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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Moodle 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

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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  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, Jun 22, 2020, 11:31 PM
    Hi Alex, you are registered now, and you can download the template with the image conversion macro from
  • Picture of Tamara Notenboom
    Sat, Jun 27, 2020, 7:26 PM
    I ran into the same issues as Alex. I exported a question with one image from our own moodle server. I disabled defender. I have an account on moodle2 word and downloaded the templates (v3.4) you linked here. I put both files in the user templates folder ([user]\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\, I confirmed that this is the file location Word uses). I still get the error that image conversion is disabled by Windows Defender. A second warning says "invalid filename". Should I be logged in using the Log in function within the Word MoodleQuiz plugin? I am probably doing something wrong but I don't know what. Any tips?
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Sun, Jun 28, 2020, 5:39 PM
    I recommend you change your Word settings to have it look for global templates in the Startup folder [user]\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup, even if you have to create that folder. This will mean that the global templates are automatically added when you start Word, I think.
    You also need to remove the 3.6 startup template from your templates folder, you can't have both the 3.4 and 3.6 templates present, or Word gets confused as to which macro to run.
  • Picture of Gajendran Megajolla
    Wed, Jul 1, 2020, 3:27 AM
    Hi sir Well I'm trying to login via http://localhost/moodle/ not working getting failed
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Wed, Jul 1, 2020, 4:31 AM
    Hi there, I can't help you with this, as that is a local copy of Moodle on your own server or PC.
  • Picture of Minh Nguyen Ba
    Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 9:16 AM
    We use Moodle 3.8.2+ with this latest plugin version, Release 3.6.1 (Build: 2020061801), but unable to import question with equation. It fail with some kind of formula, e.g root.
    The error message:
    XSLT transformation failed (/var/www/
    Stack trace:

    line 494 of /lib/setuplib.php: moodle_exception thrown
    line 119 of /question/import.php: call to print_error()

    Anyone know how to fix this?
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 3:23 PM
    The most likely reason is an equation is breaking the conversion from OfficeMathML to MathML. Try removing equations one by one until it converts ok, to identify the culprit. Then try rewriting the equation to fix it. Send me the file too, or upload it to
  • Picture of Minh Nguyen Ba
    Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 8:46 PM
    Thanks Eoin. It is very simple equation. Here is the file
    Looks at the equation in the second question.
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:33 PM
    I have added a new version 3.6.2 which fixes this problem, which arose in the 2nd equation, and is caused by the explicit index in the root symbol.
  • Picture of Minh Nguyen Ba
    Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 11:02 PM
    I updated to v3.6.2, it works perfect. Thanks Eoin, you were so fast.
  • Picture of FERNANDO CORES
    Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 5:49 AM
    Hi Mr. Eoin,

    I can't import True or False questions into moodle. I get an error in the database. There is some correction for this error. Can you help me?
    Thank you!
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 4:24 PM
    There may be a language compatibility issue here. If you are using the Portuguese version of the Word template, then the true and false labels must be in Portuguese also, i.e. "Verdadeiro" and "Falso", not "True" and "False".
  • Picture of manoj joseph
    Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 8:36 PM
    Is it possible to update numeric questions in word format?
  • Picture of Eoin Campbell
    Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 5:34 AM
    Unfortunately not at the moment.
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