In addition to Import from Word, there is a simpler Paste from Word plugin that lets you paste content from Microsoft Word while maintaining its original structure and formatting. However, these two solutions differ in many ways.
The paste from Word feature allows you to paste content from Microsoft Word into your CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor and maintain the original structure and formatting. After creating a document in Microsoft Word you can simply copy it to CKEditor 5 and retain basic text styling, heading levels, links, lists, tables and images – as long as these features are supported by the editor itself.
Suitable for small documents and for use cases in which only parts of the document are selected and copied.
Relies on OS Clipboard HTML, which limits the number of features that can be supported.
Preserves the original DOCX formatting that was selected and copied by hand.
Simple, intuitive, but cannot be used to automate migration process of many Word documents via REST API.
This operation is fast and easy, but can only be done “by hand”.
The Import from Word service can be automated and does not need the presence of the WYSIWYG editor, nor human supervision to convert files. Compared to Paste from Word, Import can work with any content formatting and is not limited by features supported by the editor.
Allows for converting large documents into HTML that can be easily imported to CKEditor 5 and other tools.
Operates directly on XML, which includes more information about the document and Word instance settings.
Available as a CKEditor 5 plugin and as a REST API for a direct server-to-server conversion.
Available both as a SaaS service and as an On-Premises solution.
Suitable for migration of the whole database of Word documents to HTML via a REST API service.
Perfect solution for more advanced documents that need to be edited or displayed in the browser.
Supports collaboration features like track changes and comments out of the box.
The following tables compare the features of the Paste from Word CKEditor 5 plugin and the Import from Word feature. For more detailed Import from Word features overview, please refer to the content formatting guide.
⚠ Import: Track Changes for unsupported features will preserve the original content of the author’s suggestion. However, they will not be recognized as proper Track Changes suggestions. As an example, if a user adds a table using Track Changes, the table will be output in HTML, but it will not be marked as a suggestion. That limitation is going to be fixed soon, with upcoming Import From Word releases.
To better understand the differences between these two products, it is worth learning how both features work on a technical level. In the case of Paste From Word, the editor uses the operating system’s clipboard, which is fed with Word content in HTML upon copying it from the document. That HTML is delivered by the Word application itself and includes the essential formatting of the document. When the user pastes something from the Word document, CKEditor 5 cleans that HTML up and makes it semantically correct, so it can be consumed by the editor. However, that operation has its own limitations, as CKEditor 5 is only able to understand as much content, as it gets from the clipboard and depends entirely on the clipboard implementation of the Microsoft Word application.
The Import from Word feature does not have this limitation. As it has direct access to the document, it is able to retrieve as much information from the document, as Word itself. Therefore, it is possible to support things like collaboration features, document settings, and others, which would not be normally available when operating on clipboard content only. We are no longer limited by the MS Word application and thanks to that, Import from Word produces a more advanced HTML than Paste from Word.
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