Importing Word Documents to RoboHelp New UI



This page explains how to import Word documents into RoboHelp New UI. Click here if you are using a Classic version of RoboHelp.


Importing Word Documents

Click File > Import or right click in the Contents Panel and select Import > Word Document, then browse to the document you want to import to start the process.

You don't have to have any version of Word installed on your computer. You can import any Word document created in Word 2013 or higher and saved in DOCX format.

General Settings

Word Document

As soon as you have selected the document, in the bottom right corner of the window you will see Adobe RoboHelp reads the document after which you can proceed with the other settings.

You can only import documents in DOCX format. If they are in DOC format, you need to upgrade them first.

Load Settings

Initially use the default.wsf (Word Settings File) and browse to the document to be imported. When you have worked through all the settings, you can click the Save Settings button if you will be using the same settings in the future. The default wsf file that will appear here can be changed in File > Project Settings.

CSS File for Style Mapping

Select the CSS file to be used for mapping and select the style to be used as the break point if you want separate topics based on a style.

If you use one CSS file for your topics, automapping (described below) works best if you use that CSS file here.

Start New Topic from Style

If you want to break your document into a number of topics, set the style(s) to be used here. Click the dropdown and select the styles required. Click to the right of the dropdown to close it.

Topic Name Pattern

Set the Topic Name Pattern if you want something other than the default.

Use only ASCII characters

Tick this option if your file names or the styles to be used for setting the Topic Name Pattern have any characters that might cause problems after import. Generally it can be left blank.


Before looking at the remaining settings, you need to understand how automapping works as this applies to the Paragraph, Character, Hyperlink and Table Settings.

Adobe RoboHelp attempts to automap styles where it can match the name in the Word document with a style in the CSS defined for style mapping. Against each style in Character, Paragraph and Table settings you will see how the styles have been mapped.

You then have the option to change any of the mappings by clicking the dropdowns.

Using the dropdowns, you can change the styles that automapping has applied.

The styles that can be mapped will be applied in the topic(s) created and will use the definitions in the style mapping CSS that will be linked to the topic. Going forward, any changes to your CSS would then be applied to the mapped styles in the imported topic(s) in the same way as all other topics.

If you want the topic(s) that will be created to look the same as they did in Word, set the Mapped Style to Import Style for each style.

If you have styles in Word and want to change them in RoboHelp after importing, add a style to your CSS with a name such as Reformat and set the font for that with a garish color. Then map those styles to Reformat. After the import you can go through the topic(s) created and apply different styles as required. The garish color will make them easy to find.

Paragraph Settings

On the left you will see the Paragraph styles found in the Word document in the Word Style column with RoboHelp's automapping on the right.

For the document being imported here, Adobe RoboHelp 2019 has automapped Heading 1, Heading 2 and Normal.

CSSTest has not been found in the CSS file used for style mapping so Import Word Style has been suggested. You can change that as required.

If your document has ordered and/or unordered lists you will see one Word style, ListParagraph. That is because the way Word creates lists makes it impossible to map the individual lists. Here you should select Import Style. When you click on the row showing Lists, the preview will show Greek characters. The reason is Word sets the font to Symbol. That is handled during the import process and you will not see Greek characters in your topics. See Post Import below for more about lists.

Word documents retain many styles that are not used in the document, especially documents that have been worked on by many people. Previously all the style would have appeared here for mapping. In Adobe RoboHelp 2019 only the styles in use will appear.


Character Settings

This works in the same way as Paragraph Settings but for any Character styles found in the Word document.

Hyperlink Settings

Hyperlinks can be imported or mapped to an existing hyperlink style in your CSS.

Table Settings

Any tables in your Word document can be mapped to table styles defined in your CSS.

Advanced Settings

Convert Word Lists to HTML Lists

In most cases it is best to select the Convert Word Lists to HTML Lists check box. Your lists may not be exactly as you want them until you have made the changes described in Post Import. If they are still not right, try with this option deselected but note that whilst they may then look correct, they will not work as lists if editing is required in RoboHelp.

Import Inline Styles

If the document has content where text has been selected and then some formatting such as a color or bold has been applied and you want that imported, then tick Import Inline Styles

Add Topics to Table of Contents

If you select Add Topics to Table of Contents, you will be able to create a new TOC or add to an existing TOC. A page will be created in the TOC for each topic created on import.

Post Import Script

Supplied scripts or your own scripts can be set to run automatically after import.

Saving Your Settings

Before you click Import, if you have made any changes to the settings that you want to use again, click Save Settings. Each time you import, the last WSF file saved will appear but you can choose any other configuration you have saved.

Post Import

The Styles as Imported

On import, Adobe RoboHelp 2019 will apply the CSS used for Style Mapping to the topic(s) created, as far as the settings allow. It will not make any changes to that CSS file. Where the mapping settings require some additional style definitions, they will be created in the <word_doc_name.css> file that is described under Automapping above.

Look in Properties > Topic > Style Sheets and you will see two style sheets applied. <word_doc_name.css> contains the definitions that were not in the CSS used for style mapping.

You can leave the imported topics with those two CSS files applied and for many users that will be a perfectly acceptable way of working.

Getting All Styles Into Your Main CSS

Some users however will want to ensure that any future changes they make to the CSS file used for style mapping will also work in the topic(s) created by the import. To do that it is necessary to take a look at what is in <word_doc_name.css>.

In the image under Paragraph Settings above, you will see CSSTest could not be mapped so the setting was "Import Word Style". That style will have been created in <word_doc_name.css>. You can cut it from there and paste it in to your main CSS. If that was the only style in <word_doc_name.css> you could delete that CSS and the topic would still show correctly.

You then repeat that for everything in <word_doc_name.css> until there is nothing left and the file can be deleted.


Because of the way Word creates lists, they cannot be mapped to any list styles in your CSS. Each ordered (numbered) and unordered (bulleted) lists will have a list style created in the <word_doc_name.css> file.

PDF Format

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Topic Revisions


Changes to this page

31 Jan 2020

New topic