Getting started with WordToEPUB

Getting started with WordToEPUB


With this free tool from the DAISY Consortium you can quickly and easily convert Word documents to the latest EPUB 3 format. EPUB is a wonderful format for reading publications on laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and it includes features such as rich navigation and great accessibility. The EPUB files created with this tool can be used in a wide variety of reading apps on any platform, with the ability to personalize visual features such as colors, font, text size, and layout. Many reading apps have other useful features such as read aloud, the ability to add comments and bookmarks and support for electronic braille.

Who should use WordToEPUB?

Are you a lecturer or professor with students who want to read their materials in digital form? There are millions of digital textbooks and journal articles in EPUB format. Now you can provide your documents to students in a format designed for reading on the devices your students use (whether computer, tablet or smartphone), with an experience that can be personalized by each individual to meet their diverse needs.

Are you an author or report writer creating your own work? Now you can use the same publishing format as adopted by the publishing industry wordwide. You can check how your work will appear as you go, and make an eBook for distributing from your own blog or upload to multiple retail platforms with confidence.

Are you a team making accessible books for people with print disabilities? With Word ToEPUB your volunteers and staff can use familiar skills to edit materials in Word, and then using the advanced features of WordToEPUB generate valid and accessible digital books that can be read with a wide variety of apps and devices, including audio players and braille displays.

Background to the Word to EPUB tool

This tool is developed under the auspices of the DAISY Consortium. It provides a simple but powerful method to create EPUB files from Microsoft Word documents. You can also produce EPUB from Google Docs, Apple Pages and Libre Office, but you should find you get the best results with the combination of Microsoft Word and WordToEPUB from the DAISY Consortium.


To use WordToEPUB will will need:

  • Windows 7, 8 or 10 (earlier versions may work but are untested)
  • Word 2010 or newer (earlier versions may also work)

In the future we may provide versions for macOS, mobile and in the cloud.


You can read about WordToEPUB and download the current release at:

Installation, updating and uninstalling the tool

Start the setup program and follow the simple steps. You will have the option to add a desktop icon and to install a button on the ribbon as a Word Add-in.

When you run the program, if there is a newer version available it will prompt you to update. You can turn this automatic checking off in Settings. Also, in Settings, you can manually check for an update.

To uninstall the program, use the Windows “Add or remove programs” feature. You can remove the Word Add-in this way also.

Step 1: Create your document in Microsoft Word

You can use regular Word documents to make EPUBs. If you make a great Word document, you will get a great EPUB. Make sure that you:

  • use the built-in styles for headings, this is necessary as the absolutely bare minimum
  • use the proper Word feature for bulleted and numbered lists
  • for a blockquote, use the built-in styles for Block Text
  • ensure that images are inline (floating images will be included but the placement in the text will be unpredictable)
  • provide alt text for non-decorative images that are not described in the surrounding text. For guidance on image description visit
  • insert proper Word tables, not images of tables
  • if you have references to footnotes and endnotes, use the proper Word feature (i.e. References / Insert Endnote)
  • if you include web addressed in the document, make them links (Insert / Link) and the user will be able to activate them in the EPUB
  • include information such as title and author in the document properties

Use the Help feature to learn more about Creating accessible Word documents and there’s lots more information freely available on the web to help you make accessible Word documents.

Step 2: Use the accessibility checker

Make sure you’ve done your best to make an accessible document with the built-in accessibility checker in Word. This will help you identify issues that aren’t readily apparent. The way you get to this varies between versions. On recent editions of Word, move to the Review tab on the ribbon. Then select Check Accessibility.

Screenshot of the Word ribbon showing the Check Accessibility button

On older versions, select File > Info and select the Check for Issues button. Then select Check Accessibility from the drop-down menu.

The latest versions of Word provide the best accessibility features and the checker is easier to use.

For more details and step by step guidance see these pages:

Step 3: Using the DAISY WordToEPUB tool

The tool can be used from within Word itself, or as a standalone application.

From within Word: the document you want to convert should be open. From the Home ribbon, select “WordToEPUB”. In the next step, confirm the filename and folder for the EPUB and select OK. Congratulations, you made an EPUB!
Screenshot of the Word ribbon showing the WordToEPUB button


As a standalone program: Start the WordToEPUB program from the menu or desktop shortcut, then select the document you want to convert.

Alternatively, use File Explorer to select the Word document you wish to convert, then press right-click (or shift-F10) to bring up the context menu and select “Convert with WordToEPUB”.

Screenshot of context menu from File Explorer showing option Convert with WordToEPUB

Confirm the filename and folder for the EPUB and select OK. Congratulations, you made an EPUB!

For additional features, select the “Advanced” button. Now you can change the cover image, language, page/text direction, metadata and more. See More advanced features

Step 4: Read the EPUB on your choice of reading system

Now you have your EPUB, you can open it in an app that supports your reading preferences. Whilst you made the EPUB on Windows, you can read it on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, in a browser or on a special reading device. Popular choices include Thorium on Windows and macOS, and EasyReader on iOS and Android, but there are many others for you to choose from.

The DAISY Consortium coordinates accessibility testing of EPUB reading systems by volunteers and accessibility experts. For more information about reading systems, including reviews and detailed test results, you can visit

Advanced features

This guide should get you up and running with WordToEPUB, but the tool can do so much more. For additional features, select the Advanced button. Now you can change the cover image, language, page/text direction, metadata and more.

Learn about this in the companion document Advanced Guide to WordToEPUB.

Learn more about WordToEPUB

Select the Help button to learn more about the WordToEPUB tool. The release notes for the installed version can be read from here, and you can also submit feedback.

You can take up the Accessible EPUB with WordToEPUB course available free of cost on the DAISY Learning site. It includes many lessons with videos explaining the use of WordToEPUB.

Also checkout recordings of previous webinars, many of which have been conducted on use of WordToEPUB, creation of accessible Word documents and validation of EPUB.

We would love to hear from you! If you prefer you can send us email at

Tags: WordToEPUB