Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

What would you like to do?
Convert a Word Document into MD

Converting a Word Document to Markdown in One Move

The Problem

A lot of important government documents are created and saved in Microsoft Word (*.docx). But Microsoft Word is a proprietary format, and it's not really useful for presenting documents on the web. So, I wanted to find a way to convert a .docx file into markdown.

Installing Pandoc

On a mac you can use homebrew by running the command brew install pandoc.

The Solution

As it turns out, there are several open-source tools that allow for conversion between file types. Pandoc is one of them, and it's powerful. In fact, pandoc's website says "If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife." Pandoc can convert from markdown into .docx, and it also works in the other direction.


Say you have the Council Rules in a Word Document named "test.docx." (For a real-life example, visit Now, you run the following at the command line:

pandoc -f docx -t markdown -o test.docx

Out is a beautiful markdown file. Admittedly, there's a bit of junk at the top with the Table of Contents. I deleted this when I rendered it nicely with strapdown.js. In the end, here's my nicely rendered version of the Rules.


This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

carloscasalar commented Sep 16, 2015

Pandoc link is dead. I've forked and updated it at my own gist


This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

jesperronn commented Nov 30, 2015

I took your excellent idea, and created a bash file which also extracts images. Awesome for a one-time conversion of word documents :)



This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

bptremblay commented Dec 1, 2015

I'm embarrassed to admit I love being able to convert word docs to md docs. But love this tool and hope it continues in some form.


This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

sean-d commented Dec 15, 2016

saved me some time; I did not know pandoc supported this converstion. thanks!


This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

AndreaCoder commented Mar 7, 2018

I'm very new at this. To be clear, if I run this at the terminal window pandoc -f docx -t markdown -o resume.docx, where do I find the converted document? Do I then search for the file with the .md extension? Sorry, but like I said, I'm very new to this and haven't found any explanation anywhere at the most basic level.


This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

Zikoat commented May 4, 2018

You have to point your terminal into the folder where your resume.docx file is. You can do this by typing cd C:\path\to\folder. If you have pandoc installed and run the command, it will output the file to the same folder where you have pointed your terminal. Read for instructions on how to use pandoc


This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

TinasheMzondiwa commented Feb 21, 2019

Thank you for this!

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
You can’t perform that action at this time.