Detect dups on Sort Field instead of 1st field

(I’m not sure whether this is an intentional feature or an overlooked bug, so posting under the suggestion category.)

Each note has one field marked as Sort Field. I think of it as a key element and face of each note. Its value is displayed in a Browser’s list of cards and very often it’s the first field of a note.

However, let’s say I want to move it down and put a much less significant field first, hence to make a note look more natural to me (in terms of fields order). A simple case would be a gendered article in front of a foreign word, e.g. la casa, la mesa.

Now, when I open Browser I see that my notes are highlighted as duplicates. I conclude that Anki detects duplicates basing on the first field (an article la does indeed repeat a lot) regardless of the field marked as Sort Field.

My expectation (therefore a suggestion) is that automatic duplicate detection is not fixed on the first field, but corresponds with a to field, a field marked as a Sort Field.

A quick visual demo:

Here field #2 Word is marked “Sort by…” and displayed in a Browser’s card list as wanted. But field #1 Article is set in red to signal a duplicate note only because it happens to be first.

Version: Version 2.1.35 (84dcaa86), Python 3.8.1 Qt 5.15.1 PyQt 5.15.1.

You’ve been beaten to it by mere hours. :wink:


The reason the first field is used to check for duplicates is so you’re notified as early as possible. If it were in the middle or the end of the field list, you’d waste time typing stuff in, only to find out later that you’re duplicating existing material.


I see, that makes sense. But now you got me curious: what is your thinking around having a Sort Field in the first place? Especially given that there are Browser Appearance templates.

Just to share a bit of a language learner’s perspective on a general note: duplicates might be no problem. There are many homographs - words that share spelling, but have different meaning. I can use an additional field, say Context, to remove ambiguity.

The sort field exists for performance reasons - sorted based on browser appearance would either be much slower, or consume more storage.