How to Import Content from Microsoft Word

Pressbooks includes a feature that allows authors to import content from MS Word into Pressbooks, however, it is not a precise import and chances are there will have to be work done in Pressbooks to fix formatting issues, especially if the Word document was heavily formatted.

If an author edits a book in MS Word, they may want to copy and paste the final text into Pressbooks but doing so won’t bring in images. Plus, each chapter/part must be created before it is copied/pasted which is time consuming. Therefore, we recommend using the import feature before trying the cut and paste method.

MS Word Importer Instructions

Step 1. Prepare your .docx file

Note: Chapter headings in your docx **MUST** be tagged as **Heading1** (otherwise chapters won’t be recognized)

Step 1 Set Up Your docx File with Heading 1 used to identify chapters
Figure 3.5.1 Step 1

Step 2. In Pressbooks, go to: Left Menu/Tools—> Import

Screenshot identifying to select Tools in the left menu then Import
Figure 3.5.2 Step 2


Steps 3, 4 & 5: Select your file type, choose file and upload

Screenshot showing to select file type, choose file, and select upload
Figure 3.5.3 Steps 3, 4 and 5

Steps 6, 7, 8: Select your content, decide what it is, and import

Screenshot directing to select chapters, add to specific Parts of the book, and Save
Figure 3.5.4 Steps 6, 7, and 8

Select which chapters to import, what kind of content they are, and then click the Start button!

Steps 9 & 10: Rearrange your chapters (if necessary) and check them

Screenshot directing to go to Organize to order chapters and edit content as needed
Figure 3.5.5 Steps 9 and 10


  • Everything other than basic styling is stripped out by design… so fancy fonts and such won’t get imported. Italics, bold, etc should.
  • All chapters are imported as DRAFTs. A quick way to get this listed as published is: mark all the chapters Private, then revert to Public. This will make them “published”.
  • All chapters assign a Chapter Author by default (usually, your username). You’ll have to edit each chapter and delete the Chapter Author in the Chapter Metadata section.
Content adapted from “How to Import Content from MS Word” from the B.C. Open Textbook Authoring Guide (archived version) by Lauri Aesoph and Amanda Coolidge. Images have been modified.


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MacEwan Open Textbook Authoring Guide Copyright © 2019 by MacEwan University Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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