Import PowerPoint

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Import PowerPoint.


This feature will only bring in a series of simple pages created initially in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier. It will not import PowerPoint 2007 presentations. Do not expect this feature to translate every element in a PowerPoint slide. The most common mistake in using this feature is to attempt to bring in a unedited classroom presentation with complex elements such as background images, multiple text boxes and multiple images on a page.


The goal of this feature is to capture text and graphics from a series of MS PowerPoint presentation slides and insert them into the content area of a series of content (branch table) pages, as text and images.

Simple means

Simple text presentations with simple graphic images can be imported without much trouble. It will not import things like underlining but will import some of the simple bullets. At the moment this feature is best used by teachers who want to do an initial lesson outline in MS PowerPoint. Do not expect it to handle the rich outlining and graphics potentials of MS PowerPoint (see tips below). Versions prior to 1.8 may require some code tweaking for PowerwerPoint 2003 onward (see below).


This feature will not work when the teacher expects it to do too much. It was initially designed to import some objects in a PowerPoint 1998 page. This feature has been tweaked but later versions of PowerPoint are more complicated and this was designed to import simple basic elements of a presentation.

The title of the page come from the title of the PowerPoint slide. The import and page creation process will not create descriptions or jumps. Unless you edit the created pages, the viewed pages will follow the flow control parameter in lesson settings (usually show the student a "continue" button).

Remember, a poorly designed course will not magically improve when placed in Moodle. And poorly designed PowerPoint will not improve when it is imported into a Lesson. In other words, a page with 20 bullets and text in a tiny font, might not work on a Lesson page for students or with the importPPT function.

TIP: If you would like to see an alternative to this feature, vote for MDL 17413.

The instructions

To import a presentation, you will first use PowerPoint to create a web page, then zip a folder it has created, and in Moodle you will import the zip file. Here are some step by step instructions for 1.8 and 1.9 versions of Moodle.

Create webpage in PowerPoint 2003 and zip folder

  1. In the open MS PowerPoint presentation
    • In the "File" menu click on "Save as Webpage"
    • Change or note "Save In" setting location and name
      • The Save "file type" should be "Web Page"
    • Click on "Save"
      • This will create a file and a folder. The HTML file has links to files in the new folder of the same name as the HTML file.
  2. Using Windows Explorer or your favorite program
    • Zip the new folder that contains the webpage files ***NB - DO NOT INCLUDE THE HTML FILE OR THE IMPORT WILL FAIL***
      • This is the file you will import into a new lesson.

Moodle instructions

After you have created the zip file above

  • Add a new Lesson activity to a course, set the settings, save settings
    • This will bring you to as screen with several choices
  • Select "Import PowerPoint"
  • Use the browse button to select the zipped file that contains the webpage folder
  • Select "Continue"
  • Start editing the Content pages

Tips & Tricks

Basic tips

  1. Keep it simple, text only is best
    • No page numbers (see masterslide)
    • No text boxes with graphic or filled backgrounds
    • Masterslide content will not import, but delete all the footers
    • Watermarks and text over graphics is probably not a good idea
    • It will import some bullet formats but not all
    • It probably does not like "special characters" (any non-english letters)
  2. Graphic images can be imported as a part of the presentation but
    • Graphic images will have to be moved in the Lesson page
    • More than one graphic image might not always import to a Lesson page
  3. Check each page in student view
    • Make sure all your bullets are there
    • Double check your text when there is a lot on a page
    • Did it import the right number of graphic objects
  4. Did not import data?
    • Import PowerPoint does not work on PPT 2003 in pre 1.8 Moodle version nor
    • some non english presentations due to characters-fonts
    • Double check your PowerPoint version.
  5. Want to import a word document as a series of slides in a Moodle Lesson?
    • Read Microsoft's tips on how to create slides from word text (ie MS help page)
    • Hint, use outline feature and only two levels in Word
    • First level is page title, Second level is content
    • Save Word file, then file, import outline in PPT
    • takes a little tweaking in word but it is consistent
    • Then follow the instructions above.

Arabic language PowerPoint

See this thread in the Lesson forum.

A talented user solved the encoding of the Arabic letters with the function: iconv


This sucessfully imported the PowerPoint.


  1. Use PowerPoint as a story board with simple text content and include descriptions for the content page buttons. Remember the first line of text in outline view, will be your Lesson page title. So you can also put in the jump for each description as text as a reminder where to set the jumps. After the import into a lesson, go into edit mode. In each page cut and paste the description text from content area to the description areas. Sorry, you can not cut & paste the jump text, so set the jumps and then delete the jump material in content.
  1. Edit down a PowerPoint that was designed to run off a CD and import it as the basis of a lesson. Sometimes creating a new PowerPoint is easier than cleaning up an old one.
  1. A form post with a zip file called ImportPPT_Stuff. This file contains a simple 3 slide PowerPoint presentation and another zip file of the Web Page folder that the presentation created. The PowerPoint was 2003 SP-2. Once "Stuff" is unpacked, the "" worked in which was Moodle 1.9 in May 2008.

Tweaks for Early Moodle versions and PowerPoint 2003


No tweaks are necessary if you are importing PowerPoint 2003 into 1.8 or 1.0.

Here are the steps to import a PowerPoint presentation into a Moodle lesson. Tested with Moodle 1.6 and 1.7 and Powerpoint 2003 (MS Office 2003) as given by Joseph Rézeau in the Lesson Forum.

ImportPPT.php change for 1.6

If you want to use presentations made with PowerPoint 2003 and import it into Moodle 1.6 you'll have to make a minor change in file moodle\mod\lesson\importppt.php around line 135.

Replace: unzip_file($base.$zipfile, $base, false)

with: unzip_file($base.$zipfile, $base.$dirname, false);


The instructions below works in Moodle 1.6 and 1.7 and are the same for presentations created with versions of PowerPoint prior to MS Office 2003. Remember to make the code adjustment in ImportPPT if you wish only to use PowerPoint 2003.

  1. Create a PowerPoint presentation called e.g. myPresentation.ppt (possiby including embedded images).
  2. Save your PowerPoint presentation as html pages
  3. PowerPoint will create (in your chosen destination):
    1. one myPresentation.htm file
    2. one myPresentation_files folder (this folder would be called myPresentation_fichiers with a French version of Windows, etc.)
  4. Then zip the entire myPresentation_files folder to a file. You do not need the myPresentation.htm file.
  5. In your Moodle course, in Edit mode, Add an activity, Add a lesson, give it a name and set its parameters.
  6. On the following screen you are given a choice of: What would you like to do first?
    1. Import questions
    2. Import PowerPoint
    3. Add a Content (Branch Table) page
    4. Add a Question Page
  7. Select Import PowerPoint. On the next screen, upload the file. Et voila!

The above instructions works in Moodle 1.6 and 1.7 without any changes for presentations created with versions of PowerPoint prior to MS Office 2003. Remember to make the code adjustment in ImportPPT if you wish only to use PowerPoint 2003.

Manual methods of importing presentation pages

There is a manual way of adding what looks like an OpenOffice Impress or Microsoft PowerPoint slide to a Lesson page. This is useful when only a few slides need to be imported and something like a screen capture of the slide image will work. Experienced users report that depending upon the version of Moodle, the screen refresh rate and the number of slides, this process to create a lesson page averages between 2 - 3 minutes per page.

OpenOffice Impress (OOI)

1 After creating a presentation or importing a PowerPoint
2 Export OOI presentation as web page
3 Make a note of the folder which was created
4 Create a lesson page
5 Use insert an image process Insert image

The OOI page will be called something like img1.jpg

6 Tip - create a zip file of selected jpg files and upload and unpack that in the course files

Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT)

1 After creating a web folder (see The instructions above)
2 Create a lesson page
3 Use insert an picture process Insert image

Look for a file in the web folder called something like slide0001.htm

4 Tip - create a zip file of selected htm files and upload and unpack that in the course files

See also

  • Using Moodle Import Powerpoint html to lesson forum discussion
  • Lesson Forum thread with a sample zip to import and PowerPoint for download as "ImportPPT_Stuff" zip file.
  • Moodle docs on PowerPoint
  • See MDL-15755 for a simple PowerPoint and a zip file that was created using the PowerPoint. The zip file is ready to be imported. Useful to see if other parts of a Moodle site are working and to see an example of what does work. Try importing this via .
  • See MDL-5655 for a very rough and not complete attempt at a hack to import OOImpress webpages.
  • See MDL-10513 for a hack that imports a series of images in alpha order. There are test files. Requires renaming importimg.php to replace the importppt.php file in lesson. This replaces the standard import text function of importppt. See page comment "MDL 10513"
  • MDL-17413 to vote for an improvement to insert (by importing) a series of pictures or a series of text pages into a series of lesson branch pages at any point in the lesson. (Like a series of questions).Media:Example.ogg