New Feature: MS Word (docx) Import

We’ve just released a MS Word importing function for PressBooks (imports files ending in .docx only! not .doc, unfortunately), built by Brad Payne and the team at BC Campus (huzzah for Open Source!).

UPDATE: This feature is still in ALPHA stage … meaning there are still some bugs and issues we’re working on. Please let us know if you see problems importing.

This importer will bring in all your chapters, and basic styling (italic, bold, lists etc). Note that support for styling has been added to the Open Office/Libre Office ODT import as well (thanks again to Brad).

Note that the importer will import only BASIC styling, not font choices, colors etc.

To use the MS Word importer, see instructions below, and screenshots below that.

  1. Prepare your docx file: Chapter headings in your docx **MUST** be tagged as **Heading1** (otherwise chapters won’t get recognized)
  2. In PressBooks, go to: Left Menu/Utilities —> Import.
  3. Select: File Type: docx
  4. Choose your file from your computer
  5. Upload
  6. Select which content/sections you want to import
  7. Decide whether the content/sections are: front-matter, chapters, or back-matter
  8. Import
  9. Arrange your chapters in the right order
  10. Test some exports, clean up markup, and off you go!


  • 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 the “published”.
  • all chapters assign a Chapter Author by default (usually, your username). You’ll have to edit each chapter and delete the Chapter Author the Chapter Metadata section.
NOTE: please let us know if you run into any problems, at: Or, get cracking on PressBooks.

1. Prepare your .docx file

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


Step 1. Set Up Your DOCX File

2. In PressBooks, go to: Left Menu/Utilities —> Import.


Step 2. Go to the Import Tool in PressBooks

3, 4, 5: Select your filetype, choose file and upload


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

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


Steps 6, 7, 8: Select which chaps to import, what kind of content they are, and then Start!

9, 10: Rearrange your chaps (if necessary), check them (!) and… tada!


Steps 9, 10: Rearrange your chaps if necessary… and off you go!

Questions? Comments? Send us an email:


3 thoughts on “New Feature: MS Word (docx) Import

  1. Joseph Morris

    Is there any support for PressBooks sections when coming in from a Word doc? Some kind of Word formatting that gets translated into a PressBooks section (as opposed to chapter)? I have a reference manual with a lot of organizational levels. It imported pretty well to PressBooks from docx, but I really need to have that added level of organization for the ToC to look reasonable.

  2. Hugh


    Currently Pressbooks does not offer multi-level TOC … but we expect to have that feature available in the next month or so… We’re likely to support only one added layer in TOC (for now anyway).

    Getting this to work will likely require some manual intervention (ie specific tagging in the TEX editor).

  3. OIK

    Thanks for this option for imports. The problem I found is that numbered lists are imported as non numbered lists. And also multi-level lists are imported as single-level.

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