Master Anki with Our Custom Card Type Tutorial: Step-by-Step Guide
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Master Anki with Our Custom Card Type Tutorial: Step-by-Step Guide

Ari Horesh

Welcome, future doctors! Are you ready to take your Anki game to the next level? We've got you covered with this easy-to-follow tutorial on creating custom card types. Say goodbye to boring, standard flashcards and hello to a more engaging and personalized learning experience.

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of creating custom card types in Anki, step by step. Let's dive in!

What is Anki and Why Should You Use It?

Anki is a powerful, open-source flashcard application that helps you memorize and retain information more effectively. It utilizes spaced repetition, a proven learning technique that schedules card reviews at optimal intervals based on your performance.

Anki is a favorite among medical students for its ability to handle vast amounts of information, customization, and flexibility. It's an ideal tool to help you conquer the mountain of knowledge required to succeed in the medical field.

Why Create Custom Card Types?

While Anki's default card types can be useful, they might not cater to everyone's learning style or preferences. Custom card types allow you to tailor your flashcards to better suit your needs, making your study sessions more engaging and effective.

By creating custom card types, you can:

  • Add personalized elements, such as images or audio
  • Modify the card layout and design
  • Incorporate multiple fields for additional information
  • Include hints or explanations for complex concepts

Now, let's get started on creating your very own custom card type in Anki!

Step 1: Installing Anki and Creating a New Deck

If you haven't already, download and install Anki from the official website. Once installed, open the application and create a new deck by clicking the "Create Deck" button at the bottom of the main screen. Give your deck a name and click "OK."

Step 2: Opening the Card Types Manager

In your newly created deck, click the "Add" button at the top to open the "Add Cards" window. At the top of this window, you'll see a dropdown menu labeled "Type." Click it and select "Manage."

Step 3: Creating a New Card Type

In the "Card Types for deck name" window, click the "Add" button near the bottom. A prompt will appear asking if you want to clone the existing card type or create a new one from scratch. For this tutorial, select "Add a new basic type" and click "OK." Give your new card type a name and click "OK" again.

Step 4: Customizing Your Card Template

You will now see three tabs in the "Card Types for deck name" window: "Fields," "Cards," and "Options." Let's start with the "Fields" tab.


Fields are the building blocks of your card, containing the information that will appear on the front and back. Click the "Add" button to create a new field and give it a name, such as "Question," "Answer," or "Explanation." Repeat this process to add as many fields as you need.


Switch to the "Cards" tab to customize the appearance and layout of your card. You'll see two large text areas: one for the front template and one for the back template. These templates use HTML and CSS to control the card's design and display.

To add a field to the template, type `{{Field Name}}(replace "Field Name" with the name of the field you created earlier) where you want the information to appear. You can use basic HTML tags, such asfor bold and` for italics, to format the text. If you're not familiar with HTML and CSS, don't worry — you can still create great-looking cards with some simple modifications.

For example, let's create a card with the following layout:

Front Template:

<div style="text-align:center; font-size:24px;">

Back Template:

<div style="text-align:center; font-size:24px;">
  <p style="color:grey; font-size:18px;">

This will display the question in the center of the front side, and on the back side, it will show the question, answer, and an optional explanation in smaller, grey text.


Finally, switch to the "Options" tab to configure various settings related to the card type, such as the initial steps for learning cards, the order in which new cards appear, and the maximum number of reviews per day. Adjust these settings according to your learning preferences.

Step 5: Adding Custom Cards to Your Deck

Now that you have created and customized your card type, it's time to add some cards to your deck. Close the "Card Types for deck name" window and return to the "Add Cards" window.

Select your custom card type from the "Type" dropdown menu. You'll see the fields you created earlier. Fill in the relevant information for each field and click the "Add" button to create a new card. Repeat this process to add as many cards as you need.

Step 6: Studying with Your Custom Card Type

To study your custom cards, return to the main Anki window and click on your deck's name. Press the "Study Now" button, and Anki will display your custom cards in the order and intervals you specified in the "Options" tab.

Congratulations! You have now successfully created a custom card type in Anki and added cards to your deck. With this newfound knowledge, you can create a variety of card types tailored to your learning style, making your study sessions even more engaging and effective.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep working with your custom Anki cards, and you'll soon see improvement in your knowledge retention and overall learning experience. Good luck on your journey to becoming a future doctor, and happy studying!

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