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: 6

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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Show comments
  • Tue, Oct 19, 2021, 11:43 AM
    Hi, I'm having problems with the multiple choice question for the 3.9 version, it adds a new line after the letters. This doesn't happen in the 3.63 version.
  • Wed, Oct 20, 2021, 6:22 AM
    Can you email a Word file exhibiting this behaviour to, and I'll take a look. A screenshot of what you think is incorrect presentation would also be useful.
  • Fri, Dec 17, 2021, 10:10 AM
    We got issue when importing question with equation. The import will fail if the equation include Operator.
    How to fix this?
  • Fri, Dec 17, 2021, 5:15 PM
    I need to see the exact equation causing the problem to try and figure this out. It's possible the problem is with a particular symbol rather than the equation. The error message is also important as it helps identify if the problem is with the conversion of Word's OfficeMathML into public MathML, or if a non-Unicode character fails to get written to the Moodle MySQL database.
  • Wed, Dec 22, 2021, 6:08 PM
    It is impossible to attach screenshots here. I have sent a mail to plugin's support.
  • Tue, Jan 18, 2022, 10:12 PM
    Will this work with libre office?
  • Tue, Jan 25, 2022, 12:19 PM
    Hello Eoin!
    I'm having problems with the multiple choice question.
    After importing questions, there are no choices(like A.B.C....). It doesn't reflect to the quiz.
    Not sure where I am going wrong so please help.
    Thank you.
  • Wed, Feb 2, 2022, 1:29 AM
    Hi Adam, this plugin doesn't work well with Libre Office because it depends on using specific named styles in certain cells, and Libre Office files saved to docx format don't use those style names.
  • Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 1:21 PM
    Hi Eoin,
    I have a question.
    I'm thinking of updating my moodle version(3.11.5→3.11.6).
    But does this plugin still work on moodle 3.11.6?
    This plugin is really helpful. Thank you.
  • Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 3:58 PM
    Yes it does. Minor Moodle releases don’t affect plug-in compatibility
  • Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 4:50 PM
    Is there any plans that this plugin works in moodle in the future?
  • Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 1:37 AM
    The plug-in works in 4.0, and will be supported in the future
  • Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 7:29 AM
    That's great. Thank you Eoin.
  • Zonggen Zeng, Ningbo Polytechnic, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China
    Tue, Apr 5, 2022, 10:25 PM
    when I import a *.docx from [Microsoft Word 2010 table format (wordtable)],I cannot import the docx files, I receive this information: The file you selected is not in UFT-8 character encoding. Microsoft Word 2010 table format (wordtable) files must use UTF-8.
    my version is:
    moodle version: 3.11.6+

    please help me ,please!!!
  • Tue, Apr 5, 2022, 11:18 PM
    Can you try importing the file to (and see if it works. You need to register for an account first. If it doesn't, send me the Word file you are trying to import (to help at
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