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:
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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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Comments RSS


  • Sun, Nov 29, 2015, 3:33 PM
    Hi Eoin,
    I have received many files from my data provider which have equations typed in Math Type equation editor. These equations are not getting imported. Do you have any suggestions/word arounds for this?
  • Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 5:05 AM
    The way to support MathType equations is to first convert them into images, then import the images back into the Word file, and then import the Word file. You will first need to download the latest version of the Moodle2Word Word template (version 3.4) from
    See the screencast at (login required) for a demonstration.
  • Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 9:32 AM
    i upgraded the pluggin just fine. My question is how do i remove the 3.11 template from word and import the 3.4 into word startup. I open the new docm but word still has the 3.11 template
  • Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 10:46 PM
    Hi Eoin,
    The documentation mentions that there is support for equations written using Microsoft Equation Editor.
    "Equations written using the Microsoft Equation Editor in Word can be imported into Moodle as MathML. This MathML can then be rendered within Moodle using the MathJax plugin".
    I imported a file with some questions containing equations created using the Microsoft Equation Editor 3.0, but the questions are rendered without the equations. I have enabled MathJax in Moodle. Is there anything else that I need to do?
  • Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 1:37 PM
    Hi Eoin,

    Thanks a lot for your support via email to help resolve my problem.

    I am summarizing the resolution below for everyone's benefit:
    a) Instead of using the external Equation 3.0 plugin, we should use the native equation editor present in Word 2007 and Word 2010.
    b) On the moodle server, go to MathJax settings on Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Filters > MathJax
    The field "Additional equation delimiters" should be set to " c) If you encounter a vertical line after the rendered equation, in the Plugin settings for Mathjax, change MathJax directory from 2.5-latest to 2.6-latest in MathJax URL.
    d) Firefox works perfectly after all this. In Chrome, there seems to be a problem only the Atto Question Editor where the equation is not rendered properly. The preview and question rendering seems to be fine. Could be a Chrome browser specific issue or may need to research the Atto Editor code for this.

  • Wed, Jun 22, 2016, 12:38 AM

    The equation gets rendered properly by the MathJax plugin but the problem i see is the equation editor is not able to show the equation. Due to this editing the equation becomes a problem. Any suggestions on this?

  • Wed, Jun 22, 2016, 2:02 AM
    You need a plugin that can edit MathML within Moodle directly, or else you need to edit the equation in Word and re-import it. This page might help you:
  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016, 1:08 AM
    Is this compatible with Word 2016 for Mac? When I export a question category, the result Word doc is blank. It contains the course name and category name, but nothing else.
  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016, 2:32 AM
    I haven't tested it with Word 2016. However, you may have double-clicked on the exported file to open it, and this probably won't work. You should try starting Word, then using File > Open to open the file. This might work better. The question types you exported are also significant. If you exported a category of questions that aren't supported by the export facility, the file will be blank. Only standard question types (MCQ, T/F, Short Answer, Description, Essay, Matching) are supported.
    If it doesn't work for you, export the questions as XML and Word, and send me both files, and I'll take a look.
  • Tue, Nov 8, 2016, 3:20 PM
    Thanks for this useful plugin
    Thanks to rapid responsiveness to support us
    Yifat Shaked
  • Wed, Dec 14, 2016, 4:12 PM
    Hello Everyone,
    the plugin is great ,but when i am importing questions having images it is showing the following error :

    Any Suggestion ?

    Mohseen Khan
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2016, 1:10 AM
    This problem may be a result of the exact mechanism you used to insert the image in your Word file, for example if you linked the image rather than embedded it, or if the image was created internally inside Word using Draw (which is not supported). Send me the file and I'll take a look.
  • Tue, Mar 7, 2017, 8:14 PM
    I have facing this error.
    The type of the file you selected (application/msword) does not match the type expected by this import format (application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document).

    Am I missing something at the setting?

  • Tue, Mar 7, 2017, 10:44 PM
    You need to upload a Word .docx file, not a .doc file. If you exported questions from Moodle, the file is a .doc file, and you must save it as .docx format in order to import the questions.
  • Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 4:22 AM
    I'm having issues working with this. I have 360 questions with images in a question bank that I want to pass from one moodle to another. I was able to install the plugin and export the file in doc, but when I open the doc, the system goes really slow and I get a (not responding) message next to the title on the word file. So am not able to save it as a docx and test if the images can be imported too. Any help will be highly appreciated.
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