Compose toolbar

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Adding components (e.g. pictures, sound, etc.)

The easiest way to add new components (e.g. texts, pictures, sounds, video, etc.) is to choose options from Edit : Add components submenu (you must choose File : Level : Middle or higher for the Edit item to be available on the main menu).

The fastest way to add texts, pictures or sounds is to paste them directly from the clipboard (with Shift+Ins or Ctrl+V). When you paste texts or pictures from the clipboard, SuperMemo will create new components for you. When you paste pictures, SuperMemo can also automatically apply the relevant picture template (e.g. Geography Picture if the default template is Geography). To paste data to an element you may need to quit the editing of individual components. You can do so by pressing Esc a few times.

You can also use the Compose toolbar to add new components.

SuperMemo: Compose toolbar for adding new components to your elements

Figure: The Compose toolbar at the bottom of the element window. You can use it to build your elements by adding components of different type (e.g. text, sound, image, HTML, etc.)

If you must add the same components to many elements over and over again, read about Using templates. Templates automate the process of adding components to many elements.

Using the Compose toolbar

All component buttons on the Compose toolbar make it possible to add new components to the element display area (the inside part of the element window).

To add a new component you just need to click the button corresponding to the component type on the Compose toolbar (e.g. Text component button).


  • to create a simple text component: click the Text component button on the Compose toolbar
  • to create an image component, copy the image to the clipboard and choose Shift+Ins to paste the image. Drag the component with the pasted image to the right location
  • to create a simple sound component: click the Sound button on the Compose toolbar, right-click the newly created component rectangle, choose File : Import file on the sound component menu and select a sound file to be played (e.g. mp3 or wav)
  • to create a simple video component: click the video button, right-click the newly created video rectangle, choose File : Import file on the video component menu and select a video file to play (e.g. avi or mpeg)

Compose toolbar buttons

SuperMemo: Compose toolbar for adding new components to your elements

Here is the use of individual buttons on the Compose toolbar:

  • Menu buttons - open menus available with a right mouse button click:
    • Element menu (Alt+F10) - open the element menu with operations related to the currently displayed element. This menu also opens with a right click over the empty element area or over the navigation bar
    • Component menu (Alt+F12) - open the component menu with operations related to the currently selected component. This menu also opens with a right click over the component
  • View source - show the source data of the displayed element (i.e. the appearance of the element before a template was applied). If no template was applied on the displayed element, this button has no effect
  • Component buttons - create components of various types such as text, picture, sound, etc.
    • HTML component - web browser component displaying formatted text, images, frames, tables, scripts (e.g. JavaScript), etc. This is the default component used in incremental reading. Read about text components to decide when to use HTML text components, and when to use other text components
    • Text component - simple unformatted text component. Read about text components to decide when to use simple (plain) text components
    • RTF text component - rich text in RTF format. This component is retained for backward compatibility with earlier SuperMemos. It is recommended that you rather use HTML components
    • Spell-Pad component - text component that allows of text input and evaluation (e.g. for spelling exercises)
    • Image component - picture component. You can paste images from the clipboard to automatically create an image component of the right size
    • Sound component - sound component that can play WAV, MP3, MIDI and other sound file formats
    • Video component - video component playing MP4, MPEG, WMV, AVI and other video file formats
    • Binary component - universal component that can hold any data that others component can't. It can hold help files, PDF files, e-mail messages, unsupported files, etc. You can also import simple programs to run from within your collection (e.g. you can import C:\windows\system32\CALC.EXE to run Calculator from within your collection)
    • Script component - SuperMemo script component that can add life to your collections (e.g. by moving components, providing drag-and-drop exercises, point-and-click exercises, hiding and displaying components, playing sounds or other scripts, etc.). See: Using scripts in SuperMemo
    • OLE component - universal component for displaying and editing objects created with other applications (such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Mind Manager mind-maps, Corel pictures, equations, structured formulas, and more). Whenever possible, use HTML components rather than OLE components
    • Ellipse component - ellipse shape
    • Rectangle component - rectangle shape
    • Rounded rectangle component - rounded rectangle shape
  • Component display mode buttons - change the way the components are displayed and acted upon:
  • Component tags - display component numbers, types, names and registry positions
  • Alignment and size- size and align all components that are currently in the editing or dragging modes
  • Test repetition cycle (Shift+Alt+L) - see how the element behaves during repetitions (e.g. if it does show the answer at the right time, plays the sound, executes a script, etc.)