Anki Flash Cards

anki flash cards can be used on a PC (for Windows it can easily run as portable application) via Web or as Android app.

Unfortunately anki can do a lot (or maybe fortunately it is like this) so the quickest is to use some flashcard somebody else has already done and has putted on the Internet. anki has a Get Shared button that can be clicked an then, the correct web page opens. A file *.apkg can then be downloaded and when anki got a correct desktop setup then it can be double clicked, otherwise this *.apkg file needs to be imported. There may be thousands of cards inside but a setting in anki just picks per default 20 to start and then includes more once it detects some learning success.

The cards downloaded are bundled in a deck. The *.apkg is the zipped file form of such a deck. So click on deck and select the deck desired and then start working with the cards.

A closer look shows why anki is quite complex, click on Browse shows that there are two things:

  1. Note Types:

    The information is added to a note type. There are different note types predefined (as the note type Basic), but it is also possible and common to create user defined note types. The note types hold fields to reserve space for the data to be used.


    The note type has no indication of what will be shown on the cards back and front sides.

    A deck can have one or more note types

  2. Card types:

    A note type can have one or more card types. The card types define a template of a card to be shown. The fields are marked as {{English}} and get replaced by their content. Special codes as <br> that follow the HTML style can be added for formatting.

An easy flash card set (the deck) would not make use of all these features, it would use just one out of the standard note types of just two fields, one for the front and one for the back (this is the note type Basic). Then it would make use of just one card type (as Card 1) that shows the front field on the front and the back field on the back. With this setup anki works as a simple flash card program.

However when working, then quickly names as "Card 1" and "Front" and "Back" are desired to be changed. So "Front" might be something as "German" and "Back" something as "Spanish". " Card 1" might be renamed to "German Spanish". This shows that a second card should be created named "Spanish German" and therefore shows nicely the concept of anki to separate cards from note types. For this to happen a new note type needs to be added.


A user defined note type should be done quickly. So modifications will affect just this one and not other standard note types.

Flash cards can be synchronized using or an user installed server


The webservice is currently free since it is financed via selling the iPhone apps and donations. This may change if more money is required to have it running. If you do not use it for some months it might be happen that it gets deleted. So do a backup to your PC by sync Web with PC!

After creating an account on you can use the web version as it would be an computer installed version. It runs on everything that supports a web browser. (except nobody does backup for you and your work might be deleted when not in use).

To put private flash cards to the web start anki on your PC and click on the sync icon. A scary message comes calming there is a database conflict. This is true since the web is empty and the PC is initialized, therefore the message can be ignored and the PC's databases can be uploaded.

anki stores everything into ~/Anki so backup gets easy.


Do not have anki started when doing a copy or manipulating files. This can make its database corrupt.

If something gets messy as lots of unused meta data gets stuck in the database. the decks can be exported to *.apkg files and then then do something as cp ~/Anki ~/AnkiCopy and delete Anki after that and start from a new database.

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