https://www.duolingo.com/JustinSensei

Pro Tip: Make Tinycards decks by pasting CSV data in Spreadsheet Mode

Lately, a lot of people have been asking about whether they can create a deck by importing cards from a CSV file.

As it happens, if you open the Tinycards spreadsheet editor on web, you can copy and paste CSV data directly into Tinycards. (In fact, a lot of table-formatted data will work, too, but CSV data should definitely work.) To open the spreadsheet editor on web, simply start editing a deck, then click the little grid icon in the upper left of the editing area. If you want to, you can then click the little card icon to switch back from spreadsheet mode to card mode.

With the spreadsheet editor open, all you need to do is make sure the columns in your CSV data are in the same order you see in the spreadsheet editor, then copy and paste. You don't even have to worry about column headers. Try it out!

August 1, 2018

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTPhillips

That would be great if we could export existing TinyCards decks into CSV format. Then we could import them into a custom deck and edit them. I'd love to be able to add to the DuoLingo French decks (not to mention fix the errors).

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
Mod
  • 110

I agree with you.
Also the points that have been brought up with in this post, I think are interesting.
Tinycards - copy deck of cards?

Also I want to do a BIG SHOUT OUT to JustinSensei and their team for the current and past work that they have done with Tinycards !
I have noticed lots of new things and tweaks coming in, and it is greatly appreciated.

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

Yes, an export function would be very useful.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesBridg14

(facepalm)

You mean I could have done that from the beginning?

Ugh...

Maybe the Tiny.cards team should clarify that within the app and the website, because based at least on my own experience it's not obvious that copy-pasting entire spreadsheets into a single cell on the form entry area is possible.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

Be honest now... how many hours did you waste?

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesBridg14

I had a deck of 150 cards. The first time I made the deck, I created it entirely within the Tinycards website relying on the auto-save feature. Including time spent clipping images, entering front and back text, and adding notes, that was easily 9 hours spread over two days. Went to publish, and poof nothing happened. I left the page and came back later to find that the deck only had 6 cards present, and of them not all even included everything I wrote.

I was really determined to succeed, so I did it again but this time created a separate spreadsheet. Copy/pasted 450 cells (front, back, notes), clipped 150 images, and when I went to publish, poof nothing happened and this time the system totally ghosted my draft. Nothing remained. That time around I spent about 7 hours spread over another two days.

I was so angry, I couldn't even.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

Ouch, that sucks. Have a lingot to ease the pain...

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

Yeah....I feel your pain...
It's a lot of manual work.
Now I have all my stuff in spreadsheets, ready to be exported to Anki.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinSensei

That's really rough, James. I'll see what we can do to reduce the chances of something like that happening in the future.

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bastette54

Tinycards destroyed your separate spreadsheet? How??

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls

I just timed myself creating a 40 card deck of the vocabulary from the Politics lesson in the Irish course. It took 12 minutes. I never timed it, but in the past, I am sure it took well over an hour to create a deck of that size. Here is my workflow, in case anyone is interested:

  • Go to schools.duolingo.com, navigate to the lesson, copy the vocab list, and paste into the first column of an Excel spreadsheet
  • For each word, look it up in a dictionary (so I don't make stupid mistakes), and type the English translation in the second column
  • Copy the first two columns from the spreadsheet
  • Go to Tinycards, create a deck, switch to spreadsheet editor, and paste the words
  • Go back to Schools, screen-grab the icon for the lesson, and save to a file
  • In Tinycards, upload the icon
  • Enter a course name and description
  • Save the deck

If only there were a way to lookup the translation Duolingo uses in the tree, the whole process could be automated.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

For each word, look it up in a dictionary (so I don't make stupid mistakes), and type the English translation in the second column

Looking up the words in a dictionary and typing the translation is good.
But if you don't feel like looking up each individual word, then you can also use the function "Googletranslate" available in the "Google spreadsheet".
It's a quick and dirty way to translate large amounts of words in a spreadsheet.

Like this :

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HYNgMwcQf29cAOvgQsub5jA7BHvirMatv4098AKE9Zw/edit?usp=sharing

It's a "quick & dirty replacement" of the missing translations in the "words" tab.

If only there were a way to lookup the translation Duolingo uses in the tree, the whole process could be automated.

It would be nice if the "words" section shows the translation in a list as well.

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls

Thanks for the tip - that's a really cool function.

For this particular purpose, I won't take advantage of it because I am trying to include the translation that is used in the Duolingo lesson (which isn't always the most common translation), and also, Google Translate is still pretty bad at translating Irish.

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesBridg14

Google Translate might be a good way to get a bunch of words on the page -- even as placeholders -- but it can be wildly inaccurate for basic words even with a language as simple as Esperanto. I'd like to see how it goes, so I'll try it out sometime, but I'm guessing that it's going to make as much work as it solves.

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TheKingGeorge11

Hey Justin,hope all is well. Any chance that Tiny Cards will be updated with the new trees soon?

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinSensei

We're looking into a handful of ways to keep content in sync between Duolingo and Tinycards, some of which involve those existing Tinycards courses and some of which don't, but we're still experimenting and we haven't settled on an approach yet. Tl,dr: I wouldn't expect any major changes to the existing courses in Tinycards anytime soon, but you may start seeing some related changes that help with the problem ... and that I wish I could describe in more detail right now. :-)

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls

Thanks Justin!

Since you are in a giving mood :-) the other thing that would be great would be a Tinycards forum so there would be less chance of missing your extremely informative posts (since following you no longer serves that purpose), and so users could more easily get support from other users without getting buried in the general Duolingo discussions.

Edit: the grid editor rocks!!

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinSensei

I like where your head's at, David! :-) We're looking into setting up a dedicated Tinycards topic in this forum for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I hope to have some good news about that relatively soon. Stay tuned!

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steelnothing

Hi Off topic. While playing with this feature I noticed you have now enabled collections within Tinycards. 3 questions. 1. How do you remove a set of cards from a collection? 2. Will it be possible to have subgroups within collections? 3. The decks still seem to appear as before as well as appearing in the new collection. Rather than being regrouped. Is it possible to remove the original ?

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinSensei

Hi! If you open the collection on web or Android, you should see a little "edit" button. If you click the edit button, you will be able to remove or re-order the decks in the collection.

If both the collection and the deck inside the collection are pinned, then both will appear in the pinned row. If you want to, you can unpin the deck while keeping the collection pinned.

At this time, we're not planning on having sub-collections, but I'd be curious to hear more about what you'd use them for if you could have them.

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steelnothing

It's no big deal. Just for keeping my decks in order. Eg. A-Z French would have the 26 letters of the Alphabet. Some letters have up to 12 decks so these would form the subgroups. But these collections are already a big plus. Thanks. Ps still can't see how to get a deck out of a group I put it into by mistake

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steelnothing

Don't seem to have the edit button available on the web version. Maybe it's because I entered the decks via iPad?

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls

I'm able to see the edit button using an iPad for my own decks and collections. It is located just below (in landscape orientation) or next to (in portrait) the Pin/Pinned button. It might be scrolled below the bottom edge of the screen, in which case you'll need to slide the page up a little bit.

I was able to remove a deck the way JustinSensei mentioned. Here are a few more details:

  • Select the collection
  • Tap the edit icon below the Pin/Pinned button; the icon looks like a pencil
  • Find the lesson you want to remove and tap on it
  • A trashcan icon should appear to the right of the deck icon; tap that icon
  • The deck will disappear from the list
  • Tap the Update button to save the collection

If none of this works for you, make sure you are still in the browser and that it hasn't opened the Tinycards app.

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steelnothing

Thank you. I successfully did what I wanted to do via iPad. I needed to log out first as I was always within the app. For some reason I don't seem to have the edit button when on the computer but that doesn't matter anymore.

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

I did not know this, this is a very helpful tip. So, thank you very much.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

Is there anywhere a written tutorial for making decks?

Recently I tried it, and it was very frustrating. I had to google a lot, but things didn't work even though I did exactly what the instruction said. After a while I remembered that Duolingo develops predominantly for Chrome, so I changed browsers, and then it worked. It would be nice to get a warning if your browser doesn't work with TnyCards.

I was quite frustrated at that time, and so I hoped I could just copy my spreadsheet in TinyCards, but obviously it was the wrong format.

So I just entered a few words to see how TinyCards works. I had read that I could rate an answer "right", but the window vanished so fast that I couldn't press the button. And I didn't see how I could make special letters (å, æ, ø) easily available for users which means I would have to use multiple choice.

Then I gave up and made my deck only for me in Anki. (The reason for trying TinyCards was that I was willing to share my deck.)

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/O8attDgu

I have no idea what you're talking about. Where is the Tinycards spreadsheet editor on the web, and where is the little grid icon? There's nothing on the upper left of my screen.

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi
  • Go to Tinycards.Duolingo.com
  • Click Create
  • Click grid icon
  • Copy some CSV data
  • Paste into tinycards table
  • See image below:

Animation

Sorry for the low quality. Let us know if it is still unclear.

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steelnothing

Thank you very much. This copy and paste function from a spreadsheet into the top left hand corner square of tinycards grid. Just saved me loads of time making multiple verb conjugation decks. Especially good when the decks contain identical information in certain columns. I had to keep remembering to add the extra two columns because I am using all 4 columns. When it failed to paste properly I found reducing the amount of information helped. Once the deck is published I seem to lose the power to open or edit it in grid fashion and any alterations are more easily made by going in through the app. Thanks again.

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steelnothing

Just a heads up. If you put decir / to say , to tell. Into one of your columns, for some reason the comma seems to mess up the copy and pasting. You need to write Decir / to say to tell without the comma for it to paste correctly.

August 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steelnothing

Hi. The edit button has now appeared on my computer. Thanks. I wish I could move my decks around, in the same way that I can within collections in order to tidy things up. And also that I could hide them from view on the main screen and only show in collections for the same reason. Thanks Bryan

October 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Coldlogical

Really need the image importing and exporting. All my decks are image associations instead of text.

September 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SashaSolov1

Thank you for this article, sensei, osu! :)

I know this experiment took place (I missed it) and was cancelled, but would be great if a button in Duo lessons was available to automatically create a card in a private TinyCards deck - for leagning any word that a user wants to "attack" from that angle too.

Gracias! Danke!

January 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

Nice update.

Does it work on existing decks ?
Or does it only work on newly created decks ?

As it happens, if you open the Tinycards spreadsheet editor on web, you can copy and paste CSV data directly into Tinycards.

I can not find the button "import CSV".
Do I need to drag & drop the CSV file into the opened deck ?

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

No, you paste its contents into the cell.

The view on Tinycards:

Front Back
1 [A]

Suppose the contents of your CSV look like this:
一,one
二,two
三,three
Copy those three lines, click in cell A and paste.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

Thank you, but it doesn't work with image links.
It shows the URL as plain text in the field, not as a clickable link or an image.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinSensei

That's correct - when you paste CSV data into spreadsheet mode, everything you paste in is treated as text.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

Okay, thank you.
Will this feature (image links) be available in the future ?

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinSensei

This should work on existing decks, but you'll need to be careful where you paste if you don't want to accidentally overwrite your data.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rick392366

Yes, thank you for the warning.
I tried it on a newly created empty deck :-)

August 1, 2018
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