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: 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)
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Comments RSS


  • Wed, Feb 14, 2018, 3:26 AM
    This error message is caused whenever you have an image embedded in your Word document that is not in a web-compatible format: GIF, JPEG, or PNG. It is most likely in EMF. You need to change it to a PNG, for example by screenshooting it and then replacing it with the screenshot version.
  • Fri, May 25, 2018, 8:58 PM
    im running moodle 3.4.3 with worttable 3.5.21, and it does not seem to work any more - I get this error:
    "Sorry, the requested file could not be found", when I try to download the export file
  • Fri, May 25, 2018, 9:54 PM
    This sounds more like a configuration problem. The file is exported to the moodledata folder, so if that isn't configured correctly, it would cause this error. Try exporting to an XML file too, to verify or rule out this possibility.
  • Mon, May 28, 2018, 4:14 PM
    negative, all other export formats work fine
  • Mon, May 28, 2018, 5:27 PM
    In this case, it is likely that there is some HTML markup in the body of a question that might not be well-formed XHTML, and therefore breaks the XSLT processing carried out to create the Word file (which is in XHTML format). , Export the question category you are working on into Question XML format instead, remove any CDATA sections, and test it on this online XML validator: See CDATA sections explainer here:
  • Wed, Jul 11, 2018, 1:22 PM
    This plugin works to export a questionnaire in word format so that the student can do it?
    How should I do it?
    because I just installed it and it works but when exporting the questions it generates a word document with a lot of information that the students can not see.
    Thank you
  • Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 5:03 AM
    To create a paper quiz that students can do, you need to run a Word macro after the initial export into Word format. The macro is in the question Word template available for download at Install it using the instructions at, and then run the command "Set/Unset Assessment View" to reformat the questions in a way that hides the answers.
  • Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 1:13 PM
    Hi Eoin,

    Thanks for your work with this great plugin.

    We've unfortunately recently encountered an issue. We used to have WIRIS installed before using Moodle2Word, but ever since we were forced to remove the WIRIS plugin, the formulas in the questions now don't display on the page properly.

    For example; "x^2" is now displaying as "x2".

    Was there a method of ensuring the formulas displayed correctly on the page without having to use WIRIS?

    Thanks for your help.
  • Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 6:30 PM
    It sounds like a MathJax filter configuration problem (cf. Moodle2Word converts equations into MathML, so you need to set the filter to recognise '<math' as a delimiter. I'm not sure did WIRIS use LaTeX, but if it did, then you also need to keep the LaTeX delimiter ($, I think), so that older pages also display properly.
  • Mon, Jul 16, 2018, 9:50 AM
    Hi Eoin,
    It worked! Many thanks for the response. That certainly saved us a fair bit of grief.
  • Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 1:15 PM
    Hi Eoin,

    I have been using the plugin for few years now and it worked very well. Recently though, the equations written in equation editor are not being rendered properly. I am facing the same issue that James Mackay mentioned above i.e. "x^2" is now displaying as "x2". I verified that MathJAX is installed and enabled; and has "
    Is there anything you can think of that I am missing? I am using MS Word 2016 latest version and 3.5.21 version of your plugin. I have Moodle 2.9.2.

  • Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 9:47 PM
    Try importing the Word file into and see if the issue also arises there.
  • Sun, Jul 29, 2018, 4:09 AM
    The equations must use the new Microsoft Word Equation Editor (2007 and later), not the old Microsoft Equation 3.0.
  • Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 5:05 PM
    thank you for this amazing plugin can you provide a template in arabic as soon as possible
  • Wed, Nov 21, 2018, 1:27 AM
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