The 5 Best Anki Add-ons

The best add-ons for Anki I use on a regular basis are:

  1. Heatmap
  2. Progress Bar
  3. Godmode shortcuts
  4. Image Occlusion Enhanced
  5. Pop-up Dictionary

You can download them from the Anki website, here.

1. Heatmap

Everyone should have this add-on. As you can see from the bottom of the banner photo (above), it gives you a graphical view of what you’ve reviewed. The darker squares are days you reviewed more cards, and the lighter squares are days you reviewed fewer cards. Simple and effective.

2. Progress Bar

This is a fantastic add-on. It puts a coloured progress bar across your screen (see top left of the banner photo above), which fills up as you do more reviews. Very motivating and quite fun.

See at the bottom of this article for how to install the Progress Bar add-on, as you can’t do so directly from the Anki page.

3. Godmode Shortcuts

This will hugely speed up the process of creating cards, which is often the slowest and most tedious part of using Anki (if you can use someone else’s cards, and they’re good, I’d opt for that!)

The shortcut has two main functions. First, it automatically switches to a Cloze note based on note content (ie it will switch where the note contains “{{c1: …}}” etc). It then switches back to the Basic note type without you having to do anything. Second, it introduces easier one-handed shortcuts for making Cloze cards. You can read more about it here.

4. Pop-up Dictionary

This is a fantastic add-on for law students because it searches for all instances of a word or phrase in your personal Anki card database. This is great for looking up statutory provisions or case names while you’re doing your reviews, and making connections across topics; you can just double click on a word and instantly see where else the provision is relevant.

5. Image Occlusion

This is a great add-on for flow diagrams. Essentially it’s like covering part of a picture with your hand and testing yourself on what’s hidden (ie a pictoral cloze deletion).

Mixing your cards up by having pictures is good; a bit of dual coding will help you remember how things, particularly processes, fit together (Note that while there’s no evidence to support the ‘learning styles’ idea, everyone gets a boost by seeing things presented in different ways).

Pro tip: to get the effect of the {{c1::}} {{c1::}} function with an image occlusion (ie hide two parts of an image in a single question), draw boxes around each part you want to occlude (ie cover up), then hold down shift and select both boxes. Then press ‘g’ to group them (or, you can also go to the the top of the window, where there’s a button that looks like two overlapping rectangles – click that and your shapes will be grouped together).

NB1: Troubleshooting

Note that some add-ons break if you use them together; I have tested all of these at once and they work fine, but just be aware of that if you have lots of others as well.

Also, since these add-ons are made by normal people, for free, they sometimes haven’t been updated to keep pace with Anki’s own updates; supporting the individual developer (eg through ‘buy me a coffee’) is a great way to incentivise them to keep working on the add-ons.

NB2: How to install the reviewer_progress_bar add on

Go to and download the masterzip file “Download a copy of the full repository zip archive” the same file you get from that line highlighted in blue. Extract the files and keep them in downloaded files for an easy access point.

Go to the windows bar and search up %APPDATA%\Anki2. Copy the entire ‘review_progress_bar’ folder over into addons 21 (you find the progress bar in the src)

Close and restart Anki and it should work.

By making small changes at the top of the add-on’s source code, you can change the colors, make the corners more rounded, decide whether to see the percentage (e.g., “50%”), or alter the bar’s orientation (horizontal or vertical), location (which of the window’s four sides), and direction (which way it moves).

NB downloading the add on from the anki page won’t work because new versions of Anki often break the add ons which others make.

Thank you so much for reading! See my other articles on Anki here.

PS See below for the full list of add-ons I have downloaded (I didn’t find the Load Balancer very useful, but you might):

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