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:
3945 sites
158 fans
Current versions available: 5

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)
Please login to view contributors details and/or to contact them

Comments RSS


  • Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 7:14 PM
    Thank you for creating this plugin!

    When I export the word format, only the descriptions from the first quiz in my questionpool are exported, not the questions and not the descriptions and questions of the other 7 quizzes. Do you have any idea what causes this and how to solve it?
  • Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 8:09 PM
    The plugin doesn't handle quizzes, just question categories. When exporting, you must select a category, so perhaps you didn't select the root category for the course, and therefore only exported a subset of the question bank. Another reason may be that your categories contain question types that are not supported, such as Calculated questions. These won't be exported at all.
  • Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 8:14 PM
    Thank you for your quick reply. Sure, I understand it handles question categories. I did select all the questions and the root category of the course. Our quizzes have many different questiontypes, such as multiple choice, drag and drop, etc. like the ones you have in the template. I anticipate not all the question being exported, because that questiontype might not be supported, but most should work. Any other ideas?
  • Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 8:17 PM
    By the way, I am happy to compensate you for your time if this takes more time to solve. We could do a screenshare on Skype for example.
  • Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 10:03 PM
    I have resolved the issue Eoin, a H5P element was causing an interruption in the export. After that, the plugin did not export anymore questions.
  • Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 5:29 PM
    We use Moodle 3.9.1 with this latest plugin version, Release 3.6.3, but unable to export questions.

    The error message:
    error/XSLT transformation failed ([dirroot]/question/format/wordtable/mqxml2wordpass1.xsl)

    XSLT is enabled on Moodle.
    Anyone know how to fix it?
  • Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 1:10 AM
    The normal reason for this problem is that one of the questions contains badly-formatted XHTML, which breaks the export operation. To fix it, export the same question category as XML and inspect it for problems if you understand XHTML. Otherwise split the category into smaller chunks and keep exporting and dividing until you identify the question(s) causing the problems. When you find them, open and save each one in the Atto editor, which does a certain amount of cleaning up on save to remove bad formatting. If that doesn't fix it, send me the questions causing the problem and I'll take a look. The main reason this arises is because lecturers copy text from Word and paste it into the Moodle question, and this often includes bad markup. The questions are probably very old, and were never edited in Atto.
  • Sun, Sep 27, 2020, 11:29 PM
    Для экспорта тестов из Word в Moodle использую бесплатную программу Ассистент. Реально помогает! Тесты переносятся автоматически с картинками, минимум преобразований. Формат GIFT. Болеее подробная информация здесь
  • Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 7:00 PM
    Hi Eoin

    We're having a couple of issues with the import-export, I hope you can help.

    1. In a pre-existing category of 100 questions (multi-choice (single) and multi-response questions) only the multi-choice (Single) questions are exported into the file. The grades for these are set to A=50%, B=-100%, C=50%, D=-100%, E=-100%
    If we create the multi-response questions via the import then they export ok.

    2. The export is adding feedback for correct/incorrect responses on export (Your answer is correct / Your answer is incorrect). This is blank in the question on the site and isn't required as a default - can it be changed/removed?

    3. There appears to be a max limit of 4 answers to uploading a multi-response question. Is there a limit built in?

    Many thanks
  • Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 8:28 PM
    1. Export of standard Multiple-Choice questions with the "One or multiple answers?" field set to "Multiple answers allowed" is working fine, as far as I can tell. Export an example question exhibiting this behaviour to XML format and send it on to me for testing. Let me know what version of Moodle and the plugin you are using.
    2. I suggest you add the request to the issue tracker at
    3. There is no limit in the Word table, but you have to manually add extra table rows for more answer options. The default is 4, with 2 set to grade 50, and 2 to -50, I think, but that's just for convenience.
  • Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 9:58 PM
    Regarding 1, it is probable that you are talking about the contributed plugin "OU Multiple Response" question type (cf., which is not supported.
  • Wed, Nov 11, 2020, 4:09 PM
    HI Eoin

    Thanks for your reply. It's using the standard Multiple Choice question type here, with no additional plugins involved.

    Your suggestion prompted me to check exporting in XML and GIFT and these formats are also in error:
    - XML - multi-response questions do not export at all as per what we're seeing with wordtable
    - GIFT - multi-response questions export without answers and feedback e.g.

    // question: 338399 name: MR01This is the text of question MR01

    // question: 338400 name: MR02This is the texct of MR02

    It looks like this is actually a core Moodle issue, perhaps with our old version. We'll investigate this.

    Totara version is 3.1.4, plugin version is 3.6 (Build: 2019071601).

    I'll raise the second point as you suggest.

    Re. the limit on answers, we have added extra table rows, they simply don't populate on import. This may be related to the first issue so we'll look at these together.

    Thanks again for for your help

  • Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 8:28 PM
    Hi Eoin,
    My import does not carry mathematics equations in to moodle. Any way out ?
  • Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 7:43 AM
    Equations must use the built-in Equation Editor, not MathType. In your Moodle site, the MathJax filter must be installed and configured properly at The "Additional equation delimiters" field (filter_mathjaxloader | additionaldelimiters) must be set to "
  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021, 2:26 AM
    Hello, help me, please, I was trying to find questions and this is what came out "Failed to import questions because the language of the labels in the Word file does not match the language of the Moodle interface." "! =" Ru "". Please help fix this
Please login to post comments