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I'm learning how to use Anki to study Japanese. In the anki manual it says:

"Thus, if you select your 'French' deck, the subdecks 'French::Vocab' and 'French::My Textbook::Lesson 1' will be shown as well. For new cards and reviews, Anki fetches cards from the decks in alphabetical order. So in the above example, you would get cards first from 'French', then 'My Textbook', and finally 'Vocab'."

How can you be shown my textbook cards after you have gone through french cards when the french deck is solely made of my textbook and vocab cards?

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In this case, the Anki manual is referring to the set of French cards that are not included in the subdecks. This is because a top-level deck can include cards that are not part of any subdeck beneath it. In other words, Anki will go through cards in the following order:

Cards not part of any subdeck -> First alphabetical deck -> Second alphabetical deck -> ... -> Last alphabetical deck

Additionally, within each subdeck, if there are any subdecks inside of that (a subsubdeck), it will go through those in an alphabetical order as well.

A small note also - the V2 scheduler introduced recently does away with this and will mix cards from all subdecks.

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