How to make fast flashcard decks for your study books


Hi all,

How do you save yourself the time of manually making chapter by chapter flashcard decks in Pleco for your study books? This is what did it for me: Skritter ( Apart from being a great tool for learning characters, Skritter also has ready made downloadable chapter by chapter vocab lists for many Chinese language study books. These lists can be used for making Pleco flashcards decks so that you can review vocab on iPhone/iPad (when unable to access Skritter from a laptop).

How? Here is what I did:

A. in Skritter:

Find the book list you want and hit export. By default everything should be ticked so just proceed and Skritter will put the words into a big text area box. Copy-paste the text into a new file. 

Skritter sometimes inserts a blank line and then a line with the chapter title. What you need to do is replace this blank line and the return wherever it occurs so that:


chapter 1"

Now looks like this:

"//name of your list/chapter 1"

You need to make sure you save the list out of your text editor as UTF8 and with a .txt extension.

B. in Pleco:

1. Get your iPhone/iPad on your home network via WiFi.

2. In Flashcards hit the import cards function. 

3. Hit Upload from computer.

4. Now open a web browser to IP address and port which is shown to you. You'll see a web interface.

5. Select upload and select the flashcard file and upload it.

6. Exit to flashcards page.

7. Select Import cards and select the file which you uploaded. 

8. Change definition source to "prefer dicts"

9. Enter dictionaries and set the order which you prefer dictionaries. * 

10. You may want to select prompt for ambiguous entries. Tuttle in particular tends to put different readings of a character as different entries so it will be more important for that.

11. Then hit Begin Import. 

Now you should have the flashcards imported in the category of "name of your list" that you specified above. 

12. Rename and reorder categories as needed
* I like to use Tuttle as the primary flashcard dictionary. Pleco C-E is equally great because it has been formatted correctly.

Hope this helps,
cheers Eddy


Incidentally, based on the Skritter chapter vocab lists here are the flashcard decks for

Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters
STSC Short-term Spoken Chinese 1&2 (Threshold)
STSC Short-term Spoken Chinese 3 (Elementary)

Hope this saves you some time,

cheers Eddy