PressBooks - Online Platform

19 How to Import Content from MS Word

PressBooks does include 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, she or he 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 ahead of the cut and paste method.

The author can import the whole book or a ‘chapter’ (content between h1 headings). This is ideal when only certain portions of a book are revised/adapted.

To use the MS Word importer

  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.

Prepare your .docx file

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

How to set up the importing of word to Pressbooks

Step 1. Set Up Your DOCX File

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

Go to Utilities then Import to bring in a word document.

Step 2. Go to the Import Tool in PressBooks

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

Import and select files, then click 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

Select the chapers you want to include in the 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!

You can rearrange your chapters and once you hit import, the book is in pressbooks.

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