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

qformat_wordtable
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 www.Moodle2Word.net, 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.

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

  • 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 www.Moodle2Word.net. This template contains commands to create new questions, import questions into Moodle, format questions for printed tests, and convert images in exported questions.

Sets

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

Screenshots

Screenshot #0

Contributors

Picture of Eoin Campbell
Eoin Campbell (Lead maintainer)
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Comments

  • Picture of Gentle Mark
    Sat, Jan 26, 2013, 9:39 AM
    I installed this pulgin on my moodle version Moodle 2.2.7+ (Build: 20130118). I exported a Quiz which is in Moodle XML format to Word using this plugin. It generates a doc file. But when I opened it in Word 2003 as well as in Word 2007, the file is fully empty. But the converted file has some file size like 200 K. Can any one guide me. What could be the issue?Ty
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 5:43 PM
    Checked the Word file exported, and for some reason it included an extra line: Deleting this line fixed the problem. However, still need to figure out how it got in there.
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 6:03 PM
    The line was: <script src="/google_analytics_auto.js"/>
  • Picture of Gentle Mark
    Sat, Feb 2, 2013, 9:52 AM
    I am still not able to find any extra line. Unable to locate the extra line The exported file is fully empty.
    Where should I look for the extra line?
  • Picture of Gentle Mark
    Sat, Feb 2, 2013, 10:12 AM
    I found out. I opened the word file in a Text Editor and found the line. You are right. It works when we remove that line. Thank you very much.
  • Renaat
    Tue, Feb 5, 2013, 12:08 AM
    The version file generates a warning:
    Notice: Use of undefined constant qformat_wordtable - assumed 'qformat_wordtable' in .../question/format/wordtable/version.php on line 28
    $plugin->component = qformat_wordtable; => $plugin->component = 'qformat_wordtable';
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Tue, Feb 5, 2013, 6:35 PM
    Fixed the warning message and updated the version, thanks for pointing it out.
  • Nico
    Mon, Mar 25, 2013, 6:33 PM
    I love this. It makes life so much easier for me. In testing this is found the following two problems.
    1. When exporting from Moodle it does not export the images that are part of the Question Text box. It however does make a place holder with the text "The linked image cannot be displayed. The file may have been been moved, renamed, or deleted.
    2 in Many cases there is a < p > Some Text < /p > in the Document.

    Am I doing something wrong or was the installation wrong.
    I used the latest version with Moodle 2.2.5+ (Build: 20120914)
  • Picture of Brehiner Moreno
    Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 6:47 AM
    Buen día, al hacer clic en exportar preguntas a un archivo me aparece un mensaje de error "Lo sentimos, el archivo solicitado no se encuentra". Por favor si alguien sabe que debo hacer, favor informarme y utilizo la versión 2.2.1+ de moodle.

    Good day, clicking on export questions to a file I get an error message "Sorry, the requested file is not found". Please if anyone knows what should I do, please inform me and I use version 2.2.1 + of moodle
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, Apr 29, 2013, 5:11 PM
    Added Moodle 1.9 download, and fixed errors in Cloze question Word output for 1.9
  • Picture of mart van der niet
    Sat, May 25, 2013, 5:16 PM
    A Warning:
    When you have debugging on (siteadmin/development/debugging) a file is produced containing debugging messages. Obviously the export does not work anymore.
    Deactivating debug gets it going again.
  • Picture of GAPbuster Worldwide
    Tue, Jul 2, 2013, 10:54 AM
    Is this plugin supported/compatible with Moodle 2.5?
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