Microsoft Word File Import/Export (Question Format)

Question formats ::: qformat_wordtable
Maintained by Eoin Campbell
Import questions (including images and equations) from structured tables in a Word file (.docx format) into a course question bank, and also export questions to a Word file, allowing for round-trip editing.
Latest release:
4289 sites
181 fans
Current versions available: 6

This plugin allows quiz questions to be imported from a Word file into Moodle. You can quickly write lots of questions in structured Word tables far more easily than in Moodle directly. The plugin also imports tables, images, and equations (when created using the Microsoft Office Equation Editor, not MathType/Wiris or the old Equation 3.0 editor). Equations are converted into MathML on import and displayed using the MathJax filter. You can also export questions from the Moodle question bank into structured tables in Word. 

The table structure for each question supports all the question components (stem, answer options, option-specific and general feedback, hints, tags and question meta-data such as penalties, grades and other options). All the main question types except Numerical and Calculated questions are fully supported. Numerical and Calculated questions are exported, but cannot be imported.

The Cloze question syntax is particularly useful, as it does not require any knowledge of the arcane Moodle syntax; instead, use bold for drop-down menu items, and italic for fill-in text fields. See attached screenshot for an example.

Language support

Exported questions are labelled in the language of the current Moodle user interface, and the spell-check language is also set to the correct language. Similarly, questions can be imported in the same language, not just English. Both left-to-right and right-to-left languages (such as Arabic and Hebrew) are supported.

Equation support (import only)

Equations written using the Microsoft Equation Editor in Word can be imported into Moodle as MathML. This MathML is rendered within Moodle using the MathJax filter. Note that MathML equations in questions are not exported in a usable way.

Supporting Word templates

Word templates to go with the plugin can be downloaded from the demonstration website, and are available for Word 2007 and 2010 (Windows), and Word 2011 (MacOSX).


The plugin can be installed by a Moodle Administrator using the standard Moodle plugin installation process.


  • Check that your Moodle installation supports XSLT, and ideally HTMLTidy too. Log in as Administrator, go to Site Administration -> Server -> PHP info, and view the PHP configuration. Look for the package details for 'xsl'. If they are not present, then you will need to re-configure PHP and re-start the server.
  • To enable XSLT and HTMLTidy on a Windows Moodle server, open your PHP configuration file (e.g. d:\winmoodle2\server\php\php.ini on Windows) and uncomment the lines containing "extension=php_xsl.dll". and "extension=php_tidy.dll" by removing the semi-colon before them, if present.
  • On Linux platforms, you may need to create a symbolic link from the file , /etc/php5/apache2/mods-available/xsl.ini to , or /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/20-xsl.ini. Change directory to /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/, and use the command 'sudo ln -s ../../mods-available/xsl.ini 20-xsl.ini'. Alternatively, create a file /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/xsl.ini containing the line

Configuration instructions

  1. Go to any course question bank that contains at least 1 question, and choose the Export option.
  2. The File format list should contain the new option 'Microsoft Word table format'. Select this item, and choose any question category containing some questions.
  3. You will be prompted to save or open a Word file. Save it. By default it should have a .doc suffix. If no suffix is provided, you must add it in yourself to ensure Word recognises the file format.
  4. If you see the error message "You need the XSLT library installed in PHP to save this Word file" (xsltunavailable in non-English installations), then your Moodle installation is not configured to support exporting to Word format, and you will need to update it. See this forum thread.
  5. To import questions from a Word file, open the file you just exported, and save it to Word 2010 (.docx) format. Then go to the Question Import form, and you should see a new item in the File format list, 'Microsoft Word table format'. Select this item, choose the Word file you saved, and import it.
  6. If all goes well, your questions in the file should be imported into your course. If not, send me an email at and I will try to help you out. 


  • The number of questions you can import in a single Word file is limited by the amount of memory allocated for processes on your Moodle server, but should be at least 1,000 questions or more.
  • When you export questions they are saved in an intermediate Word-compatible format in a file with a .doc suffix. You must then save the file to the standard Word format (with a .docx suffix). 

Using a Word template to create and edit questions

To edit existing questions using Word, first export them into Word. If you want to create new questions, you should install a custom Word template on your PC to assist you. You can download this template from the test website This template contains commands to create new questions by means of inserting a specific structured table for each type.


This plugin is part of set Microsoft Word file import/export.


Screenshot #0


Eoin Campbell (Lead maintainer)
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Show comments
  • Artech Artech
    Tue, Dec 13, 2022, 8:06 PM
    Hello Eoin, I wanted to ask whether right-to-left word templates are also available to download for this plugin?
    Thank you very much!
  • Eoin Campbell
    Thu, Dec 15, 2022, 12:34 AM
    Yes, I have some right-to-left templates that work, e.g. Chiness. What language do you want?
  • Artech Artech
    Thu, Dec 15, 2022, 4:42 PM
    Preferably Hebrew, but Arabic can work too. Thanks!
  • Elias Sfeir
    Mon, Feb 13, 2023, 5:33 PM
    Dear Support,

    We have been using your plugin and it is a great one.

    We need your support on the following:
    Whenever we import the attached file for an Arabic language exam, for some devices, it will show the characters as separated.

    When we checked the HTML tags of the question by itself, we saw that whenever we import, the characters of one word or sentence are being placed in separate tag.

    Kindly we need your prompt support.

    Please note that i did send an email to:
    With all the required attachments.

    Thank you.
  • Joost Elshoff
    Thu, Jun 8, 2023, 9:51 PM
    Hi Eoin,

    Do you also run the Moodle2Word site? If so, do you have a more up to date set of templates and site? The Moodle instance over there is a 3.7, and I don't know how secure the site still is.
  • Sudhir Singhal
    Sat, Jun 17, 2023, 2:47 PM
    Can we add Question ID also in the word file by inserting some column or row in the present format?
  • Eoin Campbell
    Tue, Jun 20, 2023, 9:37 PM
    Yes you can. Export some questions from Moodle and you will see an extra row in the question table heading, with the label "ID Number:" in column 1 and a blank cell in column 2 to enter a question ID.
    I haven't updated the Word template moodle2WordStartup.dotm (cf. to include this row, because of laziness and because most people won't use it. However, you can open the template file for editing using Word, and add in this row to each of the question type tables in the template, and then save it. Any time you create a new question from within the Word editing interface, the ID Number row will then be included.
  • Sudhir Singhal
    Fri, Jun 30, 2023, 6:09 PM
    I install Moodle on my new website. While importing the file, I am getting following error:
    The file you selected does not use UTF-8 character encoding. Microsoft Word 2010 table format (wordtable) files must use UTF-8.
    although same file I was able to import on my another website. So kindly guide what settings I need to update on the server for this to work.
  • Sudhir Singhal
    Fri, Jun 30, 2023, 9:33 PM
    The above file format problem is on Moodle 4.2 .1 and working fine on Moodle 4.1.3
  • Simon Fehler
    Thu, Jul 13, 2023, 4:13 PM
    Hi Eoin, thanks for this plugin! Any chance there will be a version for MOODLE 4.2 as well?
  • Eoin Campbell
    Sun, Jul 16, 2023, 12:55 AM
    Hi Simon,
    The plugin is working on some Moodle 4.2 sites, but others are giving the error "The file you selected does not use UTF-8 character encoding. Microsoft Word 2010 table format (wordtable) files must use UTF-8." when you try to import a Word file. I'm investigating this issue at the moment.
  • Simon Fehler
    Tue, Jul 18, 2023, 3:42 PM
    Thanks a lot, Eoin!
  • chandan kumar
    Wed, Oct 18, 2023, 1:49 PM
    Sir, I would like to thank you with folded hand 🙏 for this plugin. You have saved me thousands of Hours of my life with Plugin.
    Hope You will improve it to enable import of Numerical and Calculated questions types also.
  • hamza khalem
    Mon, Oct 30, 2023, 11:29 PM
    i am trying to add question to a category but it doesn't it create it owns question category any help?
  • Eoin Campbell
    Tue, Oct 31, 2023, 9:46 PM
    In the Word template, you must explicitly create a new category using the "Add category" command. When importing questions from a Word file, the "Get category from file" flag must be checked in the "General" section of the Question bank > Import page.
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