Atto: Microsoft Word File Import (Atto)

Maintained by Picture of Eoin Campbell Eoin Campbell
Import entire Microsoft Word 2010 (.docx) files, including tables, embedded images and Microsoft Equation Editor equations, cleanly. Also imports LibreOffice and Google Docs files saved to .docx format.
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This plugin allows users import the entire contents of a Word 2010 (or later) file as clean HTML, retaining formatting such as headings, lists, bold and italic. The heading styles in Word such as "Heading 1" are mapped to corresponding tags in HTML such as h3, h4 (the "Heading 1" style is mapped to h3, etc.). For best results, the imported Word files should be well-styled, i.e. use standard Word named styles (e.g. "Heading 1", "List Bullet") as much as possible.

It supports .docx files only, not the older .doc format. The following Word versions support this format: Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 (on Windows); Word 2011 and Word 2016 (on MacOS). Note that files in.docm format (i.e. including macros) are not supported.

LibreOffice 5.x can also save files in .docx format, and they will import too, but generally the quality is not as good as native Word files, even if the document uses styles well.

Note also that the PHP XSL extension must be enabled on your webserver, and the plugin requires Moodle 2.7 or higher.

After installation, the Atto editing toolbar should have a new Word icon added to the files group, similar to the screenshot below.

Atto toolbar files group with WordImport icon added

You can click on the link to open the file selection dialog, or alternatively, just drag a file over the text area and it will be imported and converted.


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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  • Picture of Howard Miller
    Wed, 15 Jun 2016, 8:23 PM
    Using the latest master in 3.1. All I get is "XSLT transformation failed ({$a})". Any thoughts or anything I can do to help debug.
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, 20 Jun 2016, 4:12 AM
    Hi Howard, the most likely reason for this issue is that there is some XML construct inside your Word file that is not well-formed XML. Send me the file causing the problem and I can investigate further.
  • Picture of Zhivko Z
    Fri, 7 Oct 2016, 9:26 AM
    Hello Eoin,

    This looks like a really good plugin. Are you going to make it compatible for 3.1.2?

    Thanks a lot,

  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Sat, 8 Oct 2016, 3:47 AM
  • Picture of Zhivko Z
    Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 5:38 AM
    Thanks Eoin. The bullet points and some of the pictures on the Word document don't get imported to the content page though. Do you have any suggestions?
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 10:00 PM
    In order to retain bullet lists when importing, you must use the named Word style "List Bullet" to format the bullet list. A keyboard shortcut for this style is <Ctrl>+<Shift>+L.
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 10:05 PM
    In order to retain pictures in the Word document when importing, the picture must be embedded as an image in the document, not linked. Also, the plugin doesn't support the Word Clip Art, Shapes, SmartArt or Chart features. It is best if the image is edited to the desired size in an outside application (e.g. Paint, GIMP) and then embedded, rather than embedded and then modified within Word.
  • Picture of Miki Alliel
    Sun, 30 Oct 2016, 9:09 PM
    Keep getting "XSLT transformation failed ({$a})" error and the word won't import. I tried within lots of word files (very simple files) but same problem. in Moodle 3.1 in clean theme
    hope there is solution?
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, 31 Oct 2016, 9:28 PM
    Hi Miki,
    Are you using your own Moodle server, or the public test server at
    The plugin seems to be working OK there. I suggest you try a file on the public server first, as it may indicate an installation problem on your server.
  • Picture of Phuong Hoang
    Sun, 15 Jan 2017, 9:47 PM
    Hi guys,
    I'm facing an error called servererror,moodle. Can someone help me? Do I miss something? I'm using moodle 3.2 and Chrome browser.
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 5:25 AM
    It would be useful to get access to your server, even as a user. Alternatively, the Word file you tried to import might be causing the problem.
  • Picture of Ker Lin
    Sun, 18 Jun 2017, 2:55 AM
    Hello Eoin,
    I ran into a problem on this plugin installation of on Moodle 3.1.6 version. I was able to install this plugin on windows xampp and got working without any problem.
    But when I installed on Ubuntu, I got a pop up window “Alert File conversion failed” when I did the drag and drop the Word file. Got the following error message by “F12”:
    Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property 'parentNode' of null
    at c.replace (yui_combo.php:98)
    at XMLHttpRequest.d.onreadystatechange (yui_combo.php?m/1497539455/atto_morefontcolors/button/button-min.js&m/1497539455/atto_morebackcolor…:11)
    replace @ yui_combo.php:98
    d.onreadystatechange @ yui_combo.php?m/1497539455/atto_morefontcolors/button/button-min.js&m/1497539455/atto_morebackcolor…:11

    My server configuration from phpinfo() is PHP Version 7.0.15-0ubuntu0.16.04.4. Thank you in advance for your help.
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Tue, 20 Jun 2017, 4:21 AM
    This error is possibly related to the fact that you are running PHP 7 on Ubuntu. Are you also running PHP 7 on Windows? Additionally, the error message seems to indicate that the issue is with the plugin atto_morefontcolurs, not atto_wordimport. Try uninstalling atto_morefontcolurs and see if that makes a difference.
  • Picture of Ker Lin
    Tue, 20 Jun 2017, 10:11 PM
    Yes, I am using PHP7 on Windows 10. I also uninstalled the plugin “morefontcolors” But the same problem still exists. Later found that in the file of /etc/php/7.0/apache2/php.ini of Ubuntu 16.04, the extension=php_xsl.dll was commented out. After I uncommented the semi-colon, the error message went away and I was able to drag and drop the Word file successfully without any problem. smile But if I use the Word icon to upload a file, it failed with no error. The content was not uploaded. Do not know of why.
    Right now I am ok at least the “Drag and Drop” is working. Thank you for your support.
  • Picture of Sola Ajiboye
    Sat, 12 Aug 2017, 6:59 PM
    This is an excellent plugin, works as described - thanks Eoin for the support.
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