The Complete Guide to Using SuperMemo's Incremental Reading with Only the Keyboard

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

I’ve written about SuperMemo shortcuts. However, for maximum efficiency, it is indispensable to also use other shortcuts for Incremental Reading.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Incremental Reading

During Incremental Reading, there are a lot of editing. Here are some of my most commonly used shortcuts (source: 42 Text-Editing Keyboard Shortcuts):

Ctrl Right/Lef Arrow for moving between words rather than a single character

Shift + Ctrl Right/Lef Arrow for selecting words rather than a single character

Home – Move cursor to beginning of current line

End – Move cursor to end of current line

Shift+Home – Select the text between the cursor and the beginning of the current line

Shift+End – Select the text between the cursor and the end of the current line

Shift+Up or Down Arrow – Select lines one at a time

Shift+Ctrl+Up or Down Arrow – Select paragraphs

Different Keyboard Layouts on Laptop and Desktop

Your laptop keyboard is probably different. Most laptop keyboards have a different layout than a 87-key keyboard. For example, my laptop keyboard doesn’t have the PageU, PageDown, Home and End keys; they are mapped differently. So some of the keyboard combinations mentioned above are different for me. For example, Shift+EndShift + Fn + Right Arrow

AutoHotKey Scripts for Incremental Reading

Update: I no longer use these scripts. I now use my SuperMemoVim. featuredImage:

I have the following AutoHotKey scripts for Incremental Reading. All these scripts are very simple. My goal is to minimize switching back and forth between the keyboard and mouse. With them, my left hand can stay on the left side of the keyboard and right hand on the mouse (most of the time). During grading, my left hand stays on the number key 1, 2, 3, 4; during Incremental Reading, F1, F2, F3, F4 and sometimes reach for F5 and F6.

F1 is mapped to the Backspace key

F2 is mapped to the Enter key

F3 for one wheel scroll. Although you can use Page Up/Down during Incremental Reading, I find it too abrupt and thus, often lose track of content.

F4 for extracting (Alt + X)

F5 for dismissing article (Ctrl+D)

F6 for setting the reading point (Ctrl+F7)

Bonus: Windows Shortcuts Most Relevant for SuperMemo

With SuperMemo being the first on the taskbar, Windows key + 1 will open SuperMemo


Windows key + Up arrow – Maximize app windows. For some reason, after some operations like searching or opening up the Outstanding Queue browser, the main element window will resize. So this shortcut is really handy to re-maximize the windows.

Alt + Tab – Switch between open apps

Ctrl + Alt + Tab – See all the apps that are currently opened

Limitation with Only the Keyboard

Generally speaking, most operations in SuperMemo can be done without the mouse. However, there are certain operations that are just better with the mouse. For example, navigating the Knowledge Tree or adding media. Operations that involve editing image occlusion items are just impossible without the mouse.

Closing Remarks

Dedicated SuperMemo Shortcuts, Windows Shortcuts, Windows Access Keys and AutoHotKey Scripts = SuperMemo Keyboard Ninja. You basically don’t need a mouse.

It does, however, take time to learn your specific keyboard layout, to remember the AutoHotKey script keys, and new Windows shortcuts. But I think it’s well worth it. Before mind/eye-controlling interface is available, this is the closest thing to effectively navigate SuperMemo with minimal hassle and hand movements.