Importing from Word (or other text processors)

Below follow some strategies that you can follow when importing content from an external text editor (Word, Pages, OpenOffice, Google Docs etc..):

Option 1: block editor

The block editor supports a document structure that is largely similar to a Word document, so therefore is quite useful for importing Word content into the RC. The difference with it and PDF is that it supports embedding media inline with the text and will be much easier to read on smaller screens. You can also edit your text using the standard RC tools.


First, create an empty exposition or a new page, be sure to select "block editor" as the format.


You can import the word document content, using the Media tab.

You click  and then upload the word document under the "documents tab".

Once the upload finishes, the document will be converted into a folder of RC "tools" in your media tab. You can then drag these tools into your exposition content. The big advantage in using the imported tools for text is that footnotes will be automatically converted into the RC footnotes/popovers.


If you find that the formatting differs too much from your document, you can also copy-paste the text parts of your exposition directly from Word into HTML or text tools. It is best to not do the whole document at once, but do it in smaller batches, this makes it easier to insert other elements later. A good rule of thumb is about a page of text or less at once.

Option 2: Export the document to PDF and import it as a media file. To find out how to do this, create a new “text-based” exposition and choose PDF template, it explains itself. Or you could do it in a graphical exposition and use the PDF tool to upload it.
Using the PDF has advantages:
- the formatting is exactly as you had it in Word
- it is fast
- can be printed (although almost nobody does that anymore ;-) )
- Audio and video recordings within a PDF is very poorly supported (most browsers will not allow it). This means any media will have to be included as a separate tool, requiring the reader to go back and forth.
- PDF has historically been intended as a paper based format, and not ideal to read on screens. Screen-readers (that disabled people use) and search engines also do not work so well with PDF.
Option 3: Import in text-based editor
The text-based format is quite similar to a Word document. You can therefore automatically import a word document and have it converted into this text-based format. This means your text is converted to Markdown (a human friendly HTML shorthand), including the footnotes, bold/italic, tables, chapter headings etc.... How well this goes, depends how well the document was structured in Word. Since Word is often ambiguous in how it separates structure from formatting of text, it will require some editing to remove mistakes in the translation from Word->Markdown. If you are interested to try this, it would be good to just give it a try and contact me if you run into issues. The text-based editor is documented here. Text-based expositions can also still be converted back into PDF.
- easy to extend your text with inline video/audio media.
- proper web format (will adopt to screen size, looks better in my opinion).
- styling and typography can be adjusted afterwards for the whole document at once using CSS.
- writing in markdown let's you concentrate on the text and not get distracted by the formatting (you can tweak that after you finish your text.)
- The translation from Word to Markdown is never perfect due to ambiguous Word formatting.
- styling/formatting will be simplified.
- after importing, it makes more sense to keep working in Markdown & not Word, otherwise you would have to convert again (which is very time-consuming). But you can simply “append” new chapters from Word, since imported content does not overwrite what is there already.