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
1k downloads
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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 www.Moodle2Word.net, and are available for Word 2007 and 2010 (Windows), and Word 2011 (MacOSX).

Installation

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

Pre-requisites

  • 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
    extension=xsl.so
      

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 help@moodle2word.net and I will try to help you out. 

Limitations

  • 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 www.Moodle2Word.net. This template contains commands to create new questions by means of inserting a specific structured table for each type.

Sets

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

Screenshots

Screenshot #0

Contributors

Eoin Campbell (Lead maintainer)
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Comments

  • Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 5:33 AM
    Hi Evgeny, I'm still suspicious that the underlying cause may be a character encoding issue. https://docs.moodle.org/37/en/MySQL_full_unicode_support has information on ensuring your database fully supports 4-byte UTF. I've checked Moodle 3.7.2 on a Windows server with MariaDB and it works fine.
  • Sat, Dec 7, 2019, 2:23 AM
    Can you use audio or video in the questions with this template? If so, how? Thanks.
  • Sat, Dec 7, 2019, 5:34 PM
    You can include a link to a YouTube video (e.g. ) in the question stem, and Moodle will use its text filter feature to automatically convert it to an embedded YouTube video. You might be able to get other video platforms to work too.
  • Mon, Dec 23, 2019, 5:14 PM
    Hi. I'm unable to convert images in word files exported using this plugin: the latest version of Word template has this functionality disabled. Getting an older release of Word template, which supposedly has this functionality requires registering at moodle2word.net. Registering at moodle2word.net doesn't work (I tried registering using 2 different email addresses, but haven't got a confirmation email on any of those)...
  • Mon, Dec 23, 2019, 7:06 PM
    The registration confirmation email seems to get diverted to a Spam folder in some cases. Message me directly with your email address and I can confirm your account manually.
  • Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 6:42 AM
    I was trying to get the template from the http://www.moodle2word.net/ site, but the link doesn't seem to work.
  • Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 8:42 PM
    My website is down today (Wednesday 8th January 2020) for some reason, I hope to get it back up by the end of the day.
  • Thu, Jan 9, 2020, 7:24 AM
    Nope, it will be a few days, as I have administrative DNS problems I need to fix to get it back up again.
  • Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 7:33 AM
    The http://www.moodle2word.net/ website is back online.
  • Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 10:17 PM
    I need a word template of simplified Chinese,could you help me?Thank you very much.
  • Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 7:56 AM
    Hi George, see this folder of older templates at http://www.moodle2word.net/mod/folder/view.php?id=49. You will need to register on the site.
  • Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 10:10 AM
    Hi Eoin, I was trying to create new account on the website several times, but I can't receive confirmation email, can you create an account for me? Thank you very much.
  • Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 5:25 PM
    Hi George, I have confirmed your account.
  • Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 7:59 AM
    Thanks, it's very kind of you.
  • Sat, Jun 20, 2020, 12:33 AM
    Hi! I installed your plug in and it works very well with the only exception that the images from the quiz questions do not appear in the word file.
    Is something else I should have done, in addition to installing the plugin. I' m using moodle 2.8.6. Thanks a lot.
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