How to create Flashcards from Mac Context sensitive Menu when reading documents?

Marko Lukic's Avatar

Marko Lukic

05 Nov, 2017 02:54 PM

Hi folks,

I hope you can help regarding my brilliant vision (cant be that new though):

While reading a lot of academic documents (browser, PDF or whatever) I want to be able to quickly add words or sentences that are not known to me. The vocabulary of my studies is very rich.

By doing this I could immediately capture the context of the words and if the cards are created with only 2-3 clicks then this would not interrupt my precious focus flow. Sync to phone and boom, super accelerated learning while on the go!

Any idea how to do this on a mac? I could not find anything online. Maybe set up a "service"?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Damien Elmes on 06 Nov, 2017 06:40 AM

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    I'll move this to the community section - perhaps other users have some suggestions for you.

  2. 2 Posted by ZapBeeb on 12 Nov, 2017 08:24 AM

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    The only thing that comes to my mind is using evernote's clipper and then making cards for the evernote notes.

  3. 3 Posted by troy on 12 Nov, 2017 01:43 PM

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    There is an addon called "Anki connect" which gives you some kind of api for anki. Maybe this could be a possibility to communicate between your OS and Anki. There are already a few applications out there e.g. here

  4. 4 Posted by WGroleau on 15 Feb, 2018 06:57 AM

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    You can highlight any text, copy, and then paste into an Anki edit window or a text file to import into Anki. I use both methods a lot.

    One more trick, if you have the tech skill or a friend who has it, is to enable your MacOS webserver and install Learning With Texts:

    LWT has a function for exporting words to Anki.

    See also:

  5. 5 Posted by ZapBeeb on 18 Feb, 2018 09:14 AM

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    I didn't know about learning with texts, thanks for the information.
    It looks like it is tailored for language learning, does it adapt well also to general learning?

  6. 6 Posted by WGroleau on 20 Feb, 2018 09:54 AM

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    I supposed if one is sufficiently creative, one could figure out a way to use it for something other than learning language or vocabulary. But I think that would be extremely inefficient and clumsy. However, you definitely could use it for unfamiliar terms and phrases in your native language. In that case, L1 would be "simple English¹" and L2 would be "Modern High Academese" :-) or some such.

    ¹Or whatever language

  7. 7 Posted by WGroleau on 20 Feb, 2018 10:06 AM

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    If you cannot paste the text into LWT (PDFs are often extremely uncooperative with cut/paste), then on the Mac, you could activate Dictation i TextEdit, read the word or sentence, and cut/paste from there. In fact, you can even dictate into the LWT new text window. (I just tested that by saying "감사합니다 that means thank you" and I see that in spite of my accent, the Korean is spelled correctly.) There are also ways to create a Javascript bookmark in Safari or Firefox. At one time, I had such an item connected to DRAE¹ so that if I highlighted a word in a web page, and clicked the bookmark, the definition would popup. That doesn't get it into Anki, but it gives you something you can copy and paste into an Anki import file.

    ¹Diccionario de la Real Academia de Español.

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