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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.

Example

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

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

@carloscasalar

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@carloscasalar carloscasalar commented Sep 16, 2015

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

@jesperronn

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@jesperronn 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 :)

See https://gist.github.com/jesperronn/ff5764274b3642bc7f2f

@bptremblay

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@bptremblay 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.

@sean-d

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@sean-d sean-d commented Dec 15, 2016

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

@AndreaCoder

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@AndreaCoder 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.md 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.

@Zikoat

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@Zikoat 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 http://pandoc.org/getting-started.html for instructions on how to use pandoc

@TinasheMzondiwa

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@TinasheMzondiwa TinasheMzondiwa commented Feb 21, 2019

Thank you for this!

@tyfyyhs

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@tyfyyhs tyfyyhs commented Dec 20, 2019

Thank you!!!!!!

@mateja82

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@mateja82 mateja82 commented Jan 22, 2020

Doesnt work too good with Tables, all other stuff is great!

@dor2000

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@dor2000 dor2000 commented Jun 23, 2020

I am new to markdown and trying to import a Word document to an outline webapp (RemNote) that imports markdowns.
A question: If the Word document has hierarchical headings H1, H2, H3, does the markdown document comes with headings too? Or does in come indented (the text between two H1 indented below, the text below two H2 with a double indentation, etc)?
Thanks

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