URL Schemes

AnkiMobile supports URL schemes for opening third party dictionaries, and for adding content to AnkiMobile from other applications.

AnkiMobile’s URL Scheme

A 'URL Scheme' is like a link to a website, but it instead links to an app. A simple example is:

anki://

If you type this into Safari on your device, you’ll see AnkiMobile open up.

From 2.0.30 onwards, AnkiMobile provides a scheme for adding new notes to your collection. This can be used with dictionary apps that support calling other apps via URL schemes, and with automation apps like Workflow.

The scheme to add cards looks like this:

anki://x-callback-url/addnote?profile=User 1&type=Basic&deck=Default&fldFront=front text&fldBack=back text

The first part must always be there:

anki://x-callback-url/addnote?

After the first part, keys and values are separated by an ampersand. The following keys must always be provided:

  • profile=<profile name>

  • type=<note type name>

  • deck=<deck name>

Fields are entered by prefixing their name with "fld". So if your first field is called "Text", the key would be "fldText". The field text is interpreted as HTML, so if you wanted a newline in the text you’d use something like "line 1<br>line 2".

Special characters in the URL must be escaped. For example, if you have spaces in a field, they must be represented with %20. If you’re using the Shortcuts app, there is a URL encode action which you may find useful.

The remaining keys are optional:

  • tags=<tags separated by space>

  • dupes=1 - if provided, allow a note to be added even if the same content is on an existing note.

  • x-success=<url scheme for another app> - use to automatically return to another app after the note is added.

If a field you provide is a link to an image or audio file, AnkiMobile will automatically download that media and place a link to it in the field. Eg:

fldFront=http://example.com/image.jpg

The link will only be downloaded if it ends with a recognized file extension. If your link is to a dynamic webpage, you can add a fake argument with the extension at the end, eg http://example.com/getImage?imgID=1234&fakePath=foo.jpg. Be careful to escape the URL before including it in the URL scheme, as otherwise ? and & characters will be interpreted as part of the URL scheme instead of the URL.

Dictionary Links

The desktop version of Anki provides the ability to open a web page based on the contents of a field, for easily creating a link to an online dictionary site. This is documented in this section of the manual, though please start from the cards & templates section as the above link assumes you have read it.

Like the desktop, AnkiMobile supports links to dictionary websites. In addition to that, you can also link to different dictionary apps that you have installed on your device using a URL scheme.

Some dictionary apps provide a URL scheme that allows you to provide a particular phrase to search for. For example, an app called iDict+ allows the following type of URL:

idictplus://?search=mysearchtext

If you have iDict+ installed and type that into Safari, iDict+ should open up and immediately search for "mysearchtext".

iDict+ also supports passing a return link. We can replace the above with:

idictplus://?search=txt&scheme=anki://

If you type that into Safari, it will search for "mysearchtext" like before, but will also provide a "return" button that when pressed will open up Anki.

By taking that text and combining it with the instructions for the desktop version linked above, it’s possible to have a link on your cards that searches for a word in another app, and then allows you to return to Anki when you’re done.

Unfortunately, there is no standard for URL schemes: some apps implement them, some don’t, and the way they implement them can different. For example, in the app called "Kotoba!", the URL scheme is:

kotoba://dictionary?word=mysearchtext

Note how not only the app name differs but also the text after it, and how Kotoba! doesn’t provide the ability to automatically return to the app that opened it, meaning that you need to double tap the home button and manually return to AnkiMobile.

Some dictionary apps publish their URL scheme in their documentation. If you’re using a dictionary app that doesn’t, please contact the authors and ask them for more information.