- Simple searches
- Limiting to a field
- Tags, decks, cards and notes
- Ignoring accents/combining characters
- Regular expressions
- Card state
- Card properties
- Recent Events
- Matching special characters
- Object IDs
Anki's Browse screen and the Filtered Deck feature use a common method of searching for specific cards/notes.
When you type some text into the search box, Anki finds matching notes and displays their cards. Anki searches in all fields of the notes, but does not search for tags (see later in this section for how to search for tags). Some examples:
search for "dog" - will match words like "doggy" and "underdog" too.
finds notes that have both "dog" and "cat" on them, such as "raining cats and dogs".
dog or cat
finds notes with either "dog" or "cat".
dog (cat or mouse)
finds notes with dog and cat, or dog and mouse.
finds notes without the word "cat".
finds notes with neither "cat" nor "mouse".
-(cat or mouse)
same as the above.
finds notes with the exact sequence of characters "a dog" on them, such as "atta dog", but not "dog a" or "adog".
finds notes without the exact phrase "a dog"
finds notes with d, <a letter>, g, like dog, dig, dug, and so on.
finds notes with d, <zero or more letters>, g, like dg, dog, dung, etc.
search for "dog" on a word boundary - will match "dog", but not "doggy" or "underdog". Requires Anki 2.1.24+ or AnkiMobile 2.1.61+. Note that formatting changes may be interpreted as word boundaries e.g. searching for
w:exam will match example.
will match "dog" and "doggy", but not "underdog".
will match "dog" and "underdog", but not "doggy".
Things to note from the above:
Search terms are separated by spaces.
When multiple search terms are provided, Anki looks for notes that match all of the terms - an implicit 'and' is inserted between each term. On Anki 2.1.24+ and AnkiMobile 2.0.60+ you can be explicit if you like ("dog and cat" is the same as "dog cat"), but older Anki versions will treat "and" as just another word to search for.
You can use "or" if you only need one of the terms to match.
You can prepend a minus sign to a term to find notes that don’t match.
You can group search terms by placing them in parentheses, as in the dog (cat or mouse) example. This becomes important when combining OR and AND searches — in the example, with the parentheses, it matches either 'dog cat' or 'dog mouse', whereas without them it would match either 'dog and cat' or 'mouse'.
Anki is only able to search within formatting in the sort field you’ve configured. For example, if you add "example" to one of your fields, this will not be matched when searching for "example" unless that field is the sort field. If a word is not formatted, or the formatting does not change in the middle of the word, then Anki will be able to find it in any field.
Standard searches are case insensitive for Latin characters - a-z will match A-Z, and vice versa. Other characters such as Cyrillic are case sensitive in a standard search, but can be made case insensitive by searching on a word boundary or regular expression (
Limiting to a field
You can also ask Anki to match only if a particular field contains some text. Unlike the searches above, searching on fields requires an 'exact match' by default.
find notes with a Front field of exactly "dog". A field that says "a dog" will not match.
"animal front:a dog"
find notes where the "Animal Front" field is exactly "a dog". The double quotes are mandatory, see below.
find notes with Front field containing dog somewhere
find notes that have an empty Front field
find notes that have a non-empty Front field
find notes that have a Front field, empty or not
find notes in a field starting with "fr". Requires Anki 2.1.24+ or AnkiMobile 2.1.60+.
Tags, decks, cards and notes
find notes with the tag "animal", or subtags like "animal::mammal"
find notes with no tags
find notes with tags starting with ani
find cards in a French deck, or subdecks like French::Vocab
find cards in French, but not subdecks
searching when a deck has a space
filtered decks only
normal decks only
search for Forward cards
search for cards by template number - eg, to find the second cloze deletion for a note, you’d use
search for cards with a Basic note type
Ignoring accents/combining characters
Requires Anki 2.1.24+ or AnkiMobile 2.0.60+.
You can use
nc: to remove combining characters ("no combining"). For example:
matches notes with "uber", "über", "Über" and so on.
matches "は", "ば", and "ぱ"
Searches that ignore combining characters are slower than regular searches.
Anki 2.1.24+ and AnkiMobile 2.0.60+ support searching in notes with "regular expressions", a standard and powerful way of searching in text.
Start a search with
re: to search by regular expression. To make things easier, Anki will
treat the following as raw input, so bear in mind the rules listed there.
find notes that have "some" or "another" on them, followed by 0 or more characters, and then "thing"
find notes that have 3 digits in a row
Regular expressions can also be limited to a specific field. Please note that unlike the normal searches in a specific field, regular expressions in fields don't require an exact match. Eg:
matches uppercase or lowercase a1, B1 or c1 that occurs anywhere in the "Front" field
like the above, but will not match if any other text falls before or after a1/b1/c1.
Anki 2.1.50 added regex support for tags:
find notes with the exact tag "parent", disregarding any child tags like "parent::child"
find notes with tags "lesson-17" through "lesson-25"
You can learn more about regular expressions here: https://regexone.com/lesson/introduction_abcs
Some things to be aware of:
- The search is case-insensitive by default; use
(?-i)at the start to turn on case sensitivity.
- Some text like spaces and newlines may be represented differently in HTML - you can use the HTML editor in the editing screen to see the underlying HTML contents.
- For the specifics of Anki's regex support, please see the regex crate documentation: https://docs.rs/regex/1.3.9/regex/#syntax
review cards and learning cards waiting to be studied
cards in learning
reviews (both due and not due) and lapsed cards
cards that have been manually suspended
cards that have been buried, either automatically or manually
Note that with the new scheduler, Anki now distinguishes between manually and automatically buried cards so you can unbury one set without the other.
Cards that have lapsed fall into several of these categories, so it may be useful to combine them to get more precise results:
cards that have lapsed and are awaiting relearning
review cards, not including lapsed cards
cards that are in learning for the first time
cards with a red flag
cards with an orange flag
cards with a green flag
cards with a blue flag
cards with a pink flag
cards with a turquoise flag
cards with a purple flag
cards with interval of 10 days or more
cards due tomorrow
cards due yesterday that haven’t been answered yet
cards due between yesterday and tomorrow
cards that have been answered less than 10 times
cards that have moved into relearning more than 3 times
cards easier or harder than default
cards added today
cards added in last week
The check is made against card creation time rather than note creation time, so cards that were generated within the time frame will be included even if their notes were added a long time ago.
cards where the note text was added/edited in the last n days.
This requires Anki 2.1.28+ / AnkiMobile 2.0.64+.
cards answered today
cards answered Hard (2) today
cards answered Again (1) over the last 7 days
cards answered Easy (4) in the last month
Rating searches had been limited to 31 days before version 2.1.39.
On version 2.1.45+, you can also search for the very first review only:
cards answered for the first time today
cards answered for the first time within the last 365 days
Matching special characters
This section was written for Anki 2.1.36+ - earlier versions did not support escaping characters in certain situations.
As shown in the previous section, some characters like
" have a
special meaning in Anki. If you need to locate those characters in a search,
you need to tell Anki not to treat them specially.
To match something including spaces, enclose the
"entire term"in double quotes. If it is a colon search, you also have the option to only quote the
part:"after the colon"(unless there are spaces before the colon as well).
Add a backslash before these characters to treat them literally. For example,
_will match any single character, but
\_matches only an actual underscore.
Because a backlash is used to remove the special meaning from other characters, it too is treated specially. If you need to search for an actual backslash, use
You can search for parentheses either by enclosing the full term in quotes, and/or by using a backslash. That is,
"some\(text\)"are all equivalent, but
Starting a search term with
-usually inverts it:
-dogmatches everything except dog for example. If you instead wish to include an actual hyphen, you can either use a backslash, or include the text in quotes, such as
Colons have to be escaped unless they are preceded by another, unescaped colon. So
w:e:bis a word boundary search for
w\:e\:bsearches literally for
w\:e:bsearches the field
b(see field searches).
>are treated as HTML when searching in Anki, and as such searches containing them don't work as expected. However, you can search for them by using their corresponding HTML entity names (
>). For example, searching
<&text>searches for a card with
<&text>in a field.
Text preceded by certain keywords (like
re:) will be treated as raw input. That is,
the characters listed above largely lose their special meaning. In such a context, only
a minimum of escaping is required to prevent ambiguity:
"must be escaped.
Spaces and unescaped parentheses require the search term to be quoted.
The search term must not end in an odd number of backslashes.
the note with note id 123
all cards with card ids 123, 456 or 789
Note and card IDs can be found in the card info dialog in the browser. These searches may also be helpful when doing add-on development or otherwise working closely with the database.