General information:

  • Your Word document must be created using the correct formatting. Read the Standard Format document for specifics.
  • It is important to note that files will retain some of the enhanced question formatting such as bold, italic, underline, superscript, and subscript.
  • Images embedded in Word will import automatically with the quiz. However, it is also possible to import images with RTF and TXT files. If such files contain embedded graphics, make sure to read the Importing Images document for more information.
  • Note that certain types of enhanced formatting cannot be imported. If the enhanced formatting causes a problem with an import, consider saving the file to plain text format (.txt) and then try the import again.
  • Importing questions from the Microsoft Word .docx format requires that Word 20xx be installed on the same computer. The docx format has better support for importing text with formatting like auto-numbers and auto-letters.

Import the Word File to Respondus

Open Respondus on your computer. If you do not have Respondus installed, please contact the Instructional Technology office:

Choose the Import Questions button to access the Import Questions options:


  • For step 1, choose the Type of file – doc or docx. Use the Browse button to locate and select the file to be imported.
  • For step 2, select Create a new document… and enter the name of the file to be created. This will become the name of your Question Bank. Don’t worry about the use “stem” option to create question titles, as those are not visible in Canvas.
  • For step 3, click the Preview button to preview the file being imported and to see if there are any warning messages. If warning messages are shown at the bottom of the screen, you need to determine whether to make changes to the text file or whether to continue with the import.
    • Note that some warning messages can be ignored. For instance, Respondus might give the warning "2 duplicate titles were changed by adding `2’ (or 3, 4...)". This is simply indicating that two of the question titles for the file being imported are identical. This change does not affect the question itself (titles aren’t displayed during an exam), so you can safely ignore this warning.
  • For step 4, if you are satisfied with how the results look in Preview, click Finish to complete the import. The file has now been created. Switch to the Edit menu to view and modify the file (if necessary), or go to the Preview tab to view the file using a browser-like window.

Edit your File

From the Edit tab in Respondus you can preview, edit, delete, or move questions in your file. The questions will display in list form in the lower portion of the screen.


Click the magnifying glass to see a preview of an individual question in a separate window.

Select the dropdown arrow to access a popup menu from which you may edit, delete or move a question:

  • If you choose Edit, the question will appear in the upper portion of the screen, as pictured above. Make any necessary changes and click Save Changes.
  • If you choose Delete, a confirmation message will appear – click OK to delete or cancel if this question should not be deleted.
  • If you choose Move to #, you will be presented with a message with the question’s current location and a space to type in the new location in the list.

Publish to Canvas

This last step will bring your file into Canvas for use as a Question Bank.

  • From the Preview & Publish tab in Respondus, choose Publish to Canvas on the left and then click the Publish Wizard:
  • If you have previously used the Publish Wizard, the server information should fill in for you and you can just click Next. (If not, choose “add new server” and follow the onscreen prompts after selecting “Yes, check…” on the subsequent screen.)
  • For “Select assessment type”, choose Question Bank.
  • For “Specify server action…”, choose Create and edit the name if necessary – this will be the title of your Question Bank in Canvas. Click Next.
  • A list of your Canvas courses will appear – select the correct course to highlight and click Next.
  • An explanatory message about the process will appear. When complete, click Finish to exit the wizard.

Your Question Bank should now be in the specified Canvas course.