Question formats: Microsoft Word File Import/Export (Question Format)

Maintained by Picture of Eoin CampbellEoin Campbell
Export questions (including images) in a question bank into a Word file, and also import questions from structured tables in a Word (.docx format) file.
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Current versions available: 3

Moodle2Word is a plugin that allows quiz questions to be exported from Moodle into a Word file. The Word file can then be used to quickly review large numbers of questions (either online or in print), or to prepare paper tests (where the answers and feedback are hidden).

Moodle2Word also supports importing questions from structured tables in Word directly into the Moodle question bank. The tables support 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), as well as embedded images. All the main question types except Numerical and Calculated questions are fully supported. Numerical and Calculated questions are exported, but cannot be imported.

Some OU question types added to core in Moodle 3.0 are also supported: Drag and drop onto image, Drag and drop markers, Drag and drop into text and Select missing words. All-or-Nothing Multiple Choice is also supported. These additional question types all require that custom versions of the questions be installed to replace the defaults, however.

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 can then be rendered within Moodle using the MathJax plugin, if you are running Moodle 2.7 or later. It is probably possible to configure MathJax on earlier versions of Moodle to support MathML rendering, but I don't know how to do this.

Note that as of version 3.4.3, 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 Windows templates also support a simple question preview facility, and a facility to upload questions from within Word.

If questions contain images, then you must install the Word template in order to be able to convert the images in exported questions into embedded images in Word, as they are not automatically visible.


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. 


  • When exported questions contain images, they are initially stored in the Word file as tabular data. After opening the Word file, you must run a custom Word macro to convert them back into images in the correct locations. You need to install a Word template on your PC to access this macro.
  • 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. You will need to experiment to find this limit on your own site.

Using a Word template to create and edit questions

To edit existing questions using Word, first export them into Word. If they contain images, or 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, import questions into Moodle, format questions for printed tests, and convert images in exported questions.


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


Screenshot #0


Picture of Eoin Campbell
Eoin Campbell (Lead maintainer)
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Comments RSS


  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Thu, Feb 13, 2014, 9:37 PM
    Hi Daniel, you have identified 3 different issues, so I'll address each one:

    1. Exported Word file format
    When you export questions to Word format, the file has a '.doc' suffix, but inside, it's really HTML, with some extra Word-specific content that helps Word format it nicely. However, the plugin cannot re-import this format directly, you must first save it in true Word 2003 (.doc) format, which is a non-text binary format.

    If you save the file using the "File > Save" command, or using +S, Word automatically saves it in the original HTML format. You must manually override this by saving the file using the "File > Save As..." command instead. Word detects that it is really HTML, and so it sets the "Save as type" field to HTML by default. You must manually override this setting and choose "Word 97-2003 Document" instead. Ideally, I should write some VBA code to do this automatically, but it isn't that easy.

    2. Question import limited to 5 questions
    When you install the plugin on your own server, there is a default limit of 5 questions that can be imported in a single Word file. To remove this limit, you must purchase an annual subscription which costs €200 for your whole site. To avoid this subscription, you could use the public Moodle server instead.

    The question import facility relies on a commercial web-based Word to XML conversion service, so cannot be made free.

    3. Question import errors
    The error messages are caused by the fact that you are using a "Heading 3" style inside the table cell intended for the question stem. The "Heading 3" style is reserved for the question name. If you set the "Stop on error" flag to "No" when importing the questions, then they will all import correctly.
  • Picture of Erjon B
    Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 1:51 AM
    I cannot seem to be able to import or export from the moodlequiz course in I get the error below:
    Sorry, but you do not currently have permissions to do that (access question edit tab import)

    More information about this error

    Debug info:
    Error code: nopermissions
    Stack trace:
    line 463 of /lib/setuplib.php: moodle_exception thrown
    line 1697 of /lib/questionlib.php: call to print_error()
    line 1674 of /question/editlib.php: call to question_edit_contexts->require_one_edit_tab_cap()
    line 33 of /question/import.php: call to question_edit_setup()

    Do you have the option to import and export from that course for free removed?
    Thank you
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 6:49 PM
    Hi Erjon, I have now fixed this problem. I had forgotten to allow enrolments on the course, which I have now enabled. You can convert unlimited numbers of questions once you enrol in the course.
  • Picture of Sam PK
    Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 10:24 PM
    i install plugin in my server but After exporting quiz it shows only blank word file.
  • Picture of Giancarlo De Pol
    Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 2:59 AM
    I am trying to install the plugin on 2.6, but I am getting this error message:

    Validation failed!Help with Validation failed!
    Status Message Info
    OK Name of the add-on to be installedHelp with Name of the add-on to be installed


    Error Add-on does not declare its version

    Any hints?
    Thanks, Giancarlo
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 9:43 PM
    Hi Giancarlo, the "Site administration > Plugins > Add-on installer" facility in Moodle doesn't quite work. Instead of clicking on the "Install add-ons from the Moodle plugins directory" button, use the updated installation instructions above.
  • Picture of Tim Martinez
    Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 5:56 AM
    We just downloaded the plugin and tried it. All we get is a blank document. In the error log we see numerous errors like these:

    PHP Warning: DOMDocument::load(): Opening and ending tag mismatch: td line 11 and font in file:///D:/moodle2/data/temp/wt26E31.tmp, line: 11 in D:\moodle2\www\question\format\wordtable\ on line 46

    PHP Warning: DOMDocument::load(): Opening and ending tag mismatch: tr line 11 and span in file:///D:/moodle2/data/temp/wt26E31.tmp, line: 11 in D:\moodle2\www\question\format\wordtable\ on line 46

    PHP Warning: DOMDocument::load(): Opening and ending tag mismatch: tbody line 10 and p in file:///D:/moodle2/data/temp/wt26E31.tmp, line: 11 in D:\moodle2\www\question\format\wordtable\ on line 46

    PHP Warning: DOMDocument::load(): Opening and ending tag mismatch: font line 11 and td in file:///D:/moodle2/data/temp/wt26E31.tmp, line: 11 in D:\moodle2\www\question\format\wordtable\ on line 46

    Any ideas on how we can fix it?
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Tue, Apr 29, 2014, 6:15 PM
    This problem is caused by badly-formed HTML inside question components, and has now been fixed in version 2.8 of the plugin.
  • Picture of rene diaz
    Sat, Oct 4, 2014, 4:08 PM
    Does this plugin work with the MS Word for Mac 2011?
  • Picture of Brehiner Moreno
    Tue, Oct 7, 2014, 6:29 PM
    the images who go include into the question import very good but images who go into the posible answer dont appear. help!!
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, Oct 20, 2014, 6:19 PM
    Images in answers which appeared without any text were ignored. This is fixed in version 2.10.1
  • Picture of Peter Diedrichs
    Fri, Nov 14, 2014, 7:37 PM
    Hi! Is it possible to add Swedish language? Now our "å ä ö" gets converted to underscore.
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, Nov 17, 2014, 11:28 PM
    Swedish characters are supported, but perhaps you are not using a Unicode font in your Word file, which would cause a problem. Send me a sample file and I can take a look
  • Picture of Kyle Belcher
    Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 7:09 AM
    Hello, I'm getting a "Sorry, the requested file could not be found" when I attempt to export to the word table format. Any ideas of what might be wrong? Thanks in advance for the help!
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Thu, Nov 27, 2014, 5:47 PM
    I suggest you export the questions to XML format, send me the file, and I can take a look. Also let me know what version of Moodle you are running.
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