Summary

This article contains steps on converting a Microsoft Word document into a Wiki Article, including how to overcome several challenges you may encounter during the process.

Preparing Images

Word allows the inclusion of not only image formats such as GIF, JPEG, and PNG, but also objects such as Visio diagrams that aren't truly images. One of the challenges in importing images contained within a document is identifying these objects and then creating GIF, JPEG, or PNG versions of them.  The following steps walk you through the process of saving out images from a word document and identifying problems that may be related to objects such as Visio diagrams.

  1. Open the document in Microsoft Word.
  2. From the File menu select Save As, browse to the desired location and enter a file name, set the Save as type field to Web Page, and then click Save.
  3. In Windows Explorer, browse to the location you selected when saving the document.  In addition to the HTML version of the document there will be a folder named <documentname>_Files that contains objects used in the document.
  4. Review the images saved in this folder. Typically they will be named 'image###'.ext where ### starts at 001 and increments for each new image.
    If the image has an extension of .emz, this indicates that it is not truly an image, but a compressed EMF image created with Visio or some other Microsoft Office application. The next image file immediately after this will contain a GIF, JPEG, or PNG representation of the image, however this will typically be a low quality version that may contain dithering (blocky imaging artifacts) that renders it unsuitable for use in a wiki article. To obtain a cleaner version of the image in a format suitable for the wiki, use the following steps:
    1. Unzip the .emz file using a zip utility to obtain the compressed image file.  If the resulting file does not have an extension, rename it and add an extension of .emf.
    2. Open the .emf file using MSPaint. This should display the image as it appears in the Word document.
    3. From the File menu, save the image in either GIF, JPEG, or PNG format.  Use the same file number as the .emz file, and delete the next image in the sequence.  For example, if the .emz file is image005.emz then you will save the new image as image005.png.  Image006.png should be a low quality rendering of the same graphic, and so can be safely deleted.
      Note: You may receive a dialog stating that transparency will be lost when saving the image as GIF, JPEG, or PNG. It is usually safe to ignore this, however in some cases you may need to provide a white background to the image that will match the white background of the article.
  5. Note which images appear at which point in the document. You will use this information later when adding images in the wiki editor.

Copying The Document

After preparing images, it is now time to copy and paste the text of the article into the wiki.  This can be accomplished several ways; for example, directly pasting into the wiki edtor or pasting into a dedicated HTML editing tool such as Windows Live Writer or Expression Web.  When pasting directly into the wiki editor, I recommend using the toolbar item of Paste from Word, strip font, as this reduces the chance of specifying a font that may not be available on a readers system or using a font that offers a poor visual experience. This offers the 'cleanest' experience, in that it preserves most of the formatting for things such as tables, background colors, etc. This is the method discussed in this section.

  1. In Microsoft Word, select the text you wish to use in the wiki article, and then right-click or press ctrl-c to copy the text to the clipboard.  You may copy the document a section at a time or select and copy the entire document.
  2. In the wiki editor, select the Paste from Word, strip font icon ( ) to paste in the text.
  3. Find section headers and ensure they are the right header level. For example, section header text may be imported as H1 and you wish to standardize on H2.
  4. No images will be copied when you paste the text into the wiki editor, so you must manually insert them.  To do so, follow these steps:
    1. Compare the article in the editor to the source word document to identify the location to insert the images.  Position the cursor in the editor at this location, then click the Insert Image button on the toolbar.
    2. In the Insert Image dialog, browse to the images previously saved from the Word document, select the appropriate image, and then click Insert.

After inserting images, the wiki article should be a close match to the source Word document; only the formatting should differ as the wiki article will be displayed using the default wiki style sheet.


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