Managing Multiple Decks (not Subdecks) with different Note Types

I have finally created my first deck using a new “Basic (with reversed card)” note type.

Before I start reviewing, I thought I would create two additional decks, each with its own new “Basic” note type. One note type supports a new “Forward” deck. The other supports a new “Reverse” deck. The same data would be imported to both decks. (With my first “Reversed” deck, I verified that I could maintain the deck via additional imports.)

When I try to import to either of the new decks (Forward or Reverse), I get the following error message… “Notes that could not be imported as note type has changed: 6”. I was importing 6 records.

On the “Import” menu, I made sure that the “Import Options” were set to the proper “Notetype” and “Deck”. Here are screenshots of my “Note Types”, “Decks”, “Import” screen, and the resulting error.



What have I done wrong?

I have looked in the Anki Manual, and Forum, Reddit r/Anki, and performed a general google search. I found nothing that helps.

What is the contents of the file you’re importing?

I have Anki 2.1.60 on Windows 11.

Here’s a screenshot of the import file. This same deck imported into my original “Reversed” deck (MyTestDeck) without a problem.

I just used the Anki “Add” function to manually add the first two data records to both the Forward and Reverse decks. All four adds were successful. I then used the Anki “Browse / Preview” function to view all 4 cards, front and back. All previews were correct.

This appears to be an “Import” problem. “Import” is not honoring the selected “Note Type”.

If you can upload the file and an export of your collection somewhere so that we can reproduce the issue, that would be helpful.

Thank you, that was helpful. The issue here is you have specified the first column as both a regular field called GUID, and also told Anki that it should be treated as the hidden GUID that notes store. If you remove the “guid column:1” line from the file, you should find it imports correctly.

I removed the “#guid column:1” Header Key from the import text files I used with the Forward and Reverse decks.

I left in the “#separator:Tab” and “#columns:GUID Article Spanish English” Header Keys.

My Note Type defines those 4 Fields.

Import successfully added records to a new, empty, Deck.

Import successfully changed existing records in that same Deck based on the value of the first column, GUID. I manage the GUID value as being globally unique in my Excel master file.

Import successfully changed an existing record to be a completely new record by replacing all values except the GUID. Effectively, I “deleted” an existing record by assigning its GUID to new Article, Spanish, and English values.


I started out with only the “MyTestDeck” Deck defined. I imported a set of records into the deck using the “MySpanishVocab” note type which was created as a new “Basic (with reversed card)” note type.

The import deck included the “#guid column:1” header key.

I then imported additional records, changed existing records, and “deleted” existing records as 3 additional imports. All had the “#guid column:1” header key.

All of the imports worked as expected.


Why did the original work, but creating additional decks results in the “note type changed” error? The two additional decks are both intended to use “Basic” note types.

How is GUID supposed to work? I thought I had interpreted the writeup in the Anki Manual correctly. It is not clear from the manual how I am supposed to set up my note types and import decks to work with GUID. How does “#guid column:” affect “#columns:”?

It now appears that all I really needed was for column 1 to be unique and non-empty.


My next step will be to rerun all of my tests without the “#guid column:1” Header Key.

If you specify only ‘guid column’ in the file and then manually select the fields in the importing screen, you’ll notice that the guid column is greyed out. It’s not intended to be used for both a normal field and Anki’s internal guid at the same time.

I recently updated the documentation to recommend not using a guid column if you’re creating your own ids: Importing - Anki Manual

I’ll take another look at the manual.


I retested.

Same 3 note types, but renamed so that I know which is which. All have the same 4 fields.

3 new decks to match the note types…

I have 7 import files. “#guid column:1” has been removed from all. All have 4 columns to match the note types. Column 1 is non-empty and unique. The 7 files cover: Initial load, add, change, and “delete” (reuse the column 1 value).

I imported each of the 7 files to each of the 3 decks. All were successful!!!


I had some trouble getting my 3 new decks to show on the Anki “Deck” view. I ended up clicking on the new deck and clicking on “Decks” to get back to the Deck view.

My 3 decks are MyFwd&RevDeck, MyFwdDeck, and MyRevDeck. After all of my imports, the “Decks” view shows…

All 3 have the same number of notes. “New cards/day” is set to “30”. I don’t know why the other two decks are showing “24”.

Deck “Öptions” claims to be used by 4 decks. The “Decks” view only shows 3. I’m assuming that the 4th is “Default”. I don’t know why it doesn’t show in the “Decks” view.


Anyway, I think I’m good to go for now. I can delete and recreate the decks, load them with my real data, and try reviewing. I set the options to Random"" and Bury new and review". I haven’t decided yet whether I want Forward and Reverse in the same deck or different decks.

Thank you for all of your help.

I looked at your GUID update. That helps a lot.

Thank you.

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