How can I import a PDF or Word document?

Importing an existing document to GitBook is easy. Upload it when creating a book using the Import tab.

Accepted formats

GitBook.com currently supports importing:

Type Extension
Microsoft Word Document .doc or .docx
DocBook v5.x .xml
HTML file .html

For better results, we recommend using:

  • Microsoft Word 2007+ documents
  • DocBook v5.x documents

For DocBook v4 documents, please consider converting them to version 5 for improved compatibility.

Conversion

This conversion generates a set of markdown files from the original document, along with a suitable SUMMARY.md.

For example, a document with this structure...

[Content here becomes the book's README.md]

* Section 1
    [Content here becomes the a chapter's README.md]
    * Section 1.1
        * Section 1.1.1
        * Section 1.1.2

    * Section 1.2

* Section 2
    [Content here becomes the content of chapter 2]

... will be converted to a book with this structure:

.
├── README.md
├── SUMMARY.md
├── section-1
│   ├── README.md
│   ├── section-1-1.md
│   └── section-1-2.md
└── section-2.md

Also, for .docx documents, all included images are exported to an assets/ folder.

Command line

The import feature uses the gitbook-convert CLI utility. If you ever need more flexibility, consider using gitbook-convert locally, create a repository and import it using Git or GitHub.

gitbook-convert infers a book structure from your document's structure, based on header levels. Top-level headers become chapters. Chapters are folders with a README.md as preface, and sub-chapters for every second-level headers. If no second-level headers are present, the chapter will consist of a single file instead of a folder.

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