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Similarity checker helps you create original work and cite the work of others in your Word documents. The similarity checker shows you how much content in your document is original, and it makes it easy to insert citations when necessary. With the mechanics of citations taken care of, you are freed up to focus on your writing. Your reader can tell what material originates with you, and the people you cite get credit where it's due.

Note: Similarity checker was announced in March, 2020 and continues to be released across Microsoft 365 subscriptions. It may take several weeks to reach your account. This feature is available only for English language text.

  1. On the Home tab, choose Editor.

  2. In the Editor pane, find Similarity, and click or tap Check for similarity to online sources.

    When the check is complete, Editor shows you how much of your content matches text that it found online (indicated as a percent), and the number of distinct passages in the document for you to review.

  3. To review the passages, click or tap Similarities reviewed. Editor takes you to the first passage, where you can choose whether or not to insert a citation. A link to the online content lets you judge for yourself whether attribution is warranted. If you decide not to add a citation, choose Ignore.

After a passage has been reviewed, Editor underlines it in green. Clicking or tapping in the passage opens the citation suggestion again, which is helpful if you want to re-read the online source or add a citation to a passage that you previously ignored.

Inserting citations

Inserting an in-text citation places the citation immediately following the passage. Depending on the situation, Editor might also surround the passage with quotation marks. If you don't want the quotation marks, just delete them.

If your document includes a bibliography or a list of works cited, use Copy full citation, and paste the citation into the bibliography or the works cited.

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