Quickstart guide: Converting documents to wiki format

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Deprecated. The OpenOffice converter is no longer available on the WikiEducator server. You may be able to install the Mediawiki wiki publisher extension directly into your local copy of OpenOffice.

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In this tutorial we:

  • Consider options for preparing teaching materials offline
  • Learn how to upload and convert documents saved using your word processor using WikiEducator's OOo Converter feature.

Introduction to the OOo Converter

Open Office and Mediawiki working together
WikiEducator provides a unique service to convert existing documents into wiki format. This feature uses the Open Office free software engine with a unique uploading interface on WikiEducator to convert existing document files into wiki format. The link to access the OOo Converter is located on the left hand side of your browser under the toolbox.

This is an ideal way for new WikiEducators to get started with content development right away by converting existing materials. It is also a great way to develop content offline, especially for users who have an unreliable or slow connection to the Internet.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Saves time in learning wiki syntax - get started right away!
  • Allows you to work offline
  • Great way to create tables with a familiar word processing interface
  • Provides a pathway to convert existing documents into wiki format for sharing with fellow educators.
  • Does not support the more advanced features of wiki text (for example templates and categories),
  • Does not upload images to WikiEducator
  • When preparing documents with your word processor, you lose the ability to collaborate online with other WikiEducators

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You will need a few basic computing skills for this tutorial, including
  • Basic knowledge of web browsing and general word processing skills;
  • An existing account on WikiEducator. If not, you can create a user account now and log in to WikiEducator
  • Basic file management skills, for example saving and opening files on your computer
  • How to copy and paste text
  • How to create a new page in WikiEducator.

Instructions and video demonstration

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Key points
Steps to convert an existing document to wiki format
  1. Locate the document you would like to convert in Microsoft Word (.doc, docx) or Open Office Format (.odt)
  2. Preview your document in your word processor to check that you have used heading styles for headings and think about the structure of the document in the wiki (i.e length of the page in the wiki, or breaking the document into smaller subsections).
  3. Log in to Wikieducator and click on the OOo Converter link
  4. Confirm that you are not uploading any third party copyrighted material and that you own the copyright of the materials you wish to share on the wiki. (You will be required to specify a Creative Commons free content license for granting permissions to share your material.)
  5. WikiEducator will automatically convert your file into wiki format and save this as a sub page of your username in the wiki. (WikiEducator will send you an email containing the target link where your page is saved.)
  6. Decide where you would like to place the text in the wiki (for example appending the text to an existing page in the wiki or a creating a new page).
  7. Open the converted page in edit mode, copy the wiki text and paste this to the page where you would like to place the text in WikiEducator.

The video below provides a demonstration of how this works.

Video demonstration In cases where you do not have a reliable or fast Internet connection you may decide to work offline. You may also have a number of existing teaching materials which you want to convert into wiki format for sharing with other educators. In this video we demonstrate WikiEducator's unique document conversion service.

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Key points
Video overview:
  1. This video demonstrates how to convert existing documents developed offline into wiki text.
  2. Remember to check that headings and subheadings were created using the heading style feature in the source document before converting the file .
  3. Avoid converting documents with an overly complex layout using advanced word processing features -- best to simplify the document before using the conversion service.
  4. Avoid converting long documents. Remember the limitations of screen size of the online version in the wiki, so better to "chunk" large documents into a logical structure of sub-pages.