Bulk Import to a Category

I found a really helpful resource from an old post on this forum with 成语 ordered by popularity/usage. I've been trying to import that list on my iOS device but the issue is that some of those entries are already HSK6 flashcards. Here are the top 5 entries in the list:


When I import this list they all go into the "uncategorized" list of flashcards, but 莫名其妙,不可思议,& 实事求是 don't appear in the list as they are already categorized as HSK6. I'm importing >1700 entries, and ~1600 of them end up in "uncategorized" but it is too much work to go through the list and find the ones that already exist.

My goal is to have all >1700 entries in a category called "Chengyu", and have any cards that are also in the HSK word list have 2 categories assigned to them. Can anyone offer me a solution?

The obvious workaround is to find the list of idioms that appear in the HSK word list and then manually add a second category to them, but before I do that I wanted to check whether anyone here has a better method?

Here is the post I got the list from if anyone else is interested. I spoke to a native friend of mine who agreed all of the top entries are daily life idioms, and once you get to entry ~1800 (10,000 appearances) it starts to be "things you'll see if you watch dramas set in other time periods". Once you get to ~8,000 appearances it started getting to the level where you'll only encounter these if you speak to someone who "likes to use obscure idioms".


Hi Nan Jing Dong Lu,

I'm happy to read you're liking the list.

The solution should be quite simple. If you put "// Chengyu" in one line at the top of the list, and perhaps also search and replace the single tab characters with double tab characters, Pleco will import the chengyu in the "Chengyu" category. To merge them with the chengyu already in the HSK6 category, you can choose either of the following options under "Duplicate entries" in Import Cards:

Merge Cats: To put the cards in both the HSK6 and Chengyu categories, while retaining the card definition from the HSK6 card

Update + Merge: To put the cards in both the HSK6 and Chengyu categories, while replacing the definition of the cards already in HSK6 by the frequency number in the frequency-ordered list (or the definition).

You could also choose Definition source: Dicts only if you'd rather see a definition of the chengyu in place of the chengyu frequency number. (I would.)

First, I would delete all flashcards from the Uncategorized category, so you start with a clean slate.

Cheers, enjoy,

Hi Shun, thanks for the reply. Long-time lurker; big-time fan of yours!

That did the trick. It turns out that even though I was making new files to try new things, I was naming them all the same thing so I hadn't noticed Pleco was still reading the same file I originally imported.

For anyone else who finds this thread and wants to do the same, I have included the .txt.
  1. Import this file in pleco and it will create all the flashcards in a category called "成语".
  2. On the import screen, select "Merge Cats" under "Duplicate Entries".
  3. I recommend clicking the 'i' icon and where it says "split into categories of" enter 10 (or your preferred number), and then click sequential. This will split them into subcategories which you can learn one at a time by adding them into your daily flashcard routine.
All credit goes to Shun, John. and Jun Da at lingua.mtsu.edu for originally creating the list.


  • Ordered Chengyu List.txt
    24.3 KB · Views: 200


Glad to hear it, you're welcome, and thank you!

I'd also like to credit John. for his contributions.
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