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anki-editor – Emacs minor mode for making Anki cards with Org

Since I’m not a native English speaker, feel free to correct me if there were any ambiguity or grammatical mistakes ;-)



  • anki-connect, an Anki add-on required by this package to interact with Anki.
  • curl

If you have MELPA in your package-archives, just M-x package-install RET anki-editor RET, or install it manually by downloading and visiting anki-editor.el in your emacs buffer, and M-x package-install-from-buffer RET.


The Layout of Notes

Now you can compose Anki notes in Org syntax, e.g. lists, code examples, tables, embedded latex, when being submitted to Anki, they will be converted to HTML by Org-mode’s HTML backend with specific markers (e.g. latex) translated to Anki style.

The structure of a note is as follow, which is inspired by org-drill. More examples can be found in

* Idiom                                                        :vocab:idioms:
  :ANKI_DECK: English
  :ANKI_NOTE_TYPE: Basic (and reversed card)
  :ANKI_TAGS: languages european_languages
** Front
   (it's) raining cats and dogs
** Back
   it's raining very hard
  • An Anki note is an Org entry with ANKI_NOTE_TYPE property
  • Anki tags can be set in two ways
    1. With “ANKI_TAGS” property, multiple tags are separated with space
    2. With Org tags [fn:1], this could be turned off if you would like to keep Org tags separated from Anki tags
  • Other necessary information (e.g. deck, note type) of a note is put in the property drawer of the entry
    • As the value of ANKI_DECK is retrieved with inheritance, you don’t have to set it per note, instead, you could create a deck entry with this property set and put note entries under it, or set it per file by #+PROPERTY: ANKI_DECK YourDeck
  • Child entries of a note entry are fields


CommandBrief Description
anki-editor-push-notesPush notes to Anki. Additional arguments can be used to restrict the range of notes.
anki-editor-retry-failure-notesSame as above, except that it only pushes notes that have ANKI_FAILURE_REASON.
anki-editor-insert-noteInsert a note entry like M-RET, interactively.
anki-editor-cloze-regionCreate a cloze deletion from region.
anki-editor-export-subtree-to-htmlExport the subtree at point to HTML.
anki-editor-convert-region-to-htmlConvert and replace region to HTML.


anki-editor-map-note-entriesSimple wrapper that calls org-map-entries.
anki-editor-note-at-pointConstruct an alist representing a note from current entry.


NameDefault ValueDescription
anki-editor-anki-connect-listening-address“”The network address AnkiConnect is listening.
anki-editor-anki-connect-listening-port“8765”The port number AnkiConnect is listening.
anki-editor-break-consecutive-braces-in-latexnilIf non-nil, consecutive `}’ will be automatically separated by spaces to prevent early-closing of cloze.
anki-editor-create-decksnilIf non-nil, creates deck before creating a note.
anki-editor-ignored-org-tags’(“export” “noexport”)A list of Org tags that are ignored when constructing notes form entries.
anki-editor-org-tags-as-anki-tagstIf nil, tags of entries wont’t be counted as Anki tags.
anki-editor-protected-tags’(“marked” “leech”)A list of tags that won’t be deleted from Anki even though they’re absent in Org entries.


Tags between Anki and Org

Because the set of characters allowed in tags is different between Anki and Org, you have to make sure that tags from Anki are compatible with Org and tags in Org could be recognized by Anki.

Working with Anki add-ons

This package may not work well when you are using certain Anki add-ons especially those who extend the builtin Anki note editor to automatically fill note field content (e.g. Add note id).


In case of a failed operation and this package doesn’t provide much useful information, especially for note creation, don’t be frustrated, see below for some hints.

  1. Decks don’t exist in Anki. This package by default doesn’t create decks for you, when trying out this package with, you might find that every single note creation fails, simply because they’re fake decks that might not be in your Anki collection. If you’d like it to automatically create missing decks, set anki-editor-create-decks to t.
  2. Note is counted as a duplicate. From Anki docs

    Anki checks the first field for uniqueness, so it will warn you if you enter two cards with a Front field of “apple” (for example). The uniqueness check is limited to the current note type, so if you’re studying multiple languages, two cards with the same Front would not be listed as duplicates as long as you had a different note type for each language.

If all the above don’t help, then we have to go deeper to find out what goes wrong. Here are some methods:

  • Turn on logging in request.el. Customize request-log-level to debug, retry failed actions and switch to buffer  *request-log* (there’s a leading space, see invisible buffer) to get logs from request.el. This way we can’t inspect the request payload, since it’s dumped into a temp file that’s deleted when request finishes.
  • Use a traffic sniffer to inspect communications between Emacs and Anki.




This package was a set of utilities in my personal .emacs, then I thought it might be helpful to others, so I decided to make it a package and share with you guys. Since then I have been devoting part of my free time to the maintenance of this package.

Donation is not required, but if you like my work and want to show your appreciation you can donate via PayPal, every cent is appreciated, thanks for your support :)

[fn:1] It should be noted that Org only allows letters, numbers, _ and @ in a tag but Anki allows more, so you may have to edit you Anki tags before they can be used in Org without any surprise.


Emacs minor mode for making Anki cards with Org







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