Question: What file types does Turnitin accept?

Turnitin will currently accept the following file types:

  • Microsoft Word® (.doc / .docx)1
  • OpenOffice Text (.odt)2
  • Google Docs via Google Drive™ (.gdoc files are NOT acceptable)3
  • WordPerfect®  (.wpd)
  • PostScript (.ps/.eps)
  • Adobe® PDF4
  • Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps)5
  • Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx)6
  • HTML
  • Rich text format (.rtf)
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Hangul Word Processor file (.hwp)

The paper being submitted must contain more than 20 words, must be under 40MB (or approximately two million characters), must not exceed 400 pages in length, and must not contain spaces in between every letter (l i k e  t h i s). 

Please note that they do not support:

  • Microsoft® Works (.wps) file types.
  • Apple Pages file types.
  • Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods).
  • GDOC files (.gdoc) which are just links to online Google Document files, but don't actually contain text or the document's content. Google Drive must be used to upload Google Docs.
  • Prezi Presentations
  • ZIP files

If a file format issue is occurring, please re-open the file in a word processor, and save the file again using the "save as" function and choosing a different format from the file type pull down menu (try RTF or TXT as they are the most "safe"). Occasionally content in document headers and footers can prevent a file from being accepted by the Turnitin service. If you encounter issues uploading a document that contains headers and footers, editing or removing the content may resolve the issue.

Turnitin does accept PDF files, however, please note that image-based PDFs, forms, and portfolios are not supported. In some cases third party PDF creators or plugins may create PDF files which are not entirely compliant with the PDF standard. This can result in unexpected results when Turnitin attempts to process and render the document image in the Document Viewer -- Turnitin may fail to render such files or they may be displayed with missing content.

If the file you are trying to upload or display is a PDF and you are encountering problems, please check the following settings using Adobe® Reader:

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader.
  2. From the "File" menu, select "Properties."
  3. Select the following tabs and check to see what they contain:
    1. Security tab - Check to see that both "Page Extraction" and "Copying" are set to allowed.  If they are not, then Turnitin cannot extract the text to allow the system to work.  (Solution is to ensure that a new PDF is created which allows copying and extraction.
    2. Fonts tab -  If some of the fonts have (embedded subset) next to their names, then this may explain why the submission has failed.  Our system has not been able to extract the text associated with those fonts.  (This is often linked to a. above).
  4. Verify that the PDF is text-based (image-based PDFs are not supported for Originality Check).Proceed to highlight the text of your document with your mouse. If you are not able to highlight any text, your PDF is an image and does not contain text. Another option is to try a "Save As" or "Save as Other" and save to a .txt file. If the resulting .txt file is empty, no text can be rendered from the document.
  5. Verify that the PDF is not a "Portfolio" containing multiple files. If the "File" menu option shows "Portfolio Properties" rather than the "Properties" option, the file type is not supported.
  6. Verify that the PDF is not a form. If you are prompted to "Please fill out the following form," within Adobe Reader, the file type is not supported.

Note 1 - Microsoft Word: We do not accept Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled (.docm) files (we do accept the standard .docx files). Whatever macro is encoded in the file is stripped away when submitted to Turnitin. For example, when using a "letter replacement macro," we strip the macro from the Wordfile, and whatever characters the student originally had in the file will appear (i.e. "a~"). Also, we do NOT accept password protected files.
Note 2 - Open Office Text: Turnitin will not accept .odt files created and downloaded from Google Docs online. Turnitin will not accept ".doc" files created using OpenOffice since OpenOffice ".doc" files are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent.

Note 3 - Google Docs: GDOC files (*.gdoc) which are just links to online Google Document files, but don't actually contain text or the document's content are not supported. Google Drive must be used to upload Google Docs.

Note 4 - Adobe® PDF: Turnitin will not accept PDF image files, forms, or portfolios. PDF files which do not contain highlightable text (e.g., a "scanned" file, which is often simply a picture of text) are unacceptable.PDF portfolio documents containing multiple files are not supported.

Note 5 - Microsoft PowerPoint: It is possible to submit PowerPoint files through,, Turnitin Basic integrations, newer versions of the Turnitin Direct integrations, and LTI compliant integrations only. It not possible to submit PowerPoint files using other non-LTI compliant integrations. Turnitin converts the PowerPoint slide deck into a static PDF, leaving all text and images in their original format but leaving out features such as presenter notes, embedded video, and animations. Text with visual effects is not supported, and it is recommended that any visual effects such as shadows and 3-D be removed prior to submitting to Turnitin.

Note 6 - Microsoft Excel: The version of the file that can be viewed in the Document Viewer will look the same as it would if the Excel file had been saved as a PDF and submitted to Turnitin. We highly recommend that users pay attention to the image preview provided in the single file submission to verify that the file is presented in an acceptable manner.  Users can adjust the way the file looks by editing the page setup and print area settings for the file prior to saving it and submitting it to Turnitin.