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File types accepted by Turnitin


turnitin_fileerror_1617This post explains the file types that are compatible with Turnitin.

It also offers solutions for the error message You must upload a supported file type for this assignment.

What file types does Turnitin accept?

Turnitin will currently accept the following file types to generate similarity reports:

  1. Microsoft Word® (.doc/.docx)
  2. OpenOffice Text (.odt) (except if created in google docs)
  3. WordPerfect®  (.wpd)
  4. PostScript (.ps)
  5. HTML
  6. Hangul Word Processor file (.hwp)
  7. Rich text format (.rtf)
  8. Plain text (.txt)
  9. Adobe® PDF
  10. Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps)
  11. Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx)

NB Password protected files will NOT generate a similarity report but will return an error instead. Do NOT set a password for any submissions. 

Your paper must contain a minimum of 25 words, must be under 40MB (or approximately two million characters), less than 400 pages in length, and must not contain spaces in between every letter (l i k e  t h i s). 

Note: Your lecturer may set up an assignment that allows you to submit any kind of file but Turnitin will only generate a similarity report for the file types that it supports.

Submitting Documents Containing Images and Tables

Turnitin recommends that if you are submitting files that contain images and tables, it is best to submit these as PDF documents rather than MS word/PowerPoint files. This will ensure that the document retains its original formatting.

To save a file as a pdf:

File > Save as > Save as Type > PDF

**Always check the file before and after you upload it to ensure that the desired formatting has been retained. We recommend renaming the file when you convert it to prevent loss of the original formatting or images that may occur if you are overwriting a file.

Are Google docs compatible with Turnitin?

The short answer is no.  Even though you may appear to successfully upload a document saved as a .gdoc file type to a Turnitin assignment, your lecturer will not be able to open the file to provide feedback and grade your work. This is because the .gdoc file contains a web link to a document created and saved in Google Drive rather than the actual document itself. This guide explains how to submit files from Google Drive.

Are Open Office (.odp, .odt) files fully compatible?

OpenOffice documents (.odt files) are not checked for similarity and may return an M14 error if created and downloaded in Google Docs online. The same applies for OpenOffice presentations (.odp files) and spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods). Turnitin also will not accept documents (.doc) or presentations (.ppt) files created using OpenOffice as these are not 100% Microsoft equivalent.

Please use your student version of Office365 instead. See the IT helpdesk pages on the student portal for information.

Can I submit a PDF made in Photoshop or Publisher?

No. Turnitin cannot read these file types. This post explains how to resolve this error.

Can I submit Pages files from my Mac?

No. You must export the file as a Word format document. It may appear to upload successfully into Turnitin, but your tutor will not be able to read it.


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