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Transferring documents from Inspiration 8 to Word 2007

This tutorial is aimed at Higher Education users but the same process applies to any user of Inspiration who wants to transfer documents created inside an Inspiration mind map over to Word.

One of the amazing things about Inspiration is that you can write a large part of your essay, or even the whole thing, in the little boxes that you place in your mind map. However at some point you're going to need to get all that text into Microsoft Word so that you can proofread it and hand it in. Inspiration has a handy transfer feature that does this for you but unfortunately it doesn't format the text very well. This tutorial will take you through the entire transfer process.

The Starting Point - a map in inspiration
Word 2007 - The Final Document
From a beautifully structured and presented essay in Inspiration mind map format.
To a beautifully structured and presented essay in Microsoft Word 2007 format that your lecturers will love.

Step 1: Check the linear order of your document.

Switch to Inspiration's Outline view and use this view to move your headings up and down to ensure the order that you want to appear in your final document. Make it easier by hiding the bulk of the text (View > Notes > Hide All).

Step 2: Transfer into Microsoft Word

Click the Transfer button and Inspiration will bring up the Transfer Options window.

Transfer Options Dialog

You'll need to make sure you have the right things ticked in the Transfer Options dialog that pops up:

  • Include the diagram - not ticked
  • Topics - ticked
  • Hidden subtopics - ticked
  • Prefixes - not ticked
  • Notes - ticked
  • Hidden notes - ticked
  • Indentation - not ticked

Click OK and the document will save as an Microsoft Word file and automatically open itself in Microsoft Word (it may prompt you to save the file if you haven't already).

Step 3: Upgrade the file to Word 2007

Inspiration has made a Microsoft Word-compatible file. This needs to be upgraded to a Word 2007 in order to take advantage of the improved formatting and features that Word 2007 has to offer.

The Convert option can be found on the main Word menu

To accomplish this open up the Word main menu and select Convert.

Step 4: Fix the margins

For some reason Inspiration uses narrow margins and your lecturer won't like these as it leaves him or her very little room to write nice comments about your work.

A screenshot of the Margins options found under the Page Layout ribbon

Go to the Page Layout ribbon and select 'Normal' from Margins feature.

Step 5: Remove extra headings

You will probably want to remove many of the extra headings that appear in your essay. Deciding how many headings, if any, and how many subheadings you have depends on your writing style and the sort of thing your lecturer expects. People doing BSc and MSc degrees tend to have more headings than those doing BA and MA degrees.

Remove the headings by selecting each one and deleting it.

The quickest way to accomplish this is to select the first heading using the left margin. Then hold down CTRL and select the subsequent headings one at a time.

Step 6: Clear all formatting

The formatting that has come through is Inspiration's idea of what your document should look like. Before you can apply your own styles you need to get rid of Inspiration's.

More Styles button on the Home Ribbon
The Clear Formatting option can be found in the More Styles pop-up

Select your entire document by pressing CTRL + A

Then go to the Styles section of the Home ribbon, click on the More Styles button and select Clear Formatting.

Step 7: Apply Word Styles

Word styles make styling a document really easy (see this separate document on using Word styles). They also make documents look consistently fantastic and can save you loads of time.

All text in the document is currently assigned as 'Normal' which is the font style that text appears when Word is first started. Paragraphs can be left on 'Normal' but the Title and Headings need to be re-assigned.

  1. Click on the Essay title (do not highlight the text) and select Title from the Style pallet. Don't worry if you don't like the way this looks. It's important to set the right style - you can easily change the look later.
  2. Next click on your first Heading (in this case Introduction) and select Heading 1.
  3. Now label your remaining headings remembering Heading 2s are only intended to be subheadings of Heading 1s, Headings 3s are subheadings of Level 2s and so forth. Therefore you may have several Heading 1s one after the other.

Step 8: Customise the look

Now to make your document look nice (or at least acceptable for your lecturer). Click on the Change Styles button on the Home ribbon and hover over the Style Set option. In the submenu that appears hover over each style set in turn and you'll see your document preview what it will look like if you select it. Choose a style and hey presto your entire document will change to match it!

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