Upgraded from an old version and the new importer is unbearable, please help!

Hey everyone.

I have a routine where I import data often from CSV files, maybe at least 10-15 imports/day. The problem is that the UI changes in Anki have made the importer really inefficient to use.

I have run into these issues so far:

  • It doesn’t remember the settings from the previous import. For example, it always resets from “Comma” field separator to “Pipe” and also resets the note type.
  • It doesn’t seem to have kept the keyboard shortcuts from the previous version. I cannot use the keyboard to change note type or deck. I seem to be forced to use the mouse and click the dropdowns to select the option I want.
  • Tags are not getting mapped. In the previous version, I could import 4 fields and the fourth field got automatically assigned to “Tags” in card types that have 3 fields. I have to specify that manually now every single time.

All of these have added a bunch of extra clicks and it is a huge inconvenience.

Does anyone have any recommendations how to make the routine less painful?

What is the chance that these things would be changed in the near future? I know that developing software is a huge undertaking and design overhauls are a ton of work. However, today I feel really upset about the upgrade. I really miss the old application :frowning:

Hi there :slight_smile:

there is a feature called file headers which has been recently added and which might make your importing experience a little more pleasant. It is enabled by default in Anki 2.1.55 and later versions. On Anki 2.1.54 you have to enable it by going to Tools → Preferences → Editing.

This feature allows you to tell Anki some basic things about how it should treat the file that you want to import. To use it, you have to include a comment at the top of your text / CSV file. For this you can use any basic text editor. The general syntax is: #key:value.

To address your pain points, you might want to include the following comments at the start of each CSV file:

#tags column:4

Make sure that the way you have written the names of the fields, the name of your note type and the name of your deck in the comments match exactly with the way you have written them in Anki.

You might want to save this text snipped in a text file, put it on your desktop, and paste it from there every time you want to import a new CSV file.

The comments i have listed are not exhaustive, more options are described in the documentation.


@Hildeguard Thank you! This is unbelievable!

The CSV files I’m using are generated using code I’ve written in Python. So, I’ve added the code to generate the header as you recommended and then voila! Problem solved.

The import actually needs even fewer clicks than in the previous version now. I used to need to switch the note type or the notebook. Now all I need is to import the file and the application takes care of the rest.

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I didn’t even think about including the headers in a script, but that sounds awesome! :slight_smile:

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