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Turnitin guide: File types supported by Turnitin

What file formats does Turnitin accept?

Before submitting a file, make sure Turnitin supports it. You must take file type and file size into account.

How big can a file be?

 Minimum of 20 words.  

 The maximum file size 40MB 


 Documents must be less than 400 pages  (independently of the document size.)


If is necessary submitting longer documents, you must configure the assignment with several parts of the exercise to divide the task into several less extensive documents, which will be delivered separately.

A smaller size (MB) can be set by configuring the assignment on the exercise settings screen.



  • Microsoft Word  
  • PowerPoint
  • WordPerfect
  • PostScript
  • PDF (text files, text  included as an image, must be transformed into text.)
  • HTML
  • RTF
  • OpenOffice (ODT)
  • Hangul (HWP)
  • Google Docs (submitted via 'Google Drive' option)
  • Plain text format (TXT)​
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls and .xlsx)

Excel Files

  • Do not use backgrounds in cells.
  • Do not add additional unused columns.
  • Do not include hidden sheets, columns or rows.
  • Before sending, make sure all content is highlighted and click File - Print Area - Set Print Area.



Another type of files with special formats, e.g. source code files for a C or C++ program, only can be submitted if it be converted in one of the previous formats (TXT, DOC, etc.).

Latex: sometimes PDFs files generated from Latex ay cause some problems. To prevent them, it is recommended to open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and print it by selecting the Adobe PDF printer. This will generate a new PDF file that can be uploaded to Turnitin.

The images format inserted in the documents may cause problems. To avoid them, use images in JPG, PNG or GIF format.

PDF image files:  scanned images of a document or an image saved as a PDF will need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert the image to a text document.

Troubles submitting a document?

ERROR "Your submission must contain 100 characters or more"

This error could be due to...

1) Documents created with some program versions (e.g. Word) may not be supported by Turnitin. SOLUTION: modify the document with a different version or convert it to PDF.

2) When uploaded files containing only scanned images or a PDF file created with programs differents to Word, Excel or Powerpoint, Turnitin interprets the file as an image and understands that the file is empty, although the images contain words. SOLUTION: redo the file correctly.



  • Microsoft Works (.wps) 
  • Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled (.docm)
  • OpenOffice Text (.odt) files created and downloaded from Google Docs online.
  • Document (.doc) files created using OpenOffice, as they are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent.
  • Apple pages
  • Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (e.g. .ods)
  • Texts with visual effects
  • Files that are password protected or encrypted
  • Hidden files
  • System files
  • Read only files