paper books into Incremental reading material). For more see: Extracting pictures from larger pictures.

SuperMemo: The choice given to the user whether to mark the extracted portion with a bright yellow-red rectangle in the original picture

Visual browser

Element browser now provides a thumbs mode that makes it easy to preview many elements as thumbs (only in Windows Vista). This mode is particularly useful in collections of pictures or collections richly illustrated with pictures. The thumbs mode helps you quickly find elements that you need.

SuperMemo: Element browser in the thumbs mode

Integrated web imports

Importing material from the web is easier with an integrated import dialog box that provides dedicated tools for imports from Wikipedia for Incremental reading and YouTube for Incremental video. Location of imported pages can be determined at the time of import. The priority range of imported articles, pictures or videos can also be determined at that time. Imported elements are automatically tagged with reference labels (incl. import title, web link, date, etc.). Edit : Add a new article with Ctrl+Alt+N that was central in earlier versions of SuperMemo is now made secondary by the fact that local page imports pick only the text that is currently selected in Internet Explorer. This makes it easy to import many selections from many articles in a single go. Picture imports allow of discarding smaller secondary pictures on import pages. For more see: Import web pages

SuperMemo: Importing articles about clathrate gun hypothesis from Wikipedia for incremental learning

Reference registry

New dedicated reference registry allows of global changes to references (you can still change a single element if needed). References are added automatically when importing from the web, and are kept in the reference registry. The new reference registry prevents space-wasting duplication of references in multiple extracts and clozes produced from a single article. The appearance of references is customizable via stylesheets. For more see: References

Wiki Help for SuperMemo

All documents in the help system are now additionally available in a wiki form at This means that you can easily leave your question marks in the documentation if you have problems with understanding it, or if you find functionality that is incompletely or poorly documented. To use the new help system, use Shift+F2 to search for terms that you want to research. Once you find an article, you can click the Edit tab above the article and correct errors and/or leave your questions. The system will be regularly scanned for user questions. Those will be used to improve the documentation, used to schedule new overview articles and/or prepare new YouTube tutorials.

In Tools : Options : SuperMemo : Help system, you can decide if you would like to use the Wiki help by default, or you would prefer the original unchanged HTML static help. You can also use off-line help options (CHM or HTML).

If you would like to import wiki documentation to SuperMemo for incremental reading do the following:

  1. open the help articles of interest in Internet Explorer
  2. use Ctrl+Shift+A to import the articles to SuperMemo (all toolbars, status bar, and documentation navigation links will be filtered out for you)

Other improvements

Bugs and annoyances

Warning! New limitations


Tiling assistant:

SuperMemo: Tiling Didier Drogba pictures with component tiling assistance

Daily measured forgetting index:

SuperMemo: Tools : Statistics : Analysis : Use : Efficiency : Forgetting index shows you the changes to the measured forgetting index on individual days