File menu

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The File submenu on the main menu provides the options listed below. Most of these options are not visible at the Beginner level. Use File : Level : Professional to see all the options listed:

SuperMemo: File menu which you can use to manage your collections

File menu items

Open collection

  • Open collection - open a new collection for use with SuperMemo


  • Favorites (Ctrl+O) - use a single keystroke to open an existing collection from a predefined list of the collections you frequently work with.

New collection

  • New collection - create a new empty collection. To create the collection, type in its name and press Enter. Users may find it surprising that SuperMemo features this option only after Favorites and not as the first one as the majority of other programs do. This stems from the fact that in the long-run you are far more likely to create a handful of collections, which you will later be reopening what might be even a couple of times a day each collection, instead of creating new collections again and again.


  • Backup (Shift+F12) - make a quick backup of the current collection. The default backup folder is the [BACKUP] subfolder, however, you can choose a backup folder at other locations (e.g. flash drives, external hard drives, etc.). The backed-up collection includes the date stamping in its name for easy review of your backups. The naming makes it easy to sort your backups by the date of creation. If you try to open a back up file, SuperMemo will warn you to make sure you do not learn with a wrong collection. Backup does not back up less important files that do not take part in the learning process (e.g. reports). To back up all files, use File : Copy collection (below). Important!!! Please read about backing up!

Copy collection

  • Copy collection (Shift+Ctrl+C) - copy the currently opened collection to a new location. If the destination collection already exists, it will be deleted before copying begins. Note that Copy collection is used instead of Save As. The Copy name is used here to indicate that the collection is not kept in computer memory but on the hard disk. After Copy collection, both collections are always identical

Delete collection

  • Delete collection - delete the currently opened collection after double confirmation. Important! SuperMemo assumes that it owns all files kept in the collection folder. Although it will ask you to confirm deleting the collection folder, it will not attempt to search that folder for files that you might have put there manually. You should never keep your private files inside SuperMemo collection folders

Repair collection

  • Repair collection (Ctrl+F12) - test the integrity of the collection and recover from integrity problems (e.g. resulting from physical damage to collection files). In various documents related to SuperMemo, the term recovery is often used in reference to using Repair collection

Merge collection

  • Merge collection - copy the contents of the currently opened collection into another collection. Currently used material will be added to the material stored in the target collection. To merge two collections:
    1. use Open collection to open the smaller of the two collections,
    2. use Merge collection to indicate the name of the larger collection. This sequence ensures that it is the smaller collection that is transferred at merger. After the operation, the source collection will remain unchanged. The target collection will contain the larger collection with the material from the smaller collection appended. Important! Not all properties of a collection can be transferred. Review your material after the merge operation to be sure it can be effectively used in learning


  • Import - import external files in various formats
    • Files and folders - import a selected folder with all its subfolders and files to SuperMemo. SuperMemo will recreate folder structure in the Contents window and will import all individual files in such a way that each file will be kept in a single newly created element. Use this option to incrementally clean up your hard disk from archive materials. You can, for example, import an old archive of articles that you never had time to review. You can import your mp3 collection or an archive folder with miscellaneous files that you want to review incrementally within a limited time slot. You can also import your entire family picture album that can later be reviewed in SuperMemo. Picture albums in SuperMemo are far more fun than static albums that offer no systematic review strategy. With Files and folders you may discover an entire new universe of application for SuperMemo. You can extend incremental reading into incremental processing of information; independent of its type and format
    • Q&A text - import a standard Q&A text file exported by various versions of SuperMemo or created manually. The Q&A format is simple and is best illustrated by example:

      q: river
      a: rivero

      q: school
      a: lernejo

      q: hope
      a: esperanto

      You can include HTML tags in such a file or use UTF-8 encoded texts. Remember not to: use angle brackets for comments as these will be ignored, not to enclose Q: and A: tags with HTML code, not to use HTML editors that add extra HTML tags (e.g. <body>), and not to rename your file from *.txt to *.html. For more see: Formatting Q&A with HTML.You will find Q&A text option particularly useful when using speech recognition software to quickly create question-and-answer collection (e.g. with Dragon Naturally Speaking). Make sure you save the file as plain text (i.e. as with Notepad, not as rtf, doc, etc.). You can also import Multiple Choice Test material. Add wrong answers with a1:, a2:, a3: tags. For example:

      q: What country borders with Nigeria?
      a: Niger
      a1: Tanzania
      a2: Mozambique
      a3: Iraq
      a4: Somalia

    • XML import - import an XML file with SuperMemo learning material. Use a standard Q&A template to add all items. Use topics only as element folders. File : Import : XML import will retain the original folder structure of the knowledge tree if it is included in the XML file; however, some SuperMemos ignore the tree structure. In such cases, SuperMemo will build a regular folder structure for you. File : Import : XML import ignores element IDs. It imports all the material to newly created elements. The learning process is transferred as well (if included). If you would like to transfer only the learning process and update texts edited in other SuperMemos, use File : Import : XML Synchronize (below)
    • XML Synchronize - import an XML file to update element texts and/or the learning process. See also: Revolution in the pocket
    • Repetition history - import repetition history exported with File : Export : Repetition history (see also: Repetition history)
    • Learning process - restore the learning process backed up with File : Export : Learning process (see below). If the file with the extension lr1 is missing (copy of [INFO]\sm8opt.dat), you can still use this option; however, user profile will be lost. For example, if you export your learning process to file my knowledge.txt it will be accompanied by my knowledge.lr1 (which is a copy of the user memory profile [INFO]/sm8opt.dat)
    • Source code - import a text file previously generated with:
    • Translation - import a file with the translation of the text registry to a selected language


  • Export
    • Document - export the entire collection as a single HTML document
    • Q&A text file - export SuperMemo Q&A files by using first question and first answer component of each element (if any)
    • XML - export the collection in the XML format that can be imported to other SuperMemos. XML files may also be imported back to SuperMemo for Windows with File : Import : XML Import (full import) or File : Import : XML Synchronize (learning process only and text edit updates)
    • HTML - export the collection to HTML files ready to be published on the web. SuperMemo converts individual items to portions of HTML file. Currently only text and image components are exported. Spelling drills, scripts, binary components, videos, shapes, etc. will not be included in the resulting files. Use File : Export : HTML to quickly produce a web-preview for your collection. Your preview may include URLs to locations with further information about the collection or collection download. You can also use any HTML file as a template that will determine the looks of your exported collection. All you need to do to create a template is to insert any or all of the following tags in the text of any HTML file: #Content#, #Element#, #Pages#, #SuperMemo#, #Author#, #Download#. SuperMemo will place relevant information in the place of these tags. Specify the name of the HTML template file in the field below Use Template in the HTML export dialog box (e.g. by clicking the file browser button on the right). See also: SuperMemo Wiki
    • Learning process - store the learning process in a text file. This way, you do not have to back up large collections such as Advanced English. It is enough to save the learning process and restore it if necessary. The original collection (e.g. Advanced English) can be taken and provided with learning data restored from the text file. Along the text file, this procedure will also produce a file with the same name as the text file and with the extension lr1. This is the user learning profile (copy of [INFO]/sm8opt.dat). Deleting this file will deprive the learning process backup of information about the user profile; however, it will not prevent restoring the learning process (user profile will have to be built anew). The difference is only in the import: either you can import Q&As as new items or just the learning process of the material that is already in the current collection. Use File : Export : XML for all XML exports
    • Repetition history - export repetition history to a text file. This file can be re-exported with File : Import : Repetition history (NB: currently, this is the only way to reduce the size of repetition history file: [INFO]/RepetitionHist.dat)
    • Source text - export collection source text in the text format (elements, their position in the knowledge tree and all components). Note that the user profile nor unused registry entries will not be transferred. This file can later be imported to another collection with File : Import : Source text
    • Transfer subset - export a subset as text. This option is the same as File : Export : Source text with this exception that only the elements belonging to a selected subset are exported. Read more: Using subsets
    • Lexicon - export the lexicon in the Q&A format for import to SuperMemo. For example, Cross Country's Words collection has been generated using this option in conjunction with File : Import : Q&A text


  • Tools
    • Collection size - display the total size of the collection along with the primary storage and secondary storage breakdown (see example below)
    • View as HTML - view the collection as HTML. If HTML files are not available, they will be created first (as with File : Export : HTML above)
    • View report - view any text file, esp. a SuperMemo report file (by default: text files with extension txt from the [REPORTS] subfolder such as recover.txt, etc.)
    • View FAQs - view the HTML file with FAQ questions and answers generated with FAQ options (e.g. Reading : E-mail FAQ on the component menu). SuperMemo FAQs at are generated with FAQ options in SuperMemo
    • Reset collection - remove all learning data from the collection to make it look as if it has not been used by anyone. File : Tools : Reset collection is useful if you would like to pass your collection to someone who would like to use it too. You can also reset your collection if you would like to distribute it commercially. File : Tools : Reset collection will remove all data related to your learning process, and leave all memorized elements in the pending (or dismissed) state
    • Move collection - copy the currently opened collection to a new location and delete the original
    • Rename collection - rename the collection. File : Tools : Rename collection produces the same effect as File : Tools : Move collection, however, Rename is instant as long as the operation does not change the drive on which the collection is located (otherwise Move is used for Rename).
    • Garbage - delete selected files to reduce the size of the collection (the saving might be the greatest in case you recorded lots of own recordings in the course of training pronunciation)


  • Properties - display information such as collection path, collection size, SuperMemo path, SuperMemo version, system information and memory use (see example below)


  • Installation - see: Unlocking SuperMemo for details
    • Input password (Ctrl+I) - provide an unlock password. This option is active only in the locked SuperMemo and should be used to supply the unlock password received upon purchasing the product. See: Unlocking SuperMemo
    • Request password - open dialog box that makes it possible to send an e-mail to SuperMemo World with your registration data. In response you will immediately receive payment instructions
    • Install icons - install SuperMemo icons on your Windows desktop and on the Start menu
    • Lock - remove password and registration data from the currently opened collection. You must use this option before redistributing your own collections! Redistributing unlocked collections violates your user license and spreads your registration data to other users. Locked collection requires a password to get unlocked. It can also be unlocked by opening any unlocked/registered collection
    • Publish - reset, clean, and lock the currently opened collection for publishing
    • Owner: <the name of the SuperMemo owner> - specify the name of the SuperMemo owner. For example, it will be used in mail signatures sent with Send element on the navigation bar
    • Author: <the name of the collection's author - specify the name of the collection's author.


  • Level - makes it possible to choose between Beginner, Basic, Middle and Professional levels of difficulty. You can start using SuperMemo on the Basic level and gradually jump to higher levels as soon as you master the functionality of a given level. This will make sure you learn SuperMemo starting with most essential functions:
    • Beginner - the difficulty level recommended for complete beginners. It focuses on adding new material with Add new and learning with Learn
    • Basic - the difficulty level that builds upon the Beginner level and introduces a stripped down learnbar with the most important options such as Remember extract, Remember cloze, etc. used in incremental reading. It also introduces functions for editing the knowledge tree: Add, Sibling, Insert, etc.
    • Middle - the level that introduces collection management functions (Delete collection, Merge collection, etc.), editing components, advanced search functions and browsing functions, Options, Postpone and layout management
    • Professional - the level that comprises full functionality of SuperMemo with all advanced functions such as: import-export, tasklists, etc.
    • Warrior layout - turn on the Professional level and define the layout optimizing the use of your screen estate (esp. for incremental reading). The new layout is called the Warrior layout (compare: Window : Layout : Warrior layout)
    • Next level (Ctrl+Alt+F12) - jump to a higher level. Note that this function is circular and will let you jump back from Professional to Beginner level
    • Previous level (Shift+Ctrl+Alt+F12) - jump to a lower level

Process collection>


  • Exit (Alt+F4) - exit SuperMemo

Most Recently Used (MRU) list

  • 1-10 - open one of the ten most recently opened collections


File : Properties

Collection name: ALL

Collection File Structure: SuperMemo 16
Program File Structure: SuperMemo 16
Vacated storage slots: 2
Running SuperMemo: C:\SM16\sm16.exe
SuperMemo 16 (Build 16.0, Aug 1, 2013)

Windows 8 ver. 6.2 (Build 9200) 
Internet Explorer MSHTML Engine ver. 7.0 (0)
IE Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.2; WOW64;
 Trident/6.0; .NET4.0E; .NET4.0C; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; InfoPath.3; MDDRJS)
User language: English (en-US)
System language: English (en-US)
Browser language: English (en-US)
User: SMR
Computer: SMR2013
Total physical memory: 17.13 GB
Free physical memory: 14.91 GB
Page file: 34.31 GB
Free page file: 31.69 GB
Virtual memory: 2.15 GB
Free virtual memory: 1.68 GB
Extended virtual memory: 0 bytes
SuperMemo heap memory: 17 MB
Free heap memory: 1.82 MB
Heap memory use: 89.31%
Active Code Page: 1252
OEM Code Page: 437
Host: SMR2013
Host HD: 77BE-E6FF
IP Address:
Owner: SMR
Network installed

File : Tools : Collection size

Collection name: VIDEO
Date: Apr 1, 2016, 20:44:15

Primary storage: 32.05 GB
Secondary storage: 0 bytes
Total Size: 32.05 GB

Collection File Structure: SuperMemo 17
Program File Structure: SuperMemo 17
Vacated storage slots: 1
Running SuperMemo: C:\SM17\sm17.exe
SuperMemo 17 (Build 17.0, Apr 1, 2016)