Managing Sets

Sets are what I call the files that are created by Flashcard Wizard. They might also be called word lists, databases, files, lessons, or whatever else you like, but in these help files and the application itself, they are referred to as sets. Sets contain entries. These entries are a combination of two or three fields of information plus an optional comment field. If you are studying a language, these will most likely be one word written in two languages. If you are reviewing historical trivia, they might be names, dates, notes etc.

Creating sets can be exhausting work, in any program. If you have to input a lot of entries manually, you can expect to spend some time at your keyboard. You might want to check the Flashcard Wizard online set library to see if there are any sets there of interest to you. You may also add sets that you have created to this online library so that others may benefit from your work (please, no copywrited material). If you can find the information you want to enter elsewhere in a formatted text file you can save a lot of effort by importing these files into Flashcard Wizard. Not all of us have access to such files and you can create a new empty set by choosing "New Set..." from the "File" menu. When a new set is created you may set the names of its fields, their fonts and sizes, as well as indicate whether you would like a "comment" field.

The Comment Field

The comment field is a small field added to each entry which can contain a word or two of comments. In this comment box you might wish to record a source, a short note, or a keyword for the entry. In future releases of Flashcard Wizard, the comment box will also become useful for "Sort" and "Find" commands which can sort or search a set based on information in the comment field. You may change comments in multiple entries at once at any time so if you have many entries with the same comment, you may wish to do so after entering all your entries.

View as List: The Edit Set Window

Once a set is created, you may edit the set or review it. The easiest way to view a set's entries is through the "View as List" command in the "Set" menu. This will open a window listing the entries in different fields. You may view the comments of individual entries by clicking on them. The comment will appear below.

If you wish to edit multiple entries or delete entries, this large overview window called "Edit Set" is the place to do it. You may select multiple entries by using the "Shift" key on your keyboard. In the "Set" menu under the sub-menu "Edit Set List" you will find a variety of features such as "Delete Entry", "Insert Entry in Field", "Delete Entry in Field", "Remove Duplicates", "Create Sublist", and "Change Comment..." all of which are only active when the "Edit Set" menu is open. To edit an individual item choose "Edit Item" from this menu or double-click on the entry. You may also get the above menu by control-clicking on any entry in the window.

The Add Entry Window

Individual entries are edited in the "Add Entry" window which pops up when you choose "Edit Item" in the above menu, double-click on an entry in the list view, choose the "Add Entry" item from the "Set" menu or push the "Add Entry" button on the tool bar. Here you will see two or three fields where you may enter the information. If you have chosen to include comments, a field is also provided for its entry along with a small menu to choose among recently used comments.

When in the "Add Entry" window, you may save your changes and proceed to the next card by pressing the "OK" button (if you have left the card empty you will exit the editing mode) and move to the previous entry without saving any changes by pressing the "Go Back" button. You may jump to other entries by clicking on the item number at the top left of the window.

There is a small picture icon to the right of the first field. Click this button to select graphics (GIF, JPG, or PICT) for inclusion in the set's first field.

Merging Sets

Sets in Flashcard Wizard may be merged and broken into sub sets easily by using their corresponding menu commands. This can be useful if your set should be added together with one similar in topic, or if you have a very large set that you wish to break down into smaller sets. Also, if you wish to manually select problematic entries that are difficult to remember and save them into a seperate set for study, sub sets provide an easy way to do so.

Editing Sets Outside of Flashcard Wizard

Creating sets in Flashcard Wizard is easy and rich in features, but since sets are nothing more than collections of words, it is perhaps easiest of all to enter the information for sets in a word processor and import them into Flashcard Wizard. The only disadvantage to this is that if you do not maintain the correct format for seperating the information from various fields of each entry (using a comma, tab key, a space, or by typing each field in its entirety and then leaving a space between) Flashcard Wizard may have trouble reading your file.

If you later find another multimedia program that you wish to use your sets in, or simply wish to export them for printing (a feature not yet built into Flashcard Wizard), you may also do that in any of the same formats you can import them. Dozens of applications recognize tab-delimited databases, so that may be the export format of choice for most users. You may also export sets as text files belonging to over a dozen popular wordprocessors and database applications. Alternatively, in the preferences you may decide what creator code you wish your sets to be saved in when created in Flashcard Wizard. Saving files as Flashcard Wizard files has the advantage of launching Flashcard Wizard when you double click them, but should you like to edit the sets later in BBEdit or one of the other dozen or so file creators, the preferences offers an easy way to save all files using the desired application's creator code.

One thing to note when editing files created with Flashcard Wizard. Unless you have exported your set first, the first 10 lines contain information that Flashcard Wizard such as fonts, the signature info, and other information. Changing this information can cause problems when you open them again in Flashcard Wizard. If you should happen to corrupt the information in these first 10 lines, delete all the first 10 lines and import the file into Flashcard Wizard again as a tab delimited file.

Set Properties

The fonts and other properties of sets may be changed at any time from the "Set Properties..." item in the "Set" menu. If you have a user set with properties you wish to edit (you can always tell a user set because the tool bar will display the user it belongs to in parenthesis) these may not be changed by directly using the "Set Properties..." menu item. You must first select the "User Sets..." option in the "User" menu when that user is loaded. See the help file on "Managing Users" for more information on changing the properties of user sets.


Backing up your sets is important. Especially in beta releases of a program such as Flashcard Wizard, it is best to keep a backup of your sets should any errors come along and corrupt your material. You may backup individual sets or a user and their sets, easily from the "File" menu's backup commands. Should Flashcard Wizard somehow corrupt your interval study statistics, you may reset all these statistics by opening "User Sets..." in the user menu, select your file, push "Set Status" and choose "Reset Set Statistics" from the "Set Tools" popup menu.

The Set Doctor

The Set Doctor feature is a feature for users comfortable editing their sets manually. Instead of opening sets in a text editor, they may now make changes directly from within Flashcard Wizard. Also, as many sets in Flaschard Wizard will be imported from outside sources, any corrupt data may not always be imported smoothly and sets may not work as they should. If there are these irregularities, the Set Doctor may be a good way of fixing any problems.

The Set Doctor can be opened from the Set menu. The raw data of the set will be visible in the large field in the window and a number of command buttons are available below. A row of buttons at the top will change the font of the field to that of the two or three fields of the set, or Monaco (monospaced - recommended), or Geneva. There is also a button at the top to unlock and lock the body of the field for manual editing. A field at the right, below the main body of the set shows the number of entries (the total number of lines in the set minus the first 10 lines which should not contain entry information).

The commands at the bottom include:

Changes made in the Set Doctor will only be saved if the "Save & Exit" button is pressed at the bottom of the window when finished.

Finally, many of the features concerning sets are customizable by changing various preferences. See the help file on Customizing Flashcard Wizard for more information.

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