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Ankivalenz is a tool for generating Anki cards from HTML files. Read my blog post for more information on the "Why" of Ankivalenz.

Use with Quarto

Ankivalenz can be used with Quarto. Take a look at the repo for the quarto-ankivalenz extension for more information.


In this walk-through we will write our notes as Markdown files, use pandoc^pandoc to convert them to HTML, and finally use Ankivalenz to generate an Anki deck with Anki cards extracted from our Markdown files.


Ankivalenz is distributed as a Python package, and requires Python 3.10+. To install:

$ pip3 install ankivalenz

Initialize project

Create a folder for your notes:

$ mkdir Notes
$ cd Notes

Ankivalenz needs a configuration file, containing the name and ID of the Anki deck. This can be generated with ankivalenz init:

$ ankivalenz init .

Write a note

Add the following to a file named

# Cell

## Types

- Prokaryotic ?:: does not contain a nucleus
- Eukaryotic ?:: contains a nucleus

Generate Anki deck

Convert it to HTML:

$ pandoc > Cell.html

And run Ankivalenz:

$ ankivalenz run .

This generates a file Notes.apkg that can be imported to Anki. Open Anki and go to File -> Import, and find Notes.apkg.

Updating Anki deck

If you make changes to your notes, you can update the Anki deck by running ankivalenz run again. It is not possible to mark cards as deleted, so if you remove a note, the corresponding card will remain in the Anki deck. To work around this issue, all cards are tagged with a timestamp, and you can use the Anki browser to delete cards with an old timestamp. Running ankivalenz run will provide you with the filter needed to delete orphaned cards:

$ ankivalenz run .
- Added 3 notes to deck Biology in Biology.apkg
- Import the .apkg file into Anki (File -> Import)
- Find and delete orphaned notes with this filter (Browse):
    deck:Biology -tag:ankivalenz:updated:1666899823


The new Anki deck will have two cards:

Question Answer Path
Prokaryotic does not contain a nucleus Cell > Types
Eukaryotic contains a nucleus Cell > Types

This is what the first note looks like in Anki:

Anki review


Front/back cards

Ankivalenz supports front/back cards, where the front is the question and the back is the answer. To create a front/back card, add a new list item with the question, followed by ?:: and the answer:

- Color of the sun ?:: Yellow

You can flip the order of the question and answer by using ::? instead:

- Anwer ::? Question

Two-way cards

Two-way cards can be created with :::

- Side 1 :: Side 2

This will create two cards in Anki:

Front Back
Side 1 Side 2
Side 2 Side 1

Standalone questions/answers

Sometimes you want to create a note refering to the parent heading. This can be done with standalone questions/answers:

- Sun
  - ::? The star in our solar system

This will create a note with the answer "Sun" and the question "The star in our solar system". The other types of delimeters ("::" and "?::") can be used in the same way.

Cloze cards

Ankivalenz supports cloze deletion^cloze, where the answer is hidden in the question. To create a cloze card, add a new list item with the question, using Anki's cloze syntax:

- The {{c1::sun}} is {{c2::yellow}}.

Nested lists

Lists can be nested:

- Solar System
  - Star ?:: Sun
  - Planet
    - Earth ?:: Blue
    - Mars ?:: Red

The headings for the nested lists become a part of the notes' paths:

Question Answer Path
Star Sun Solar System
Earth Blue Solar System > Planet
Mars Red Solar System > Planet


If you are writing Markdown files, and use pandoc to convert them, the following syntax for math is supported:

- Inline math: $1 + 2$
- Display math: $$1 + 2$$

With the --mathjax flag, pandoc will generate the correct markup, using \( ... \) as delimeters for inline math, and \[ ... \] as delimeters for display math:

$ pandoc --mathjax > Note.html


ankivalenz.json takes the following options:

Option Description
deck_name The name of the Anki deck.
deck_id The ID of the Anki deck.
input_path The path to the folder containing the HTML files.

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