Flashcard Suite

Overview

Flashcard Suite is divided up into three main programs: the Editor, the Viewer (tester), and the Publisher. You create the cards in the Editor, you test your deck in the Viewer, and you create Internet-viewable decks in the Publisher.

All three components are designed to be, above all, simple to use, and quick. All of Flashcard Suite's most common tasks have been carefully mapped to a single keystroke so that you rarely need to use the mouse. As user-friendly as a mouse is, it makes entering data very slow and if you are entering two hundred or two thousand cards, you want the interface to be as fast a possible.

The Editor

The editor is designed to be very fast. You can enter any number of cards without ever reaching for your mouse. The 'Basic Editing' tutorial (in the 'Tutorials' submenu of the 'Help' menu) shows you how to use the keyboard the most efficiently. Keep in mind, that a card does not become part of the deck until it is saved with the 'Save' button.

Keyboard shortcuts are displayed in the menus beside each menu item (see picture above)

In addition, every button displays displays a short description of itself when you hold the mouse pointer over any button for more than a couple of seconds without moving it (see picture below)

Some features of the editor are not as obvious and are stored in the 'Preferences' submenu under the 'Edit' menu. For example, the TAB key does not normally enter tabs into a document. To make it do so, you must select 'Make tab key insert tabs' from the 'Preferences' or use its keyboard shortcut, Ctrl-D (Cmd-D on Macs).

Fonts

Your cards can use any font which is installed on your system and each of the card faces can use a different font. Often, the front and back of the card will use different fonts (for example, if you are creating a Japanese-English vocabulary deck, you will use a font which displays Japanese characters on one side of the card and a font which displays English characters on the other). At other times, you will use the same font for both sides (for example, for a geology terminology deck which is all in English).

In addition to the font, you can also select the size and color of a font from the 'Font' menu.

The Viewer (Tester)

Once you have entered all of your cards into a deck, use the Viewer to learn them. The Viewer is very simple to learn and use. You are shown a definition (term, vobulary word,etc) on the front of the card. You try to remember what it means, then flip the card over and check if you were correct. If you were correct, you remove the card from the deck so that you can focus on the cards you have not yet memorized.

Overview of the Viewer Buttons

You can change the default text properties for the deck (eg text size, color, font family) from the 'Font' menu.

The 'Flip Card' button "flips" the card over so you can view the other side.

The 'Memorized' button removes the card from the test (but does not alter the original deck). You hit the 'Memorized' when you have memorized a card and do not want it to remain in the test. This leaves you free to focus on the cards which you have not memorized.

The 'Not Memorized' button moves on to the next card in the test. The current card remains in the test.

If you are viewing a deck from the Internet, it is possible that you will not have the proper font installed on your computer and the text will be garbled. To correct this, simply select 'Custom' from the 'Font Family' menu under the 'Font' menu.

Publishing your decks

Use Unicode Fonts

If you plan to publish this deck on the Internet, be sure that you use fonts which are available on every computer, or use a font in the public domain that anyone can download from the Internet. The only fonts guaranteed to be installed on every computer are Serif, Sans serif, and Monospaced, but unfortunately, these fonts only display latin characters. If you need to display characters that are not based on the latin alphabet, you should choose a UNICODE font because it is possible to interchange between unicode character sets. For example, if you were to choose a non-unicode font to display Japanese characters and then published your deck on the Internet, every person who downloaded your deck would have to install the exact same Japanese font that you used. If, however, you chose to use a Japanese UNICODE font, the person who downloaded your deck could pick any other Japanese UNICODE font they already have on their system and it would still display correctly.