configuring note types

In this tutorial, we'll explain what Note Types are, and how to use them when creating language-learning decks. This tutorial is not specific to AwesomeTTS or Language Tools, it covers a general Anki concept.

Some concepts

You may think of an Anki deck as a collection of Cards. However Anki refers to those things as Notes. In Anki terminology, a Note is piece of data which may contain something like:

Based on this Note, Anki will create one of more Cards, using the Card Templates

These concepts are explained in the Anki Manual.

basic approach

Many people just use the Basic Note type, which contains a Front and a Back field.

This works fine and it's easy to understand what will happen: when reviewing, Anki will show you the Front (French) and will ask you to remember the Back (English). But there are a few issues with this approach:

recommended approach

Personally, I recommend naming fields precisely to indicate what they contain, and creating as many fields as you need.

how to change note types

Now we will see how to go from the Basic Note Type to the more sophisticated French Note Type.

From the Anki main screen, go to menu Tools -> Manage Note Types.

Click Add.

Select Clone: Basic, to start from the Basic Note Type.

Name this Note Type French.

You should see your new Note Type, French, appear at the bottom. Select it and click Fields... to add some fields.

Select the Front field, click Rename, and rename it as French. Do the same thing for the Back field, which you'll rename to English.

Then, add other fields as needed, such as Sound, Remarks, Pronunciation, or whatever else you need. You can also add fields at a later time.

We are done, all fields have been added, click Save, and then Close in the Note Types dialog.

using your new note type

We now have to tell Anki that notes in French deck have to use the new Note Type. Go to the Anki browser, find your French deck. Select all the notes, then go to menu Notes -> Change Note Type...

Select the French note type, map Front to French, Back to English, then click Save.

You should see the following result.

configuring cards

There is one more thing left to do: we have to tell Anki which fields we want to see in the front, and which fields to see on the back of the card. In other words, what is the question that Anki will ask you, and what is the answer that you're expected to remember.

Go back to the Note Types dialog, select your French note type, and this time click Cards...

I want to be shown the English text, and be asked to recollect the French text. So my Front template will look like this, with only the English field:

And by Back template will show everything that the Front has shown, as well as French field, and the Sound field, which will result in French sound being played back when revealing the answer (assuming you've generated audio files).

Click Save when done.

previewing your cards

Go back to the Anki browser, and locate a card from your French deck. In the editor, on the top left above the fields, click the Preview button. You should see the following result for the Front.

And the back.

The end !

This is the end of the tutorial. If you have any questions, please email languagetools@mailc.net. Are you interested in trying AwesomeTTS or Language Tools, to easily add Audio / Translation / Transliteration to your flashcards ? Signup for AwesomeTTS Plus.