ABC Hints&Tips Overviews Reference Glossary Support
Contents : Overviews

Use templates to give your elements a given look

Templates in SuperMemo are used to create a number of similarly looking elements, e.g. with a given color, font, image, etc. The first thing to do with templates is to create the "common look". You can do it by creating an element containing all components that are common to all elements that will be created with the use of the template. All components should have their properties set in the way that is desired for the "common look" (e.g. color, font, position on the screen, etc.). You set the properties of components by using the component pop-up menu.

After creating the desired look, you can use Template : Save as template on the element pop-up menu (e.g. opened with Alt+F10). Save as template makes it possible to keep a "gallery of looks" for future use. Indeed, you can save any element as a template. Note that if you do not want particular texts, sounds or images being used in elements created with the template, delete them before saving the template. Saved templates are stored in the template registry that can be viewed with Search : Template on the main window's menu. Apart from Save as template you can use Template : Save as default (Ctrl+Alt+S). Save as default will save the template like Save as template and will additionally make it the default template in the currently selected category. If you follow Save as default with Add new (Ctrl+A), the newly added element will already use the saved template

You can give an element a given look by applying a template. A template is loaded from the registry to any element with Template : Apply template (after you choose a template in the registry, click the Accept button at the bottom of the registry window). Loading a template removes all existing components and attributes and makes the element look exactly like the element which was saved as a template.

If you want to apply a template without losing its current contents such as texts and images, use Template : Merge with template. Note that all components that do not match the new template will be deleted!

Use category templates to switch between different looks

If you always want a given template to be used within a given category do as follows:

  1. choose Search : Categories on the main menu (if you are not in the professional level, you will need to enter the professional level, e.g. with Ctrl+Alt+F12)
  2. select the category (e.g. by typing its name at the top of the category registry window)
  3. click the Template button (in the display panel top-right)
  4. choose the template from the template registry (e.g. by typing its name at the top of the template registry window)
  5. click Accept (at the bottom of the template registry window)
  6. close the category registry window

The above will make sure that your template is used each time you choose Add new or press Ctrl+A (only if the relevant category is selected as the current category in the category combo-box).

Use template merging to modify the element looks without changing its contents

If you would like to redesign items using a given template, you can use Template : Merge with template (on element pop-up menu) or Process branch : Template : Merge with template in the contents window (for all elements in a given branch) or Process browser : Template : Merge with template in browsers (for all elements in the browser). Merge with template keeps the contents of your current element and provides it with a new look as defined by the template chosen for the operation

Merge with template merges the element with a template from the template registry. The process of merging begins with loading the selected template. Then SuperMemo transfer all matching registry objects from the old template to the new template. Except for using Merge with template from the element pop-up menu, SuperMemo will not warn you if it cannot find a matching component. For example, if your element contains an image and you merge it with a template that does not have an image, the image will be deleted. There is no undo for merging templates. Use caution when using Merge with template, esp. when you merge a template with many element in one go.
Note that Merge with template has no effect on items if the template is a topic template (and vice versa). See also: Topics vs. items

Adding components to a group of existing elements

If you want to add new components to a group of elements, use Add template in a way similar to Merge with template. This will retain the old components and add new components from the added template. Add to template is similar to Merge with template but the contents of the new template is simply superimposed over the old template. This way, you can create a template with an image and add this image to selected elements by adding the image template. In merging templates, the number of components equals the number of components in the merged template, while in adding templates the number of components is a sum of components in the element and in the template.

Transferring templates between collections

If you want to transfer templates (or single elements) between different collections, use Template : Save to file and Template : Load from file. You can also use Edit : Copy element with Edit : Paste template and Edit : Paste element to transfer templates and elements within a collection or between different collections using the clipboard

Frequently Asked Questions

You can easily change the position of question and answer fields with double Alt+click and dragging
You can keep different fonts for questions and for answers
Use Merge with template instead of Apply template to reshape your elements
You can change the look of items globally
You can globally swap questions with answers
You can learn English in your own language (e.g. Japanese)
Delete texts from a template before saving it
Component order may determine how the titles are generated