Eliminating Duplicate Cards

I imported my flashcards from Anki some time ago and have been using them together with new cards from the Pleco dictionaries. I have converted many of the new Pleco-generated cards to custom cards.

I now have many duplicate entries when I search for cards in the dictionary, which I believe is a result of the cards I imported. In an attempt to get the system to recognize my cards as user-generated entries of existing cards, I’ve toyed with adding Traditional Character Headword (which I didn’t have in my imported cards), but to no avail. Also, if it matters, my Mandarin Pronunciation is different in that I have spaces between the “characters” in my pronunciations.

Is there a way to merge the duplicates? I’m reluctant to export and re-import things at this point (unless you believe I can do so reliably) given that my card lists are all mixed together. Rather, I would be happy if I can manually change entries as I encounter them.

Thanks, and apologies in advance as I realize this is a topic that has come up, but I’m a bit confused by the other responses I’ve seen.


Staff member
Sorry, I'm not quite understanding 'duplicate entries when I search for cards in the dictionary' - flashcards are not currently searchable in the dictionary unless you convert them to user dictionary entries. Did you do that at some point? If so, to get rid of the duplicates you'd want to go in and add traditional / pinyin to the user dictionary entries, not to the flashcards.

Another option would be to use a Batch command to "Restore hidden custom definitions" - make sure to back up your database first, but if you did convert your flashcards to user dictionary entries, this should turn them back into standalone flashcards with their original definitions, at which point you could back up + then delete that user dictionary (Settings / Manage Dictionaries).
Last edited:
Apologies, as I find this somewhat confusing. I think I might indeed have imported my cards as a dictionary--a possibility I hadn't considered. I say that because I’ve done some more playing around and discovered that:
  • My imported cards seem to appear as "USR" dictionary entries. When I look them up in flashcards, I have the option to “Convert to Custom Card.”
  • It could be that the custom flashcard entries I’ve created since I started using Pleco don’t show up in the dictionary. When I look up the custom flashcard, I see these include the option to “Convert to User Dictionary Entry.”
Three questions then
  1. I am unable to find a double entry right now, but I know they exist. Presuming these are imported entries, when I find them, how do I get the imported entries to merge with the Pleco dictionary entries?
  2. If I convert my custom flashcards to user dictionary entries, then I presume they will show up in the dictionary as "USR" entries? I am inclined to do this in a batch process.
  3. Is there any benefit to taking my imported cards (presumably dictionary cards) and “Convert to Custom Card” within flashcards?
Many thanks!


Staff member
1) We don't currently offer duplicate checking for user dictionaries - the feature was designed around the (in retrospect inaccurate) assumption that people would mostly create them from pre-made text files that were already suitably duplicate checked. So the best way to fix this would probably be to export the whole thing to a text file and then reimport it as flashcards, with duplicate cards set to "update text" so that it'll apply these definitions to your existing cards directly.

2) Yes, that's correct. Just make sure to back up your flashcard + user dictionary databases first.

3) The only benefit would be that then you could get rid of the user dictionary, it makes no difference to the app otherwise. And another, possibly easier way to do that would be to keep the old user dictionary around but disable it for searching (in Settings / Manage Dictionaries) - that way it would still be there for cards to link to but it wouldn't clutter up your search results.