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Calculator for Anki Cards

   For about 4 years now I have been studying various subjects using Anki flashcards. I actually tried quite a few flashcard programs before I settled with Anki.  Anki was the best choice for me at the time because it has clients for Windows, Linux, Android and iOS, all of which I use. It also has an online web client for when you are on somebody else's device and don't want to download or install any software. I'm pretty sure it has an OSX client too but I have had no reason or opportunity to try that.

   My first impression of Anki, despite the fact that it was the only program I found which would work across all of my devices was that it had a little bit rougher of a UI than most of the others which I tried.  I have long since got used to the UI and have come to really apreciate the way it uses html in cards.  It also can use LATEX and various plugins however I have avoided all of that because I want to make sure my cards work across all of those platforms.  I have found that I can get pretty much whatever I want out of my cards using html and css tricks.  I can even get complex math equations using UTF-8 html entities.

   My latest Anki trick is to add a calculator to some of my flashcards.  I have been studying for the Extra Class amateur radio license. There are a few questions which sort of require a calculator to answer.  Actually... being multiple choice I could just memorize the answers. Or.. in most cases I can eliminate the distractors just by understanding how the math works and estimating a few numbers in my head. Still.. my goal is not to just pass the test but to understand and be capable of using all of the material.  In real life I will not get any multiple choices to chose from.  Usually I just run a separate calculator program but I have always thought it would be nice if I could just embed a calculator right into the card. This is especially nice since I use my phone for studying more often than anything else and phones aren't really made for easy multi-tasking.

   Realizing that cards can contain html I thought I might be able to embed a calculator via javascript.  I tried various calculators I found on the internet. I did find a couple that worked but they were either a bit to bulky and slowed my cards down or required embedding a .js file from some remote webserver. I would prefer that my cards be totally usable offline. So.. I wrote my own. You can try my calculator by opening the attached file. To add the calculator to your own Anki cards just view the source of this file an copy the javascript code from between the script tags into your Anki card template(s).  At the end add the following line 'drawCalc("calculator");' (without the single quotes).  Then, in any card where you would like to place a calculator just add the following '<div id="calculator" />' That's it. It's easier than it sounds.  I'll add some pictures later.



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