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Import Microsoft Word or OpenOffice documents

Module by: Mark Husband, Connexions. E-mail the authors

Summary: How to enter content into Connexions by importing Word documents (*.doc extension). Documents may be edited in Microsoft Word, or an open source editor like OpenOffice Writer that allows you to save a document as *.doc.

Overview

One of the easiest paths for populating a module is the Word/OOo importer, which converts a *.doc document to CNXML. The importer overwrites any existing CNXML, so it is most useful as an initial import. We suggest using the online Edit-in-Place feature to make any further edits; any re-import of a Word or OpenOffice document will erase any other changes you have made using Edit-in-Place or the Full Source Editor.

Who should use the Word/OOo importer?

You should use the Word/OOo importer if you already have a Word or OpenOffice document saved that you wish to publish to the repository. The importer will correctly convert objects like section headings (designated by innate Word/OOo styles like Heading 1 or Heading 2), paragraphs (separated by two line breaks), tables, lists, images, footnotes, and even mathematical objects.

You can go one step further and apply the special CNXML styles in our template to your document so that you are able to import CNXML-specific objects like examples, problems, notes, citations, quotes, and more. The Word/OOo importer can produce most of the CNXML tags available for authors to use in their modules (see What can I import? below) and several combinations of tags. Any use case not available as a Word/OOo style must be added after import, either using the Edit-in-Place interface (recommended) or full-source editing.

How does it work?

  1. First you need to apply the CNXML styles from our template to your document. We have sections below with specific instructions for both Word and OpenOffice.
  2. Next, you need to prepare your Word or OpenOffice document for import. The importer will ignore any user-defined styling, and requires specific markup in order to import other objects correct. We recommend that you read through the What can I import? section to learn what can be imported and make sure that your document has been properly prepared.
  3. Be sure to save with a *.doc extension (Windows 97-2003 compatible).
  4. Create a new blank module in one of your Work Areas.
  5. Use the importer on either the Edit or Files tab to import your saved document.

Preparing documents in Microsoft Word

Download a copy of the document template (*.dot).

You may also want to download a copy of a sample document (*.doc) that has been prepared to properly exercise all the features of the template. We encourage you to have a look at the document and practice uploading it (see "Uploading Your Document") to get a feel for how the Word import process works.

Creating a new document with the template

To create a new document in Microsoft Word to import into Connexions, download and open either the template or the sample document from above. In Microsoft Word go to the File menu and select Save As. In the "Save As" dialog box that appears make sure that "Word Document (*.doc)" or "Word 97-2003 (*.doc)" appears in the Save as Type drop-down box. Give your document a unique name in the File Name box, and click the Save button. You have now created a new Word document with the template styles included in it. Delete the default text from the template and begin typing your document, adding styles as you go as described below.

Alternatively, you can install the template file into Word so that it is available through the New option in the Word File menu. Instructions to install this template are specific to your version of Word, so we recommend that you consult Word's Help feature if you wish to do so.

Applying Styles to an Existing Document

If you already have a document that you wish to import, you will need to apply the template styles to the document. To apply the template to an existing document, first open that document in Word. Then, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Tools menu and click Templates and Add-Ins.
  2. Click the Attach button, and use the file browser to navigate to the folder where you saved the template file.
  3. Select the "Connexions_Document.dot" icon in that folder and click Open.
  4. In the “Templates and Add-Ins” window, make sure the “Automatically Update document styles” box is checked and click Ok. (Figure 1)
Figure 1: Microsoft Word's template add-in window.
Apply template in Word dialog box.

As an alternative, you can also create a new blank document with the Word Importer template styles as described in "Creating a New Document with the Template". Once you have done so, you can copy and paste the text from your original document into the new blank document as follows. Go to the Edit menu in the original Word document and select the Select All option. Then go to the Edit menu in the original Word document again and select the Copy option. This copies the text of the original document to your system clipboard. Next, go to the Edit menu in the new blank Word document with the Word Importer template styles and select the Paste option. The text of the original document is now copied into your new document, and you can begin modifying it with Word Importer style information as described in the next section.

Using styles in Microsoft Word

If you are using Microsoft Word 97, you can find the style drop-down box on your format toolbar at the top of the screen (it usually displays the default style Heading 1 or Normal). In newer versions of Word the style menu is located under the "Home" tab. Click the pop-out icon in the lower right corner of the Styles menu to see a list of all styles.

Figure 2: The Styles menu in new versions of Word.
Styles menu.

To apply a style to a specific piece of text, you follow the instructions below:

  1. Highlight the word, phrase, or paragraph you want to semantically mark up.
  2. Locate the styles menu.
  3. Click the name of the semantic style you want to apply to the highlighted text. The text that was highlighted is automatically given the style you selected.

Preparing documents in OpenOffice Writer

Download a copy of the document template (*.dot).

You may also want to download a copy of a sample document (*.doc) that has been prepared to properly exercise all the features of the template. We encourage you to have a look at the document and practice uploading it (see "Uploading Your Document" below) to get a feel for how the Word import process works.

Creating a New Document with the Template

To create a new document in OpenOffice Writer to import into Connexions, download and open either the template or the sample document from above. In OpenOffice Writer go to the File menu and select Save As. In the "Save As" dialog box that appears make sure that "Word Document (*.doc)" or "Word 97-2003 (*.doc)" appears in the Save as Type drop-down box. Give your document a unique name in the File Name box, and click the Save button. You have now created a new document with the template styles included in it. Delete the default text from the template and begin typing your document, adding styles as you go as described below.

Applying the Template to an Existing Document

To apply the template to an existing document, create a new blank document with the OpenOffice Importer template styles as described in "Creating a New Document with the Template". Once you have done so, you can copy and paste the text from your original document into the new blank document as follows. Go to the Edit menu in the original OpenOffice Writer document and select the Select All option. Then go to the Edit menu in the original OpenOffice Writer document again and select the Copy option. This copies the text of the original document to your system clipboard. Next, go to the Edit menu in the new blank OpenOffice Writer document with the OpenOffice Importer template styles and select the Paste option. The text of the original document is now copied into your new document, and you can begin modifying it with OpenOffice Importer style information as described in the next section.

Using styles in OpenOffice Writer

You can see the styles available to you with the template by going to the Format menu and selecting the Styles and Formatting option. This brings up the "Styles and Formatting" box. Paragraph styles (such as Heading 1, Heading 2, and CNXML Quote) are available by clicking on the leftmost icon at the top of the box. Character styles (such as CNXML Emphasis, CNXML Code, and the rest of the application-specific styles) are available by clicking on the second-leftmost icon at the top of the box .

Figure 3
(a) Paragraph styles.(b) Character styles.
Styles and Formatting dialog box, paragraph styles showing.Styles and Formatting dialog box, character styles showing.

To apply a style to a specific piece of text, you follow the instructions below:

  1. Select the appropriate style from the "Styles and Formatting" box.
  2. Make sure the "Fill Format Mode" tool is selected in the "Styles and Formatting" box (appears as the paint bucket icon in thefigure above.
  3. Highlight the text to which you wish to apply the style, and it will be applied.

What can I import?

Text markup using the template styles

We can use the text styles provided by the template to generate Connexions text markup tags when the document is imported.

Emphasis

The CNXML Emphasis style is used to give emphasis to important text. Use this style where you would have used bold or italics to emphasize particular words or phrases. Note that boldface and italicized text will both import as an emphasis tag with the appropriate effect attribute.

Foreign

The CNXML Foreign style allows us to designate a term which is in another language than the rest of the text. We can also point its usage at a website of our choice by marking it as a hyperlink in addition to CNXML Foreign. This will produce foreign text in a module.

Code

With the CNXML Code style, we can designate inline text as code written in a computer programming language. Use CNXML Code (Block) to designate blocks of code that should be set off from surrounding text.

Cite

The CNXML Cite style allows us to refer to non-electronic sources. If you are using Microsoft Word to prepare your document, you can cite a hyperlinked source by marking it as a hyperlink and then applying CNXML Cite. This is produce a citation in Connexions.

Term

With the CNXML Term style, we can designate key terms in our document. If you are using Microsoft Word to prepare your document, you can also point this term at an example of its usage by marking it as a hyperlink and then applying CNXML Term.

Quote

Using the CNXML Quote (Block) style, we can designate a section of text as a block quote from another source. Use CNXML Quote (Inline) to designate inline quotes that should not be set apart from the surrounding text. If you are using Microsoft Word to prepare your document, you could also point this at an online source by marking it as a hyperlink and then applying CNXML Quote (Inline).

Hyperlinks

Using the Hyperlink style, we can create a hyperlink pointing to a URL. This will become a link element in your Connexions module. We can also point at specific locations within the document by pointing, for example, at any section title created using the H1, H2, … styles, or at any bookmark we have inserted into the document.

Exercise

We can make exercises that only have problems by marking them up using the CNXML Exercise (Problem) style. We can also make exercises that have problems and solutions by following the text marked CNXML Exercise (Problem) with some more text marked CNXML Exercise (Solution).

Theorems

We can have theorems with or without proofs. To make a theorem statement, we can use the CNXML Theorem (Statement) style. To construct a theorem with both a statement and a proof, we use CNXML Theorem (Statement) followed by CNXML Theorem (Proof).

Definitions

We can have terms with definitions. To do so, we mark the term using the CNXML Definition (Term) style, and we follow it with the explanation marked using the CNXML Definition (Meaning) style.

Notes

We can create note boxes using the CNXML Note style.

Examples

We can create example boxes using the CNXML Example style.

Other objects

We can do more than just mark up text using the Word/OOo importer. We can also add images to our document, create tables, add lists, and even insert mathematical expressions…

Sections

H1 applied to a section title produces a new section. The section lasts until the next H1-marked title. An H2-marked title in between produces a subsection (which lasts until the next H2- or H1-marked title).

Paragraphs

You can also use certain features of the Word or OpenOffice editor to produce other CNXML tags. Pressing Enter gives a new line and produces a new paragraph.

Images

You can insert images into your Word document as you would normally, and they will import into Connexions. It’s best to stick to image types such as with .eps, .jpg, .png, and .gif (or any format with a valid image type); avoid formats such as .wmf and .svg, and avoid Clip Art.

Use only images that are locally available on your machine. Make sure either that (1) the images are already available under a creative commons (CC) attribution license, or (2) you own the image copyrights and are willing to make them available under a CC attribution license.

Figure

We can precede images with text marked with the CNXML Figure Title style to give them a title, and follow them with text marked in the CNXML Figure Caption style to give them a caption. This will produce a figure in the module.

Tables

Using the built-in Word table editor, we can create tables which are easily imported into Connexions.

Lists

We can create both bulleted and numbered lists using Word or OpenOffice and bring them into Connexions using the importer.

Mathematics

We can include mathematics in a line of text. Mathematics set off from other text in its own paragraph will import as an equation.

In OpenOffice, choose Insert > Object from the menu and then select Formula.

In Word we can use the built-in Equation Editor 3.0. To do this, choose Insert > Object from the menu and select Equation Editor 3.0. Warning: It is very important that you insert and equation through the Object menu. Newer versions of Microsoft Word have an option to insert an Equation, located under the Symbols menu. Do not use this as it will not import correctly.

Figure 4: Insert equations through the Object menu.
Insert equations through the Object menu.

If you can’t find the Equation Editor 3.0 option in the list, you must install Equation 3.0 from your Microsoft Office installation CD. Please consult your Microsoft Office help for more information on this procedure.

Warning:

If you have MathType 5 installed on your system, math will not import correctly. See below for how to remedy this.
Figure 5: Microsoft Office object insert window.
Insert an equation 3.0 object into your Word document.

Footnotes

Footnotes inserted using the native footnote tool will import as Connexions footnotes.

Glossary

Finally, we can designate a glossary section for our module. We must first give it a title and mark that with the CNXML Glossary Section style. This must be the last section designation used at the end of your word document, and it cannot be followed by H1, H2, etc. styles. Then, for each glossary element we wish to include, we mark the term portion with CNXML Definition (Term) and the meaning portion with CNXML Definition (Meaning), as we did before in the body of our document.

Caution to users of MathType 5

MathType 5 is a stand-alone equation editing package written by Design Science, makers of the Microsoft Equation 3.0 editor. When MathType 5 is installed on your system, equations written with the Microsoft equation editor will be saved as MathType 5 equations rather than Equation 3.0 equations. Even merely editing equations from a document with Equation 3.0 equations on a machine with MathType 5 will cause those equations to be saved in MathType 5 format. This is problematic, since the Word importer cannot properly convert MathType 5 equations to Presentation MathML.

We recommend un-installing MathType 5 from your system if it is currently installed. This will cause Word to revert to using Equation 3.0 for equation editing, which will allow the Word importer to properly generate mathematics.

Should you inadvertently include a MathType 5 equation in your Word document, in the Edit-in-Place interface where the mathematics should appear you will instead see the warning message shown in Figure 5.

Figure 6: Edit-in-Place warning for MathType mathematics import.
***SORRY, THIS MEDIA TYPE IS NOT SUPPORTED***

You can go replace each of these warning messages by hand using the following procedure. To begin, double click on the MathType equation in Word to open the MathType editor.

If this is your first time to use this procedure, you must configure MathType to properly generate MathML. Go to the Preferences menu and select the Translators option. In the window that appears, make sure that “Translation to other language (text)” is selected, and in the drop-down box next to “Translator:”, select the “MathML 2.0 (m namespace)” option. Also, make sure that “Include translator name in translation” and “Include MathType data in translation” are NOT selected (see Figure 6 below). Click OK to complete the configuration. This sets the translation preferences permanently, so you will not have to repeat these steps again.

Figure 7: Setting the translator in MathType to copy MathML to the system clipboard.
Translators dialog box.

Once the Translators preferences are set, you can copy the MathType equation’s MathML equivalent by highlighting the equation in the MathType editor and copying to the clipboard (Edit menu, Copy option). This stores a copy of the MathML on your system’s clipboard.

Return to your browser and find the appropriate placeholder for the equation in the Edit-in-Place interface (appearing as in Figure 5). Double click to edit the paragraph and delete the text “***SORRY, THIS MEDIA TYPE IS NOT SUPPORTED***” (Figure Figure 7 below). Paste the contents of the clipboard into is place (Figure Figure 8), and click Save. Your equation should now appear in the Edit-in-Place interface (Figure Figure 9).

Figure 8: Editing the paragraph with the warning text
***SORRY, THIS MEDIA TYPE IS NOT SUPPORTED***
Figure 9: Pasting the MathML copied from the MathType editor into the paragraph where the equation should appear.
Paste in MathML into the paragraph.
Figure 10: MathML equation appearing in the edit-in-place interface.
How the paragraph with MathML displays after you click 'Save'.

Some common mistakes

It is important that you follow the instructions on this page for each object. Do not use other objects or text, including:

  1. Do not add line breaks betwen paragraphs using cntl-Enter. This will not import as a new paragraph.
  2. Do not use tabs. This formatting will not import.
  3. Do not use lists or tables to invisibly format the document, as these constructs are literally imported as lists and tables into CNXML.
  4. Do not continue list numbering across separate lists.
  5. Do not insert images whose source files are remotely available via a hyperlink.
  6. Do not use Word’s image captioning option; the caption will import as a new paragraph.
  7. Do not use fonts such as “Wingdings" to produce symbols: They will be interpretted as text.
  8. Do not use the MathType editor inside Word to create equations. This is the default (and only) option if MathType is installed on your system. See the Notes on Including Mathematics section for more details.

Uploading your document

  1. If you have not already done so, create a new blank module.
  2. Use the help documents linked above to ensure you have prepared your document correctly; otherwise you may get an error.
  3. The importer dropdown menu is accessible on both the module Content tab and the Files tab when editing the module. Choose the importer type from the dropdown menu and click Import
Figure 11: The module import menu (expanded).
The module import menu (expanded).
  1. On the next page, browse to your saved file on your harddrive and click Import.
Figure 12: Browse to file.
Browse to file.

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A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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